Medical Cannabidiol Act Registration Card Program
Iowa State Department of Public Health
State Government Office,
321 E 12th Street, Des Moines,
Phone: (515) 281-7689
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad officially signed SF 2360, on May 30, 2014, thereby allowing for the possession and/or use, of “CBD Cannabis Oil” that contains no more than 3 percent (%) of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), by patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, who have a written recommendation from their neurologist.
SF 2360 also requires that the CBD be derived from a source out-of-state, and recommends a non-smoked administration of the CBD, either by means of transdermal or oral administration.
“This bill received tremendous support and truly shows the power of people talking to their legislators and to their governor about important issues to them, to their families and to their children,” said Iowa Governor Branstad.
Governor Branstad also went on to sign House File 524, which made cannabis oil available to patients with:
Though Governor Branstad signed with hesitations, this is an important step towards a working medical marijuana program in the state of Iowa. In addition, in-state dispensaries are expected to open in Dec 2018.
In December 2018, five dispensaries will open to service Iowa patients across the state. Patients will be able to get cannabidiol with less than 3% THC content. CBD will be available in oral, topical, nebulizable inhalants, and suppository forms.
On March 2, 2017, the Iowa Legislature approved a bill that will permit the limited state marijuana program to continue indefinitely. The SF 282 bill does not increase the list of ailments that Iowans can use medical marijuana to treat. It won’t legalize the production and distribution of the oil until federal authorities have approved a version that is currently being tested by the FDA and some pharmaceutical companies.
However, the people advocating for medical marijuana want an expanded program that will permit its use for a longer list of ailments. Only epilepsy patients are presently allowed to use cannabis oil with less than 3% CBD. Since 2014, when the current marijuana program was passed into law by the Legislature, only 132 people have obtained registry cards to use cannabis oil.
Many more Iowans are now in support of the use of medical marijuana. The Des Moines register poll published in February 2017 showed that 80 percent of Iowans support legalization of marijuana for medical use. This is higher than the 58 percent that favored its use in a poll conducted in 2013.
In response to this poll, a new medical marijuana advisory board was formed in September 2017. The eight appointed members of this board will be responsible for determining how Iowa will expand its medical marijuana program and what conditions will qualify for patients for certification. The department is also in charge of lining up producers and dispensaries, which are expected to be licensed in January 2018 and April 2018 respectively.
As of November 2017, Iowa chose its first medical marijuana manufacturer and grower. MedPharm Iowa LLC, owned by Kemin Industry and based out of Des Moines, will be the only company in the state of Iowa to have a cannabidiol manufacturing license.
Presently, possession of marijuana is treated as a misdemeanor. First-time offenders are required to spend six months in jail or pay a fine of $1,000. Second-time offenders will be punished by serving a jail term of 12 months and may be required to pay a fine that ranges between $315 to $1,875.
Third-time offenders will spend two years in jail and could pay a fine as high as $6,250. Chronic abusers of cannabis may be required to go to a drug rehab center. A person found with marijuana within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, high school or public park will be punished with 100 hours of community service.
Planting 50kg of marijuana is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine that ranges between $750 to $7,500. Cultivating 50kg to 100kg could attract a maximum fine of $50,000 and a 10-year jail term.
House File 524 allows companies approved by the Department of Public Health to produce and sell cannabis oil with tetrahydrocannabinol content up to 3%. House File 524 was signed by the governor in May 2017.
Regulations for possession and cultivation are expected to change in 2018 with the expansion of the medical marijuana program.