Revision to medical CBD program signed by governor
Last update: July 1, 2020
On June 29, 2020, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill (HF 2589) that expands the list of medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis preparations, revises the amount of THC that can be possessed, and makes other changes — both good and bad — to the program. The new law, which took effect on July 1, will:
Revise the 3% THC cap to instead allow products with a total of 4.5 grams of THC every 90 days, with exceptions for cases where providers specify a specific, greater quantity is needed
Add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autism with self-harm to the list of qualifying conditions
Allow any patient with “chronic pain” — instead of “untreatable pain” — to qualify, thus greatly expanding the number of pain patients who qualify
Allow podiatrists, physicians' assistants, and advance practice nurses to recommend cannabis
Removes the Department of Transportation’s role in ID cards
Allow property owners and employers to ban medical cannabis use and provides that workers' compensation and health care do not have to cover medical cannabis
In 2019, Gov. Reynolds vetoed a bill that would have allowed patients purchase medical cannabis preparations with up to 25 grams of THC over 90 days. The current default limit — 4.5 grams every 90 days — is insufficient for many patients.
Sadly, two of the state’s five medical cannabidiol dispensaries permanently closed in spring 2020. One owner noted that operating was not economically viable. Iowa’s law continues to have some major shortcomings that drive up prices, including that it prohibits cannabis in its natural, flower form. Iowa borders Illinois, where cannabis preparations — including flower — are available to any adult who is 21 or older.
Efforts to maintain safe access to medical cannabidiol in times of coronavirus
Iowa’s Office of Medical Cannabidiol has taken some steps to preserve safe access to medical cannabidiol during this time of social distancing: Patients are being allowing curbside pick-up during the pandemic, and the program is encouraging telemedicine consultations. However, we are disappointed Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has not taken other steps to maintain safe access, including allowing home delivery.
You can ask the governor to allow home delivery during the crisis here.
Learn more about Iowa’s marijuana laws
Iowa is seriously lagging behind the 27 states (and D.C.) that have stopped jailing and criminalizing their residents for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Under current law, first-offense possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, one of the most severe first-offense penalties in the country. These draconian penalties hit low-income and communities of color the hardest.