Iowa legislators are working on passing a bill that would change the THC limit for patients who are using medical cannabis and allow more qualifying conditions.
According to the Des Moines Register, the Iowa House passed H.F. 2589 with a 52-46 vote earlier this week. The bill was recommended by the state advisory board, and while many support it, some believe it would actually be a step backward instead of a way to help the current program.
If the bill passes, cannabis containing up to three percent THC would be allowed, with a limit per patient of 4.5 grams of THC every 90 days. Patients could exceed this amount if a doctor writes a note determining they need more, or if they have a terminal illness.
Under the current program, capsules, extracts, concentrates, lotions, ointments and tinctures are allowed for patient use. Smoking medical cannabis is still against the law.
However, while this all sounds progressive, Rep. John Forbes, stated that this would actually be “a big step backwards” for the medical cannabis program, as many patients are currently allowed more cannabis than the allotted amount based on their conditions. “I’ve had a couple of patients tell me if we pass legislation that limits it to the 50 milligrams per day, which is the 4.5 grams per 90 days, they will probably drop off the program—and they’ll have to have something for pain relief, so they’ll go back on their opioid medications,” Forbes said.
Recently, Iowa has been lauded for allowing chronic pain as a qualifying cannabis condition, and for supporting legal hemp. However, the state is still behind when it comes to having a comprehensive medical program or a recreational program. Some fear this could make them fall even further behind.