The Capitol Building of Iowa, located in Des Moines

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Iowa Lawmakers Considering New MMJ, Possession Reforms

Iowa’s medical cannabis law is set to expire July 1, and lawmakers have already shot down one bill this session that would have enacted a more comprehensive regime in the state; however two more pieces of medical cannabis legislation have been introduced that would prevent the sunset provisions in the current law from taking effect.

The Senate bill, introduced by Republican state Sen. Brad Zaun, would allow for in-state medical cannabis cultivation and production, and add to the list of qualifying conditions in the state. In Iowa, lawmakers have until this Friday to pass any non-funding measures or else they will be moved to the next session. However, Zaun indicated that he has been told by Senate leadership that the proposal would be duplicated as a funding bill, allowing it to be introduced and debated after the deadline, according to a report from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

The other measure, introduced in the House, would extend the current regime and would allow CBD to be reclassified as a medicinal product in the state but only if the federal government were to do so first.

Additionally, a bill that would lessen the penalties for cannabis possession cleared a Senate subcommittee yesterday. The proposal would reduce the penalties for first-time cannabis possession of 5 grams or less from a serious misdemeanor to a simple misdemeanor, reduce the possible jail time from 6 months to 30 days, and lower the associated fines from no more than $1,000 to between $65 and $625. It does not reduce the penalties for subsequent possession charges.

Both House bills would need to be voted on before Friday in order to keep them alive this session.

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