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Iowa announces first medical cannabis dispensaries

The state only allows low-THC cannabis oils and has just one licensed producer — a combination that has caused supply problems for medical marijuana patients in other states.

This week, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced that it has granted the state's first-ever medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Health department officials received a total of 21 dispensary applications by the deadline of March 9th, and have approved five of them so far, while denying another six.


Iowa approved 5 marijuana stores. Does that mean you can soon get legal pot?

Iowa plans to dip its toe into the world of legal medical marijuana sales in December, but anyone who’s expecting the state to become a pot-smoker’s paradise is a little hazy on the details.

Here’s what is really expected to happen:

Participation will be sharply restricted

To buy the products, Iowans will need a permit from the Iowa Department of Public Health. Fewer than 400 of Iowa’s 3 million residents now have one. Even medical marijuana proponents are only hoping to see 12,000 approved participants in the first two years. That’s less than one-half of 1 percent of Iowa’s population.


Iowa: Nearly 22 potential Medical Marijuana dispensary owners show interest in program

Iowans overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, but they don't support allowing recreational uses, an Iowa Poll from 2017 shows. Wochit

Iowa plans to launch a limited medical-marijuana program in late 2018.(Photo: Mark Marturello/The Register)Buy Photo

Iowa’s fledgling medical-marijuana program has drawn interest from 22 potential cannabis shop owners, including people already involved in the business in other states. 


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.


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