Last week, the Iowa Department of Public Health issued a cannabis manufacturing license to Iowa Relief, a New Jersey-based company, to manufacture medical marijuana within the state. Iowa Relief, which grows, processes or dispenses cannabis in 16 other states, plans on building a new facility in Cedar Rapids and estimates hiring 20 full-time employees to work at the plant. The facility’s product production will include capsules, tinctures, and creams and will be marketed for health-related use.
Iowa Relief plans to tentatively begin selling products July 1, 2019.
Currently, Iowa Relief and MedPharm are the only cannibus manufacturers licensed to operate within the state. MedPharm products are scheduled to sell in December at five licensed dispensaries, including Waterloo, Davenport, Council Bluffs, Windsor Heights, and Sioux City.
In 2017, the Iowa Legislature expanded code language to include the following medical conditions for the cannibus program: cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures; AIDS or HIV, Crohn’s disease; ALS, Parkinson’s disease; and other terminally diseased or untreatable pain. Currently, Iowa’s medical marijuana law is limited to the production of oils, capsules and creams. Any production or sale of smokeable forms of marijuana is prohibited.
Despite Iowa’s restrictive medical cannibus rules, four firms applied last month for a medical marijuana production permit. Based on the increase of manufacturing interest, both MedPharm and Iowa Relief advocate for the state to expand Iowa’s current list of medicinal ailments and raise the 3% THC cap so Iowans may have easier access to a health product.
This session, the House Public Safety Committee passed HF 2432, which streamlined the application process for cannabidoil manufacturers and producers and would have allowed safe and feasible access to Iowa cannibidoil’s market. Additionally, legislators proposed replacing the 3% THC cap with 90 grams over 90 days and changing current code language to include ‘chronic or severe pain’. However, the bill was never brought up for debate by House Republican leaders.