April 25, 2018, Iowa
In coming days, lawmakers in Iowa might pass a medical marijuana expansion bill that would remove the cap on THC percentage in MMJ products. However, it’s uncertain whether the lawmakers would able to pass this bill during this legislative session.
Sale of medical marijuana products in Iowa kicked off in December last year. Currently, five dispensaries in the state are offering medical marijuana patients cannabis oil with the restricted amount of THC in it. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive constituent of cannabis and responsible for the ‘high’ associated with weed. In short, THC is the substance for which cannabis is unfairly classified as a Class I controlled substance in the federal book of law.
Cannabis advocates are hopeful for the approval of the expansion bill in this session because the state Senate voted to advance the bill on Monday. According to the existing medical cannabis laws of Iowa, no MMJ product can contain more than 3 percent THC. The new bill, called Senate Study Bill 3016, would change that and medical marijuana products including cannabis oil can have more proportion of THC.
Removing the THC cap for medical cannabis products is intended to increase their potency. Aside from its psychoactive and psychedelic effects, THC has been studied for many of its therapeutic benefits. By allowing more amount of THC in medical marijuana products, the state wants to make them more effective against qualifying health conditions.
Conventional medications contain many side effects, but they are still accepted by physicians, politicians and the general public without any apprehension. Therefore, incurring one harmless side effect from medical marijuana products shouldn’t create an issue, given that they help in alleviating the severe symptoms of different diseases.
It’s worth noting that in most of the recreational strains of cannabis, the amount of THC swings between 15 to 25 percent. Even the mildest adult-use marijuana contains minimum 10 percent of THC. So, even doubling the current limit of THC (3 percent) won’t make the effects of MMJ products similar to pot.
Iowa’s first permitted cannabis oil producer, MedPharm, also thinks that it’s important to remove the present cap on THC levels to cater large market of medical cannabis in the state. As it stands, medical marijuana board of the state has issued approximately 700 MMJ cards to patients and their caregivers.
Apart from eliminating the THC cap, the bill would also make cannabis oil free of sales tax, which means patients can get their medicine at reasonable price. Moreover, the bill would also give physicians the authority to decide the qualifying conditions of medical marijuana. It is indeed a revolutionary reform where doctors will be able to decide the MMJ treatment for any given medical condition.
Even now the list of qualifying conditions of Iowa’s MMJ program is comparatively better than many other states. More than a dozen medical conditions and terminal illnesses are a part of qualifying list of Iowa’s MMJ program.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]