Iowa governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana THC formula

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill that replaces the 3% THC cap with a per-patient limit of 4.5 grams of THC for a 90-day period, but it’s unclear how much the move will boost the state’s heavily regulated medical cannabis market.

The provision is a much weaker version of a measure that Reynolds vetoed last year. That would have capped THC quantities at 25 grams for 90 days.

The state’s largest provider of MMJ, MedPharm Iowa, already has warned the formula might not meet the needs of some existing patients, according to the Des Moines Register.

Patients certified as terminally ill can get more than the 4.5-gram limit, and a doctor can recommend a higher amount to treat a particular medical condition.

Another potential issue is cultivation/manufacturing supply.

New York-based marijuana multistate operator Acreage Holdings, doing business as Iowa Relief, recently pulled out of Iowa, indicating the market didn’t show enough potential for growth.

Iowa Relief was one of only two licensed cultivator/manufacturers in the state. Regulators are determining the timetable to take applications and select another cultivator/manufacturer.

The new Marijuana Business Factbook, released Monday at MJBizConNEXT direct, estimates that Iowa medical cannabis sales will reach $7 million-$9 million this year, up from $4 million-$5 million in 2019.