Iowa lawmakers boost THC cap; medical cannabis sales might increase

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The Iowa Legislature passed a medical cannabis bill that would increase the THC cap, which could boost sales in the heavily regulated, roughly $5 million-a-year market.

The provision is a weaker version of a measure that Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds vetoed last year. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, a Republican, indicated he expects Reynolds to sign this bill.

“It’s been a yearlong conversation now since the bill from last year was vetoed, and I think we’ve arrived in a sweet spot where the governor is comfortable with it,” Whitver said, according to Des Moines TV station WOI-DT.

Iowa currently allows medical marijuana products to contain up to 3% THC. The new measure would replace that with a per-patient limit of 4.5 grams of THC for a 90-day period.

The governor last year vetoed a bill that would have capped THC quantities at 25 grams for 90 days.

Certain individuals could get more than the 4.5 grams: Patients certified as terminally ill, or if a doctor determines that a higher amount is necessary to treat a particular medical condition.

Still, one Democratic lawmaker told the Des Moines Register in March that some patients currently receive more THC for pain relief now than under the new legislation’s formula and predicted those patients might drop out of the program altogether and seek opioids instead.

Marijuana Business Factbook estimated Iowa’s medical marijuana sales in 2019 reached only $5 million-$6 million.