Iowa Legislators Vote To Tweak Medical Marijuana Program, Lawmaker Calls It 'Big Step Backwards'

Iowa Legislators Vote To Tweak Medical Marijuana Program, Lawmaker Calls It 'Big Step Backwards'

The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday amending the state’s medical marijuana program by a vote of 52-46, according to the Des Moines Register.

Among the most important changes: the addition of conditions to qualify for the program, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and “severe, intractable autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors."

Furthermore, Bill 2589 proposed that additional health care professionals obtain authorization for accrediting patients to enter the program — physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners, advanced practice registered nurses and podiatrists.

The bill also proposed changes to the allowed THC doses patients can receive via the state’s medical marijuana program, which some don’t consider as a step forward, the Register said. 

At the moment, medical marijuana products in Iowa are allowed to have up to 3% THC.

The new bill proposes a change to a per-patient limit of 4.5 grams of THC in 90 days, with exceptions for those who are terminally ill, or if a physician concludes that the limited dosage is not sufficient to help with the illness.

Rep. John Forbes, who is a pharmacist, said he considers the new limit change "a big step backwards," according to the Register.

"I’ve had a couple of patients tell me if we pass legislation that limits it to the 50 milligrams per day, which is the 4.5 grams per 90 days, they will probably drop off the program — and they’ll have to have something for pain relief, so they’ll go back on their opioid medications."

The bill is now open for consideration in the Iowa Senate. 

Posted In: Des Moines RegisterTHCCannabisNewsHealth CarePoliticsMarketsMediaGeneral

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