While only having 5 dispensaries and a comparatively small population, Iowa’s medical cannabis sales reached USD $10.2 million last year.
Among US jurisdictions with medical cannabis programs, Iowa’s was comparatively restrictive, but after a few tweaks to legislation accessibility has improved and the program continues to grow.
A report recently released by Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board revealed the number of active registered patients in the state had reached 14,666 by the end of November last year – well up on the 7,865 in early December 2021. The number of certifying practitioners has also grown substantially from 1,603 in late 2021 to 1,920 in November 2022.
As for the five dispensaries, they’ve been kept pretty busy – in November there were 8,218 visits. The average transaction price dropped a little between December 2021 ($149.21) to $131.75 in November last year.
In calendar year 2022, the program saw $10,170,483 in cumulative sales. As for what patients have been buying in terms of product type:
- Vaporizable: 66.4%
- Capsule/tablet: 24.6%
- Tincture: 6.4%
- Topical: 2.5%
And in terms of formulation:
- High THC: 77.9%
- High CBD: 13.2%
- Balanced THC/CBD: 8.9%
With regard to product safety and consistency, the Department of Health and Human Services had not received any reports of adverse reactions or events related to products manufactured by licensees last year, or any other time. All products are tested by the University of Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL).
Iowa has two licensed manufacturers permitted to manufacture products in oral, topical, nebulizeable, suppository and vaporized forms. Smokeable medical cannabis is still not on the table in the state.
While currently limited by law to five dispensaries, the Board has recommended license dispensaries additional to that prescribed by Iowa Code chapter 124E be allowed “in an effort to provide Iowans with greater geographical access to medical cannabidiol products.”
Among various other recommendations, the Board has also recommended the sale of medical cannabidiol products be exempt from sales tax.
The Medical Cannabidiol Board’s full annual report can be viewed here. Further information on the state’s program including qualifying conditions (certified by a healthcare practitioner) and how to register can be found here.