The Iowa Senate has approved a bill to eliminate the 3 percent THC cap on medical cannabis products, moving it on to Gov. Kim Reynolds for her signature, according to a KHQA report. In lieu of the potency cap, dispensaries would not be allowed to sell more than 25 grams of medical cannabis during a 90-day period.
While the measure does not expand the qualifying conditions list, the law does change “untreatable pain” as an approved condition to “severe and chronic pain.” According to the state Department of Public Health, 58 percent of the program’s patients qualify for untreatable pain. It also allows nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to certify medical cannabis patients for the program – as of Apr. 18, there are 2,538 registered patients and 666 physicians sighed up to certify.
The bill, which passed 40-7 on the last day of the session, removes restrictions blocking felons from the program. Notably, the bill still does not allow patients to purchase flower products but eliminating the THC cap will allow them to manufacture and sell high-potency products like tinctures.
“I give you my word: This is not a step in the direction of recreational use of marijuana. It’s a step to help people who have a lot of pain.” — Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, during a Senate floor debate, via KHQA
Just last week, the legislature sent Reynolds, a Republican, a bill legalizing industrial hemp production in the state. Reynolds is expected to sign the hemp bill but has previously opposed expanding the medical cannabis program.
Last year, the governor’s spokesperson told the Des Moines Register that Reynolds “believes further study would be needed before expanding the program.” She also opposes broad recreational legalization. Her office has not indicated whether or not she plans on signing the expansion law.
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