Lawmakers, governor discuss whether to expand Iowa's medical marijuana program

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) -- Some lawmakers say they would like to see Iowa's medical marijuana program expanded during the next legislative session which starts Monday.

On Monday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill making the state's medical marijuana program permanent. (MGN)

The governor and state lawmakers met today to talk about this topic. Some Democrats say the program should add more chronic conditions, eliminate the 3 percent THC cap and allow more dispensaries in the state. The governor vetoed a bill to expand the medical marijuana program last year, but says she is willing to find common ground.

"Almost every aspect of that bill, I supported and they were all recommendations from the [Medical Cannabidiol] board," Gov. Kim Reynolds said. "The only piece I didn't support was the jump from where the cap is right now to where it went to."

Even with Iowa's MedPharm dispensary worried after Illinois legalized recreational marijuana, Republican leaders say there is no urgency to expand the bill.

"We should not do anything based on what Illinois may or may not be doing," Rep. Pat Grassley, Speaker of the House, said. "I think making sure we pass a bill that is good for Iowans is a priority."

MedPharm is urging lawmakers to expand qualifying medical conditions to include PTSD and Alzheimer's.