Iowa’s SF 506:
Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act


Qualifying conditions: Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, AIDS or HIV, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, any cancer or terminal illness subject to certain conditions, intractable pain, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, complex regional pain syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and any other chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its medical treatment approved by the department by rule.

Physician certification: To qualify, patients must have a written certification from a physician certifying that the doctor has examined the patient for a qualifying condition and the patient qualifies for the program. Doctors must also provide information to the patient. Patients must be re-certified annually unless they are suffering from an incurable debilitating condition.

Caregivers: Caregivers must be at least 18 years old and have been designated by the patient’s health care practitioner or have actual custody of the patient. There is not a limit on how many patients they can serve.

Qualification for an ID card: Patients must be 18 years of age and permanent residents of Iowa. They must submit a written certification and application to the department along with an application fee of $100. If the patient receives social security disability benefits, supplemental security insurance payments, or is enrolled in the medical assistance program, the fee is $25. Caregiver application fees are also $25.

Medical advisory board: A medical advisory board must be established by the director of public heath by August 15, 2017. It consists of nine practitioners representing the fields of neurology, pain management, gastroenterology, oncology, psychiatry, pediatrics, infectious disease, family medicine, and pharmacy, and three patients or primary caregivers with valid medical cannabis registration cards. The board will review and recommend additional medical conditions for the program. It will also work with the public health department regarding licensing. Finally, it will determine what quantity of medical cannabis can be dispensed to a patient.

Manufacturers: Between four and 12 manufacturer licenses would be issued by December 1, 2017. As a condition for licensure, manufacturers must agree to begin supplying medical cannabis to medical cannabis dispensaries by July 2, 2018. Each manufacturer must contract with a laboratory to ensure the consistency and safety of the product. Application fees are a nonrefundable $15,000, and the department will establish an annual licensing fee not to exceed regulatory costs. All manufacturing will take place in a locked and enclosed facility.

Dispensaries: By April 2, 2018, the department must issue 12 dispensary licenses. As a condition for licensure, a medical cannabis dispensary must agree to begin supplying medical cannabis to patients by July 16, 2018. The dispensaries would be located based on geographic need throughout the state.

Neither manufacturers nor dispensaries can operate within 1,000 feet of a public or private school.

Packaging: Medical cannabis must be packaged in child-resistant packaging (with exemptions for elderly patients), and it must be labeled with a list of all active ingredients. It must include warning labels about the use of medical cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Edible products cannot imitate candy products or in any way be marketable to children. In addition, manufacturers cannot manufacture edible medical cannabis products that utilize food coloring.

Reciprocity: Patients with out-of-state ID cards will be accepted in Iowa. A special provision in the law explicitly allows Iowa patients to register as nonresident patients in the state of Minnesota.

Legal protections: The bill exempt patients, caregivers, medical practitioners, and dispensary and manufacturer workers from prosecution but not arrest under the state criminal law. Also, no law enforcement agency or other agency of the state can remove a child under the age of 18 from the home of a parent based solely upon the parent’s or patient’s possession of authorized medical cannabis.

Smoking prohibited: Smoking is not permitted under the bill. The Department of Health will decide what forms of cannabis will be allowed. Every other form of consumption — including vaporization — is permitted.

Rescheduling: The Act reclassifies marijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance.

Effective date: Upon enactment.