CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Friday is the second legislative funnel deadline. It's the final day for all non-budget bills to make it out of one chamber and a committee. Otherwise those bills die.
One bill to make it past the funnel is over Iowa's THC limit for medicinal cannabis. THC is the chemical in the cannabis plant that causes the high.
The original bill that passed in the house took away the state's 3% THC cap. Instead, it would allow dispensaries to hand out 25 grams of THC to a patient or a primary caregiver within a 90 day period.
The bill that passed Thursday in a senate committee put the 3% THC cap back in, but kept the 25 grams in. The original bill was criticized by members of the Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa.
They feel that 25 grams is a lot of THC in a short period of time. Comparing it to a half pound of marijuana. The group also worries that it could get in the wrong hands.
"They have these paraprofessionals who aren't really trained,” Peter Komendowski with Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa. “It's really just the business of selling CBD oil, and now they want to get a lot of THC in it. What's going to happen is, people are going to buy it, and resale it, and trade it.”
Democratic State Senator Joe Bolkcom from Iowa City says he supported taking away the 3% cap because he says people in certain situations need higher doses for therapeutic reasons.
In a statement he says “THC in cannabis is medicine for critically ill Iowans. It’s time to end the suffering for sick Iowans. Iowa has the most restrictive, unworkable medical cannabis programs in the country. It’s time to raise the THC cap, add more chronic medical conditions and increase the number of dispensary locations so patients can more easily assess their medicine.”
State Representative Ashely Hinson also weighed in on the issue saying “The decision to switch from a percentage limit to a weight limit came from members of the board of experts that we created a few years back. The gram amount that ended up in the bill is much lower than what the Department of Public Health originally proposed. The bill was worked on carefully from both Republicans and Democrats with input from both medical professionals and law enforcement.”
The amendment putting the 3% cap in will have to be voted on by the full senate.