The Iowa Senate voted Wednesday to pass Senate File 484, which would establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program that includes a system of state-licensed manufacturing centers and dispensaries.
Under the proposed law, the Iowa Department of Health would be in charge of regulating and licensing medical cannabis dispensaries and production centers, and would be required to license these outlets by April 1st, 2016. To have their application accepted, dispensaries must agree to open by July 1st of the same year
For an individual to become a medical cannabis patient in order to purchase from these outlets, they must have a qualifying medical condition and receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, HIVAIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, ALS, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain or any other chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its medical treatment approved by the Department of Health.
“Senate File 484 would create a safe, legal, affordable, effective, highly regulated way for Iowans and their families to access medicine made from cannabis,” says Senator Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), the bill’s floor manager. “Sick and suffering Iowans are asking for our help. They are asking us because Washington, D. C., is broken”.
“The simple truth is that Iowa’s elected leaders are the only people who can help them and their families”, Bolkcom adds. “For many of these Iowans, their lives really are in our hands.”
Unfortunately the proposal would prohibit patients from actually smoking cannabis, meaning they’d be required to vaporize it, or consume it through infused products such as edibles and oils.
The bill is expected to have a harder time in the Republican-led House of Representative, where it’s been sent for consideration.