Just hours before adjourning for the year, Iowa’s House of Representatives voted to pass House FIle 524, a piece of legislation that, if signed by the governor, would expand the state’s extremely limited medical marijuana program and bring cannabis cultivation to Iowa.
According to the Des Moines Register, the bill wasn’t unveiled to the Iowa House until 3 a.m. Saturday morning, and it passed State Senate approval by 7 a.m. the same day. The new legislation is just one of many attempts from Iowa lawmakers to expand the state’s floundering medical marijuana program.
“There are many, many citizens, literally thousands of citizens, that could benefit from the use of this medication,” Democratic Representative and trained pharmacist John Forbes said. “They’ll have access now to a treatment for debilitating diseases that are not very well treated sometimes with conventional medicine.”
If signed by Governor Terry Branstad, the new legislation would allow the Iowa Department of Public Health to permit and license up to two manufacturers and up to five distributors for the low-THC high-CBD cannabis oil that was legalized to treat epilepsy by Iowa legislators in 2014.