Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board will consider changes to the state’s limited medicinal cannabis program on Friday, including petitions to add new medical conditions that qualify patients to participate in it. The board will also consider a proposal to replace a 3% limit on THC in medical marijuana products with a purchase limit on the high-inducing cannabinoid.

During its last meeting of the year on Friday, the board is expected to vote on adding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), opioid use disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and intellectual disability with aggression and/or self-injury as qualifying conditions for the state’s medical CBD program. Currently, the program is only open to patients with chronic pain, seizures, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, cancer with specified symptoms, and terminal diseases with a projected life expectancy of less than one year.

The petitions to add PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease, and opioid abuse disorder were submitted by one of the state’s two authorized medical cannabis producers, MedPharm Iowa. Lucas Nelson, the general manager of MedPharm Iowa, said that the petition to add PTSD cited more than 60 sources that demonstrate the efficacy of medical marijuana for treating people with the condition, making it one of the company’s most comprehensive proposals submitted to date.

“It’s not going to work for every single patient, but in this compassionate care program, there’s no reason it would not be one of the approved conditions,” Nelson said.

Doug Bosswick, the acting general manager of Iowa Relief, a Cedar Rapids medical cannabis manufacturer, said in a statement that the state’s program should be open to more patients.

“We believe cannabinoid medicine can be effective for a variety of ailments and plan to closely follow the state’s decision on the addition of qualifying conditions proposed by legislators,” Bosswick said. “If approved by the board, we would be happy to serve patients who suffer from any approved qualifying conditions.”

If the Medical Cannabidiol Board votes to approve one or more of the petitions to add qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program, they will continue to the Iowa Medical Board for another vote there. Petitions receiving the approval of the medical board will have an effective date set for patients to have their condition certified for the use of medical marijuana.

THC Limit Change Also Proposed

Also during Friday’s meeting, the Medical Cannabidiol Board is expected to consider several recommendations from its 2019 annual report that will be sent to lawmakers prior to the 2020 session of the state legislature. One of those proposals would replace a 3% limit on the amount of THC permissible in medical marijuana products with a purchase limit.

Under the proposal, patients would be able to purchase products containing a total of up to 4.5 grams of THC in a 90 day period. The purchase limit would not apply to the terminally ill and could be increased by the certifying physician without board approval.

Earlier this year, a bill that would have removed the 3% THC limit and make other changes to the state’s medical marijuana program was passed by the state legislature but Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds vetoed the bill in May.

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