Iowa medical marijuana companies are hesitant to jump into the new industry based on the strict regulations and limited patient market. The newly updated state law allows for only 2 medical marijuana growers, but so far only 1 has applied. Officials are concerned about having only a single source for medical cannabis throughout the state and hope that regulators will ease up on many aspects of the law. Only recently has Iowa's medical marijuana program added new illnesses ontop of severe epilepsy, hoping to expand the program to new patients. Currently, patients with Parkinson's, cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures, AIDS/HIV, Chrohn's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and terminal illnesses are able to get state-issued medical marijuana ID cards. Current estimates predict medical cannabis products will be available in Iowa by 2019.
“Our patient numbers to date are quite low, and our program is pretty restrictive,” she said in an interview Friday after a meeting of a medical-marijuana advisory council.
Iowa’s new medical-marijuana law strictly limits what kinds of marijuana-derived products may be made and sold. The law bars products that could be smoked or eaten. It also would not allow products with more than 3 percent of THC, the chemical that makes recreational marijuana users high.
Medical-marijuana advocates want Iowa to add more ailments to the list for which Iowans could use marijuana derivatives. They also want the state to increase the limit on THC, which they say can ease a range of symptoms.