40% of Iowa Dispensaries Abruptly Close, Reducing Patient Access

Two of Iowa’s five licensed medical cannabis dispensaries were abruptly shut down without explanation from their operator nor state health officials, who said they will work to license two new retailers.

Full story after the jump.

Two of Iowa’s five medical cannabis dispensaries have closed and neither their operator nor state health officials have indicated the reason, according to the Associated Press. The dispensaries in Council Bluffs and Davenport were both owned by Have A Heart Compassionate Care.

In a statement, public health officials indicated they would work to license two new dispensaries “as soon as possible.”

“Providing patient access to medical cannabidiol products is important to the department, and we understand the difficulties that these closures may cause for patients and caregivers in the Council Bluffs and Davenport areas.” – Iowa Department of Public Health in a press release via the AP

According to agency data, there are 4,327 registered medical cannabis patients in the state as of February 20, along with 691 caregivers and 945 physicians allowed to certify patients for the program. The state program currently only allows patients to access cannabis products that contain no more than 3 percent THC; however, last month the state House Public Safety Committee passed a measure to remove those limitations. That proposal – which came directly from the state’s medical cannabis board last year – would also limit patients to 4.5 grams of cannabis above 3 percent THC over 90 days.

Iowa‘s strict medical cannabis law only allows two companies to grow and process the products. The state has approved 15 qualifying conditions for the program, and the average patient age is about 57-years-old. A poll last month found 81 percent of Iowans supported expanding the conditions that qualify for the program.

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