Iowans could look to Minnesota for low-THC medical cannabis

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(Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.)

Top state lawmakers in Iowa and Minnesota are trying to work out a system allowing Iowans to buy low-THC medical marijuana oils and pills in Minnesota, a novel arrangement that could raise issues with the federal government.

It could also bolster sales for Minnesota’s only two MMJ manufacturers: LeafLine Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions.

A bill signed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad expands a limited 2014 law by allowing more patients to buy low-THC medication from in-state dispensaries by December 2018, The Des Moines Register reported.

But in the meantime, Iowa residents could look to Minnesota. A provision of the bill specifically references that state as a potential source of medication and directs Iowa regulators to contract with Minnesota’s two manufacturers of medical marijuana.

It’s part of an arrangement being worked out between Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer and Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt. Both lawmakers confirmed their discussions to The Associated Press.

Upmeyer said Minnesota could offer immediate relief to sick Iowans while the state works to set up its program over the next 18 months. Minnesota may even serve as a permanent backup in case the state can’t secure its own manufacturer.

Both states would have restrictive programs that ban the use of the plant form and limit the availability of marijuana oils and pills to patients with just a handful of severe conditions. Iowa’s law goes farther by limiting the potency of the oils that can be sold.

The arrangement could raise federal concerns. Despite its legal status in 30 states, the federal government still considers medical marijuana a Schedule 1 drug that can’t be moved across state lines.

– Associated Press