Cannabis oil openly sold by Iowa stores without state permits, despite legal questions

Iowans who want to buy cannabis oil to treat a range of ailments don’t have to wait a year for state officials to set up a tightly regulated distribution system – because versions of the products already are for sale on store shelves.

State and federal officials say the oils, known as cannabidiol or CBD, are marijuana products that shouldn’t be sold in unregulated stores. “It’s illegal,” said Andrew Funk, executive director of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. Police in two towns have recently seized products from store shelves.


10 States that smoke the least marijuana

We've previously told you about the 10 states that smoke the most marijuana. Unsurprisingly, states with legalized cannabis finished near the top of the list. But most states in America do not have legal recreational marijuana, writes Joseph Misulonas. So the real question is, which states smoke the least marijuana?


AG tells agency to halt part of Iowa's medical marijuana law

Andrew Brisbo is with the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in the state's licensing department.

It says giving dispensaries, which are operating under a legal cloud, three months to close allows them time to wind down and patients time to connect with caregivers.

Michigan's medical marijuana board will receive guidance on its authority to close dispensaries until the state begins issuing licenses under a new regulatory system.

Starting in mid-December, medical marijuana businesses will be able to apply for licenses to operate.

As we have eported on numerous occasions, one of the biggest issues as MI moves into a regulated system is how the State will treat license applicants who have operated prior to receiving a license.


Iowa's new medical-marijuana law draws interest from possible entrepreneurs

Iowans overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but they don't support allowing recreational uses, a new Iowa Poll shows.

Several dozen people have expressed interest in manufacturing or distributing medical-marijuana products under Iowa's new law, despite strict limits on what they would be able to sell, a state administrator said Wednesday.

The Iowa Department of Public Health is scrambling to set up rules after legislators voted last spring to expand the state’s tiny medical-marijuana program. The new program is expected to be implemented next year.


Weigel: Recreational marijuana makes economic sense

With Iowa being in bad shape financially, expanding the legality of marijuana in the state could be the solution.

Setting aside prejudice and stereotypes, it makes economic sense to legalize recreational marijuana in Iowa. Given that Iowa is currently in the midst of a bit of a budgetary quandary, it would make sense to try to raise more funds by taxing the sale of marijuana instead of raising other taxes.


Sessions wants flexibility to prosecute Iowa medical marijuana programs

The federal government’s top attorney wants the freedom to prosecute states — such as Iowa — with medical marijuana programs, according to a letter made public last week.

But Iowa officials insist the state’s newly expanded program, which now includes the opportunity for two businesses to grow and sell medical cannabis, will remain safe from federal scrutiny.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on May 1 wrote a letter to congressional leaders opposing a mechanism in the federal budget that prohibits the Department of Justice from using its resources to prosecute states that establish medical marijuana laws.


Iowa looks to team up with Minnesota for medical marijuana

Top state lawmakers are trying to work out a system allowing Iowa residents to start buying medical marijuana oils and pills in Minnesota, a novel arrangement that could raise issues with the federal government.

Iowa could join more than two dozen states with medical marijuana programs under a bill awaiting Gov. Terry Branstad's signature. That legislation would expand a limited 2014 law, allowing more patients to buy the low-dose medication from in-state dispensaries by December 2018.

But in the meantime, Iowa residents could look to Minnesota. A provision of the bill specifically references that state as a potential source of medication and directs Iowa regulators to contract with Minnesota's two manufacturers of medical marijuana.


Gov. Terry Branstad signs bill expanding medical marijuana in Iowa

Iowans with certain chronic conditions will soon have better access to treatment from a form of medical marijuana.

Gov. Terry Branstad signed HF 524 into law Friday but noted concerns with the new law in doing so.

Iowa began allowing people with certain chronic conditions to use cannabis oil but that law did not allow for the production or sale of the oil. The new law allows the state to authorize up to two facilities to grow and produce cannabis oil to be sold in five state-approved dispensaries. The law also allows Iowa doctors to prescribe cannabis oil for a list of 15 chronic conditions.

However, in signing the bill, Branstad urged lawmakers to address potential issues with the new law during the next legislative session. Among those concerns:


Medical marijuana advocates say Iowa program too limited

A medical marijuana oil program approved by the Iowa Legislature might not offer much help to patients with qualifying medical conditions, but advocates say it's at least a step in the right direction.

The measure approved by lawmakers in the final hours of the legislative session Saturday would expand a little-used program now only available to people with epilepsy. If signed by Gov. Terry Branstad, the law would allow the limited production of cannabis oil at two locations in Iowa and legalize its use for an additional eight conditions.

Despite the expansion, medical marijuana advocates said the decision to cap the level of the active ingredient and limit the means of ingestion means the program has limited value.


The strange Iowa political trip for medical marijuana

Iowans overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but they don't support allowing recreational uses, a new Iowa Poll shows.

Two state senators, one Republican and one Democratic: One voted in favor of the medical cannabis bill that passed in the final hours of the legislative session, one voted against it. Both are unhappy.

In a legislative session that tended to defy prediction, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that medical marijuana was the issue that kept lawmakers up all night as they tried to adjourn. It created odd, bipartisan political alliances as well as conflicts among lawmakers who support medical marijuana.


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