The Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Carl Wycoff

Iowa House GOP Threatens to Pull Opioid Bill over MMJ Amendment; Sponsor Pulls Amendment

Republicans in Iowa’s House threatened to kill a bill to address opioid addiction if it included expanded medical cannabis language, forcing the amendment sponsor to withdraw the motion, the Des Moines Register reports. While the Senate is still considering a measure to remove the 3 percent THC cap under the state’s current medical cannabis regime, House Speaker Linda Upmeyer has indicated she is not ready to approve any expansion, including the language in Sen. Thomas Greene’s amendment.

“Medical cannabis is an issue that needs to move. This is an issue that cannot be put off year after year after year.” – Greene on the Senate floor, via the Register

The Senate had approved the medical cannabis amendment unanimously. The amendment would have allowed individuals with opioid addiction to access the state medical cannabis program. The bill being considered by the Senate would expand the program to allow physicians to approve medical cannabis for any condition, which, if approved, would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis as an exit therapy for opioid addiction.

Gov. Kim Reynolds sides with Upmeyer: both want to hear from the state’s medical cannabis advisory board before expanding the program. Upmeyer suggested that if the board recommends changes the legislature could take up legislation to address those suggestions next year.

Medical cannabis sales in Iowa are set to launch in December; however, under the current regime, those non-smokable products will contain 0.3 percent THC or less.

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