Medical Cannabidiol Board recommends removing three percent THC cap
Last update: January 27, 2020
Gov. Reynolds vetoes medical marijuana expansion bill
In 2019, the Iowa Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would have expanded the state's restrictive medical marijuana program. Unfortunately, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) vetoed the legislation at the end of the legislative session, and the legislature did not reconvene to take up an override.
The bill — HF 732 — would have removed the three percent cap on THC in medical marijuana products and instead institute a per-person limit of 25 grams every 90 days. It would have also expanded the patient pool by allowing additional health professionals such as nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to recommend medical marijuana. Finally, it would’ve relaxed a restrictive definition for which pain patients can qualify.
These changes have would significantly improved Iowa’s medical marijuana program, which makes Gov. Reynolds' veto so disappointing.
However, there were some modest improvements to the state's existing low-THC cannabis program in 2019. Corticobasal degeneration and severe, intractable autism with self-injurious behaviors were added the list of qualifying conditions. The Medical Cannabidiol Board also recommended adding PTSD to the list, but that recommendation is awaiting consideration from the Board of Medicine.
Learn more about Iowa’s marijuana laws
Iowa is seriously lagging behind the 26 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.
According to the ACLU, people of color in Iowa are almost eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana prohibition than their white counterparts.
Email your lawmakers in support of reducing marijuana possession penalties. Or, ask your legislators to end marijuana prohibition now!
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