Iowa, Missouri And Michigan Examine Marijuana Policy Updates

Iowa Senate bill would allow more potent medical marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers may vote on a bill on medical cannabis in the coming days, although it’s unclear if there’s enough time before the session ends.

A state Senate committee voted 11-3 on Monday, April 23, 2018, to advance a bill to eliminate a cap on THC in the cannabis oil that goes on sale Dec. 1 in five Iowa dispensaries. THC is the compound associated with marijuana’s psychoactive effects.

The bill would also exempt cannabis oil from sales tax and expand eligible medical conditions to any that a doctor says is medically beneficial.

MedPharm Iowa, the state’s first cannabis oil manufacturer, says eliminating a cap on THC is needed to create a large enough market for medical marijuana sales. As of last week, about 700 permits have been issued to Iowa patients and caregivers.

Missouri House moves to legalize medical marijuana

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has given initial approval to HB 1554, a bill that would legalize medical cannabis for many patients.

The bill, approved in a voice vote Monday, April 23, 2018, would allow anyone older than 18 dying of a terminal disease to access smokeless medical cannabis. People with cancer, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder and a variety of other conditions would also qualify.

Proponents say this will help dying patients alleviate pain and give relief to veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some lawmakers say the bill doesn’t go far enough. During a committee hearing earlier this year, opponents also said marijuana should first be legalized at the federal level.

The bill needs to be voted on again before it heads to the Senate.

Michigan: Enough signatures collected for pot, wage measures

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections bureau says enough signatures have been gathered for ballot initiatives to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

The Board of State Canvassers were scheduled to meet Thursday, April 26, 2018, to consider certifying the petition after the bureau released staff reports Monday, April 23, 2018. If the bipartisan board agrees with the findings, the proposed legislation will go to the Republican-led Legislature.

If legislators do not act within 40 days, the cannabis legalization proposal — for which proponents turned in 277,000 valid signatures — will get a statewide vote in November.

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