Helping the lives of Iowans in need is vitally important in building and supporting strong communities. Medical marijuana is a perfect example of an opportunity for the state government to provide healthcare options to those who need it most.
In 2017, the Iowa Senate passed SF 506 (a bi-partisan 45-5), which would have greatly expanded the current Iowa medical marijuana program. Instead, House Republicans went behind closed doors and determined what they could support: a stripped-down version of that bill. We need to do more to help Iowa's most vulnerable; not less.
While it remains to be seen how our recent medical marijuana expansion plays out, HF 524 has significant limitations and will not likely improve access to our citizens for at least two years. In fact, nearly a year after this bill was passed, we are just now getting the dispensary letters of intent.
During the 2018 session, there were multiple bills proposed to make updates to the law which would expand access to medical marijuana and provide easier pathways to update the law and ensure long-term access to this form of treatment.
Expand the list of medical conditions allowed under the medical cannabidiol Act.
One way to do this is to allow the medical cannabidiol board to make recommendations directly to board of medicine for consideration and adoption by rule, rather than by legislative action.
Allow THC levels higher than 3 percent
After speaking with families of patients who have benefited from medical marijuana prior to Iowa’s new law, there is tremendous benefit to enacting this update to the law. I would rely on the medical cannabidiol board and the board of medicine to make the appropriate rules to provide the best level care possible for Iowans.
Note: Senate Study Bill 3106, currently in the Iowa Senate, would grant the Medical Cannabidiol Board the authority to alter the definition of medical cannabidiol and to alter the list of debilitating medical conditions for which the use of medical cannabidiol would be medically beneficial.
FROM WHERE I STAND:
Iowa has been struggling with key priorities in recent years, and this is another example of that. A smaller medical marijuana bill with no government appropriation is not the way to go about supporting a higher quality of life in our communities.