Iowa attorney general halts medical cannabis oil import plan

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An unusual attempt by Iowa to work with another state to transport medical marijuana oil across state lines is on hold amid legal concerns it could invite scrutiny from the federal government.

Iowa’s MMJ law, updated this year, mandates that the state license two cannabis oil producers and five dispensaries in the state by the end of the 2018. The law also prohibits smoking medical marijuana.

But to get cannabis oil to patients sooner, Iowa lawmakers included a provision in the law requiring the state to license – before the end of 2017 – two out-of-state MMJ dispensaries to import cannabis oil to Iowa patients.

Neighboring Minnesota has two legal MMJ companies, LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions, that would fulfill Iowa’s needs.

However, Iowa’s attorney general has advised the Department of Public Health not to implement the import provision because transporting a federally illegal substance across state lines is a violation and could provoke U.S. scrutiny of the Iowa or Minnesota MMJ programs.

A spokesman for the state attorney general’s office said the import rule’s implementation should be put on hold “until the federal government provides further guidance regarding state medical marijuana programs.”

Iowa Rep. Jarad Klein – who was floor manager for the MMJ legislation that became law – said he would seek guidance from Gov. Kim Reynolds, who was lieutenant governor when the law was passed.

– Associated Press