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There have been repeated discussions about medical cannabidiol in Iowa, especially since Illinois has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. Multiple businesses have been selling cannabidiol products which is against state law. Law enforcement has been working hard to explain the law to businesses and help them properly dispose of the illegal product. While there may be law changes in the future, at this time Iowa law is very clear: unless a person is in the medical cannabidiol program, possession of cannabidiol is illegal in Iowa.

Current law allows a person diagnosed with certain conditions to apply for a medical cannabidiol card. If the person is approved for the card, they are allowed to purchase cannabidiol products with up to 3% THC from one of five medical cannabidiol dispensaries around the state. Any products purchased outside of these facilities is illegal to possess for anyone in the state. The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board has approved the following conditions for a medical cannabidiol card:

• Cancer – if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting.
• Seizures
• Crohn’s disease
• Untreatable pain – any pain whose cause cannot be removed and, according to generally accepted medical practice, the full range of pain management modalities appropriate for the patient has been used without adequate result or with intolerable side effects.
• Multiple Sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms
• AIDS or HIV (as defined in Iowa Code, section 141A.1)
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
• Parkinson’s disease
• Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year – if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting
• Ulcerative colitis
• Severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior
• Corticobasal Degeneration

The board continually reviews petitions to add additional conditions. Future laws may change how Iowa’s cannabidiol program works, but unless these changes are made, CBD products can only be purchased from approved dispensaries by people with Iowa medical cannabinol cards.

Jon Thorup

Author: Jon Thorup