Medical marijuana expansion bill advances to Iowa Senate

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 5:27 AM CDT
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A bill that would expand Iowa's medical marijuana program is moving forward in the Iowa legislature.

The Iowa House passed the bill with a 52-46 vote Tuesday It would add severe autism and PSD to the list of conditions that would qualify for medical marijuana use.

It also caps the amount of THC at 4.5 grams every 90 days. THC is the chemical in marijuana which causes a high.

MedPharm, who manufactures medical cannabidiol, wants to get rid of the cap and add a purchase limit of 17 grams.

"We have actual data from our Iowa patients that says we'll be able to serve upwards of 97% of the patients with that type of cap," said MedPharm Iowa General Manager Lucas Nelson.

The Iowa Cannabidiol Board made the recommendation of 4.5 grams. A board member says there is concern that raising the cap any higher could pose health risks.

"When you get up to 17 grams per 90 days or 25 grams per 90 days, that's really really high and you run into areas where you can have a lot of side-effects," said board member Dr. Jacqueline Stoken.

The bill now heads to the Iowa Senate.