Iowa Gov. Sued for Medical Cannabis Delays In Long-Term Care

Iowa cannabis advocate Carl Olsen is suing Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) over the state’s delay in allowing medical cannabis use at long-term care facilities, which was mandated under the state’s medical cannabis legalization bill.

Full story after the jump.

A cannabis advocate in Iowa is suing Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds over the state’s delays in implementing a measure approved last year to allow medical cannabis use at long-term care facilities, KWWL reports. The bill requires an exemption from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) but the state has not sought it, Carl Olsen alleges in the lawsuit.

“One of the answers that I got was that the governor was holding it up, and then later it became well we think the Biden administration – we want to wait to see what the Biden administration is going to do – so none of these answers gave me a definite explanation of what was going on.” – Olsen to KWWL

Reynolds signed the bill on June 29, 2020.

In 2019, Reynolds vetoed a bill that would have expanded the state’s medical cannabis program, citing concerns over the efficacy of cannabis and the “health and safety of Iowans.” The measure had passed through both legislative chambers with sweeping approval — 96-3 in the House and 40-7 in the Senate.

According to KWWL, Reynolds has indicated that the back and forth between the state and federal governments is a “threat to public safety.”

In February, state regulators said they were still evaluating the best way to proceed with the reforms.

A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll published last month found 78% of Iowans support expanding the state’s medical cannabis program and 54% of adults supported legalization for recreational use.

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