Prospective medical marijuana patients residing in Iowa received good news on Tuesday, as the state announced its plan to open medical cannabis dispensaries throughout several locations in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Public Health approved three separate medical marijuana companies for the sale and distribution of medical marijuana products in five separate locations, beginning December 1st.
Iowa On Track For Medical Marijuana
Dispensaries will soon be accessible inWaterloo, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Windsor Heights, and Sioux City. The state has yet to approve any locations in Southern Iowa, due to its lack of big cities.
MedPharm Iowa, the state’s lone manufacturer of medical marijuana, will open locations in Sioux City and Windsor Heights.
Iowa Cannabis Company, which was approved for a license in Waterloo, and Have a Heart Compassion Care, authorized to set up shop in Council Bluffs and Davenport, are both Washington-based marijuana companies.
Unlike Iowa, Washington has had legal medical marijuana since 1998.
Under the state’s new marijuana law, patients will be able to obtain select cannabis oils, permitted they have proper state licensing, for a variety of illnesses including cancer, epilepsy, ALS, intractable pain and multiple sclerosis.
While the use of CBD oil has been legal in the state since 2014, Iowas recently approved an expanded update to their medical marijuana policy, which will go into effect December 1st. Smoking cannabis, either medicinally or recreationally, still remains highly illegal throughout the state.
Originally, the state received 21 applications from seven different companies, before eventually settling on MedPharm Iowa, Iowa Cannabis Company and Have a Heart Compassion Care and their aforementioned locations.
The approved companies have until Wednesday to accept the licenses.
MedPharm executive Lucas Nelson told the Des Moines Register that his prospective dispensaries will maintain a professional atmosphere, and will closely resemble a typical doctor’s office or pharmacy.
“It’s going to probably remind you of a combination pharmacy and doctor’s office,” Nelson said.
According to Nelson, the areas will be tightly secured. The executive said the dispensaries will feature a guard at the front door who will inspect patient’s ID upon entering the premises. If approved, patients will then be seated in a waiting room, before getting called into the back are. There, they can meet with specialists who can recommend a variety of cannabis-based oils, creams, tinctures and gel capsules.
MedPharm, which is the state’s only company permitted to produce and process their own marijuana into its medications, will begin growing their product within the month.
“We believe in what the medicine does, and we believe in where this is headed for the state,” Nelson said.
Final Hit: Iowa Announces Locations For Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
While many medical marijuana proponents have remained skeptical of Iowa’s program expansion, due to the lack of products approved for sale, it appears there was no shortage of suitors looking to get licenses.
However, some within the industry are still clamoring for further change. Even with Iowa’s expanded law, most products must maintain low levels of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. While THC is what makes its users high, some industry professionals believe it’s imperative to the treatment of pain and some other conditions.
Regardless, medical marijuana patients should be ecstatic with the recent influx of medical marijuana locations until further change is implemented.