Acreage pulls out of Iowa medical marijuana market

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(This story has been updated with a comment from Acreage Holdings.)

Marijuana multistate operator Acreage Holdings relinquished its medical cannabis manufacturing license in Iowa, two months after halting operations at the facility.

The move is a hit to the small, heavily regulated market, which now has only one medical marijuana manufacturer, MedPharm in Des Moines.

The withdrawal from the market of Acreage’s Iowa Relief is a “big blow” to the program, MedPharm General Manager Lucas Nelson told The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. “We can’t quite seem to get our footing in this program.”

Howard Schacter, Acreage’s vice president of communications, told Marijuana Business Daily that the decision to pull out of Iowa “is in keeping with our recent announcement that our focus going forward will be on those markets with the greatest potential for growth.”

The New York-based MSO has embarked on a series of cost-cutting moves and asset sales as it refocuses on its most profitable markets amid a recession and coronavirus crisis.

Iowa lawmakers recently passed a medical cannabis bill that would increase the THC cap, which could bolster the roughly $5 million-a-year market.

State officials still are determining the timetable to take applications for another medical marijuana cultivator/manufacturer, according to The Gazette.