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Hemp In Iowa – Update

The open comment period for Iowa’s proposed hemp production rules and regulations kicked off last week.

Feedback on the the proposed administrative rules regulating planting, growing and harvesting of commercial hemp in Iowa will be accepted until January 22. On that day, a public hearing will also be held where interested parties can present their views verbally or in writing.


Iowa marks the first year of medical marijuana sales with looming questions about its future

Twice a month, Wendy Shoemaker visits a Windsor Heights shopping center to pick up something she believes has changed her life.

Her destination, a storefront with two-leaf plant images on the windows, is a dispensary that sells medical marijuana products. Next door is a Nepalese and Indian restaurant. Across the street is a B-Bop's burger chain.

Shoemaker, 51, entered the dispensary on a recent November afternoon slowly, with the help of a cane. She sat on minimalist furniture, near computer screens set up to help customers with their purchases. The process, she said, can feel like visiting an Apple store.


Iowa farmers can cash in on growing hemp industry in 2020

Iowa farmers will have the opportunity next year to begin growing hemp.

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued regulations pertaining to the production of industrial hemp. The growth of the fairly new crop, licensing and testing procedures, and possible destruction of plants that fall short of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, requirements will be governed by the rules.

The move came as a sigh of relief for farmers who are struggling financially, especially after the trade dispute between the U.S. and China negatively affected sales of traditional harvests. It is believed that hemp-derived cannabidiol, commonly called CBD, will create new revenue.


Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board to consider adding more qualifying conditions

Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board will consider changes to the state’s limited medicinal cannabis program on Friday, including petitions to add new medical conditions that qualify patients to participate in it. The board will also consider a proposal to replace a 3% limit on THC in medical marijuana products with a purchase limit on the high-inducing cannabinoid.


Mayor of Jamaica, Iowa, gets probation after growing marijuana in her home

The mayor of Jamaica, Iowa, and her husband were arrested in January after a search for a shooting suspect led deputies to the mayor's door, behind which they found pots of marijuana.

LaDonna Kennedy, 51, then the mayor of Jamaica, a central Iowa town with about 220 residents, was sentenced Friday to two years of probation after pleading guilty to manufacturing, delivering or possessing drugs with the intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana and failure to affix a drug tax stamp. 


Chronic pain to be added to Iowa’s medical cannabidiol program

Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board has reportedly approved chronic pain as an additional qualifying condition for the state’s medical cannabidiol program. Well, sort of additional.

As the program’s name suggests, Iowa’s focuses on medicines containing cannabidiol (CBD), with THC levels restricted to no more than 3%. Medicines can be administered in oral, topical, nebulized, suppository or vaporized forms – but smoking of products is not permitted.


Iowa adds chronic pain as condition for medical cannabis, rejects opioid addiction

On Friday, Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board voted to add chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, substituting it for the previously approved condition of “untreatable pain.” The edit is expected to expand access to the program, but many who are involved with the cannabis industry and its patients in the state are getting frustrated with Iowa’s slow evolution of marijuana policy.


Iowa Governor vetoes medical cannabis expansion Bill

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has vetoed legislation, House File 732, that would have amended the state’s low-THC access program.

The proposal would have expanded the pool of health professionals eligible to recommend medical cannabis products and would have opened the program up to those with severe or chronic pain. It also removed the three percent THC cap on medical cannabis products.

Governor Reynolds said that she opposed changes to the law that would have allowed qualified patients to possess products with greater quantities of THC.


Iowa Legislature removes THC cap on medical marijuana

Iowa’s legislative session came to an exciting end for medical marijuana patients.

A bill that would remove the cap on how much THC may be in a cannabis-product designated for medical use has passed both floors of the legislature and is headed to Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk for either approval or veto.

The Iowa State Senate advanced the bill to the governor’s desk in a 40 to 7 vote. The bill, if approved by the governor, would remove the current 3 percent cap on THC from medical marijuana. In removing the cap, legislators approved a per-patient limit of 25 grams of marijuana per 90 day period.

The only exception for this rule is that terminally ill patients with a life expectancy of one year or less may receive a waiver to get more than 25 grams.


Medical marijuana expansion Bill sent to Iowa Governor

In the final hours of the legislative session Saturday, the Iowa Senate sent a bill to the governor that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

The bill allows for more potent medical marijuana products at the state’s five dispensaries. It would remove the 3 percent cap on THC—the chemical that makes people feel high—and replace it with a per-person limit of 25 grams in 90 days.

One exception to the limit is a waiver available to terminally ill people with a life expectancy of less than one year.

Sen. Tom Greene, R-Burlington, had tears in his eyes as he expressed his support for the change.


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