Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City among possible homes for medical marijuana dispensary

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Companies applied to be able to sell medical marijuana at locations in 11 cities across Iowa.

Cedar Rapids mayor voiced support to put one of those dispensaries in his city. Brad Hart sent a letter to the Iowa Department Public Health supporting plans for MedPharm to open a dispensary in Cedar Rapids.

"I believe MedPharm Iowa would act as a partner with the City of Cedar Rapids in achieving our goal of becoming a city that supports residents' health needs while providing economic development that will make Cedar Rapids a desirable place to live," Hart wrote in the letter dated this week.

The Iowa Department of Public Health did not identify the companies or exact plans of the applications submitted by Thursday's deadline. Instead, it released a break down of the 21 applications by city. It includes one application each in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City, Cedar Falls and Waterloo. Sioux City, Des Moines and Davenport each had multiple applications.

The Iowa Department of Public Health is tasked with licensing up to five dispensaries across the state to be able to sell medical marijuana. The department will select locations from the application by April fist.

MedPharm became the first licensed manufacturer of medical marijuana products at the end of last year. It is building a plant in Des Moines for that purpose and estimates more than 6,000 customers in Iowa when it opens.

Iowa lawmakers expanded medical marijuana in Iowa last year, allowing patients diagnosed with certain medical conditions like cancer and Parkinson's disease, to get a prescription for marijuana products. Those sales must start by December of this year.

The owner of the all-natural healing store The Corner Store Apothecary in Cedar Rapids says he would support a dispensary in Cedar Rapids. He says they did not apply for one because they want to focus on helping those that don't get approved.

Manager Jordan Loeffler says, "There's literally thousands of people who aren't going to qualify for that cannabis oil card. And they're still going to be deprived of pain prescription medications and have no other medication besides the CBD products solely and that's where we're going to focus our efforts on."