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Legalized Medical Marijuana in Iowa

December 27, 2018
Emmetsburg News

In 2017 Iowa Legislators passed a bill making marijuana for medical use legal in Iowa. December 1st of this year, five dispensaries in Iowa opened their doors.

With medical marijuana in Iowa there come many stipulations. In order for anyone to purchase marijuana at a dispensary, which is the only legal place in Iowa they can buy it, they must have a registration card. In order to get a registration card, a person must first have a medical doctor fill out the "health care practitioner certification" form that certifies the person has one of the illness that have been approved for marijuana use in Iowa Then the person needs to fill out a patient registration application at Once that is approved the person goes to a local lowa drivers licenses station to obtain a registration card. It is this registration card that will admit them into one of the five dispensaries in Iowa. The five dispensaries are in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Windsor Heights, Waterloo, and Davenport There is an annual cost for the registration card. Since the registration card is provided by the DOT, law enforcement officers are able to track registration cards if a person has forgotten their card.

So far illness allowed for medical marijuana use in Iowa are: cancer patients with "severe or chronic pain", nausea, severe vomiting or severe wasting; multiple sclerosis patients with "severe and persistent muscle spasms"; seizures, including epilepsy; HIV or AIDS; Crohn's disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; terminally ill patients with a life expectancy of less than one year who have "severe or chronic pain", nausea, severe vomiting or severe wasting; Parkinson's disease; and "untreatable pain". There may be more illness that qualify in the future as petitions to the Office of Medical Cannabidiol's are approved.

No insurance companies at this time are paying for medical marijuana.

The Iowa legislation put a cap on the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol-this is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis) at 3%. In states where marijuana is legal for adult use, the THC levels can reach 15-20 %. The allowable forms of medical cannabidiol in Iowa are as follows:

Oral forms - tablets, capsules, liquids, tinctures and sublingual forms

Topical forms - gels, ointments, creams, lotions and transdermal patches

Nebulizable - inhaled forms


Marijuana not allowed under lowa law is: Raw leaf, flowers, edibles and vaporizable concentrates.

CBD products that are being sold in health food stores, salons, retail outlets, and on line have not been approved under federal or state regulatory program. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, "This means the content, quality, and safety of those products has not been regulated by a federal or state of Iowa agency. Additionally, Iowans who dispense, sell, possess, or use such products are not protected from CBD products."

Only CBD products that are legal are ones that are approved by the FDA and are sold at one of the five dispensaries in Iowa. Also a person needs a medical marijuana registration card to purchase.

Linda Hallengren

Prevention Consultant

Compass Pointe Behaioral Health Services

Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco and Gambling

1900 Grand Avenue N., Suite A

Spencer, Iowa 51301

ph 712-262-2252

fx 712-262-9098 (fax)



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