A marathon session late last week saw the passing of a medical cannabis bill that is now on Governor Terry Branstad’s desk, awaiting his signature.
According to OurQuadCities, law makers spent most of Friday and into the wee hours of Saturday putting together legislation that they all could agree upon – well, most of them; the Bill was passed 33 – 7.
“We’ve got a good bill I think here in front of us that will expand access in the state,” Rep. Jarad Klein said. “We’re talking about growing, we’re talking about manufacturing, we’re looking at distribution in the state, we’re expanding the list of conditions out.”
House File 524 relates primarily to the use of cannabidiol (CBD), which is currently decriminalized for treatment of intractable epilepsy under the Medical Cannabidiol Act. Given the strict nature of the program, less than 330 patients have been approved since the Act came into force in 2014, and only around 240 have been issued a registration card.
HF 524 authorizes up to two marijuana growing operations that can extract cannabidiol oil with up to a 3 percent tetrahyrocannabinol (THC) level. Doctors in Iowa would also be able to prescribe cannabis oil for treatment of up to 15 chronic conditions.
It’s considered likely the Governor will sign the bill.
“I have a responsibility to diligently review and consider all aspects and that’s what I do with every bill,” Governor Branstad told reporters. “But certainly it’s something that I’m pleased was approved and I’m very hopeful that we don’t find any major problems, so I think it’s likely that I will sign it.”.
In February, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy called for feedback on “form and method” rules for the state’s program. The feedback period ended in March.
As we reported also in February, eighty percent of Iowans surveyed indicated they supported legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Those waiting for the Bill to pass will need to wait even longer to secure locally-produced medicines, with it expecting to take up to 18 months to get things up and running.