July 1 marks the day that the new medical cannabis program takes effect in Iowa.
Former Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 524, an expansion of the existing program that was scheduled to sunset this July. Floor manager of the bill Rep. Jarad Klein (R) explains the new program, “It expanded access to other diseases and other conditions. We’ve also expanded to allow the selling and manufacturing of CBD oil, at three percent or less THC in the state.”
Cannabis oil is a marijuana compound that has medical benefits but is non-psychoactive. The new legislation will make cannabis oil accessible not only to those with epilepsy but also those who suffer from conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Klein mentions another new aspect of the legislation, “Probably one of the other big ones that I think gets overlooked a lot is that we set up a board of physicians and specialists in medicine who will advise the legislature on what conditions should be included, what should be added, percentage levels, all those different aspects. We’re not scientists and we’re not doctors, they need to help tell us and guide us on where to be going.”
Klein says there will probably be only two manufacturers of cannabis oil in the state, and there will likely be four geographically representative dispensaries in the state, which have yet to be approved. Cannabis oil cannot be obtained through a prescription, but through a recommendation from a physician. Klein says expanded access to cannabis oil should be available within the year.