Iowa’s first medical marijuana licensee unveils new name, expansion plans

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MedPharm Iowa, which was awarded the first medical marijuana business license in the state, is changing its name and expanding its footprint.

The Des Moines-based company is rebranding as Bud & Mary’s and plans to expand its reach into other parts of Iowa as well as Michigan, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette reported Thursday.

The former MedPharm Iowa was awarded the state’s first MMJ production license in 2017.

Five years later, Bud & Mary’s plans to break ground next week on a $10 million expansion to “allow for a 3x increase in cannabis production for the Iowa program in order to meet increasing patient needs,” owner Chris Nelson told The Gazette.

The facility is expected to require an additional 20 employees.

Bud & Mary’s is one of two companies permitted to sell medical cannabis in Iowa, where state law allows for only two MMJ producers and five dispensaries. Bud & Mary’s operates two dispensaries in the state, in Sioux City and Windsor Heights.

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According to The Gazette, Bud & Mary’s is planning to:

  • Open a retail store as well as a cultivation and production facility in Michigan.
  • Expand a Colorado production facility later this year.

Iowa’s medical marijuana program, which launched in November 2018, has struggled to become financially viable because of low THC levels, high price and more.