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Logical, but disappointing: Reynolds vetoes medical cannabis bill

Carl Olsen analyzes the big news the governor tried to bury in a pre-holiday weekend news dump. He has been a leading advocate for medical cannabis in Iowa for many years and closely follows legislative happenings related to the issue. -promoted by Laura Belin

Governor Kim Reynolds vetoed House File 732 on May 24. The bill passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both legislative chambers: 96 to 3 in the Iowa House and 40 to 7 in the Iowa Senate. The full text of the governor’s veto letter is enclosed at the end of this post.

This is a tough issue for me to write about. I totally agree with the governor’s logic. At the same time, I am disappointed with the outcome.

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State board suggests more restrictive medical cannabis limits

Carl Olsen has been a leading advocate for medical cannabis in Iowa for many years and closely follows legislative happenings related to the issue. -promoted by Laura Belin

In a highly unusual move, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on the afternoon of April 12 that the Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board had rescheduled its planned meeting. Instead of convening for two and a half hours on May 3, the board would meet for one hour on April 16.

Members called the shorter, rushed meeting in order to discuss recommendations on the tetrahydracannabinol or THC cap and purchase limits in a bill the Iowa House approved last month.

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Iowa Senate committee puts THC cap in House medical cannabidiol bill

Carl Olsen reports on the latest legislative maneuvering around Iowa’s medical cannabis program. -promoted by Laura Belin

Key lawmakers said for months the 3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cap would never be lifted unless Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board recommended doing so. Nevertheless, the Iowa House mysteriously decided to lift the 3 percent cap on THC shortly before the first legislative funnel deadline on March 8.

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What really happened last week with the medical cannabidiol bill?

Carl Olsen is a leading advocate for expanding access to medical cannabis in Iowa and maintains the Iowans for Medical Marijuana website. -promoted by Laura Belin

The Des Moines Register reported on March 29 that a member of the Iowa Medical Cannibidiol Advisory Board had resigned over comments made on the floor of the House during debate on House File 732. (Bleeding Heartland covered that bill’s passage here.)

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State board rejects religious claim for cannabidiol

Carl Olsen is a longtime advocate for expanding access to medical cannabis in Iowa and maintains the Iowans for Medical Marijuana website. -promoted by desmoinesdem

On Thursday, September 20, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy moved to dismiss my petition for the religious use of medical cannabidiol, in Olsen v. Board of Pharmacy, No. CVCV056841 (Iowa District Court, Polk County).  The Board says the petition should have been filed with the Iowa legislature instead of the board.

The problem with the board’s position is that the legislature has given the board the duty of recommending changes in the schedules of controlled substances and medical cannabidiol is a controlled substance in Iowa.  There is also an existing exemption for the religious use of peyote, a Schedule 1 controlled substance.  Iowa Code § 124.204(8) (2018).

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