Mixed Reviews Greet Medical Marijuana Sellers In Iowa

By Madison Arnold
The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Last year the Iowa Legislature expanded Iowa’s medical marijuana program to include making and selling cannabis products in the state, and greatly increasing the number of illnesses that qualify for a registration card. Right now, few Iowans hold registration cards — about 300 — but officials expect that to swell as sales begin in 2019.

The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Companies hoping to get into the business of dispensing medical marijuana products to qualifying Iowans who suffer from chronic illnesses are asking local politicians for support and finding warm embraces — or the cold shoulder.

In Cedar Rapids, Mayor Brad Hart this week wrote a full-throated endorsement for MedPharm Iowa, which hopes to get the state’s blessing to open a dispensary in the city.

“We are the second largest city in Iowa. Clearly we are a medical hub. It just made sense, if it’s legal, and we are going to have dispensaries around the state, it made sense we’d have one here for the benefit of people in Cedar Rapids and our area,” Hart said. “Seems like a no brainer.”

In Coralville, Mayor John Lundell wrote in favor of both MedPharm and applicant Iowa Cannabis Company.
“Why wouldn’t we want to serve people that have loved ones with those conditions?” he asked.

But across the interstate in Council Bluffs, Mayor Matt Walsh rebuffed a request for support from applicant C & G Management.

“I told them ‘no,’ but I also told them that I would not forward a letter of support for any other firm” that expressed interest in opening a medical marijuana dispensary in the city, he told the World-Herald News Service.

In its run up to widely expanding Iowa’s restrictive medical marijuana program by next year, the Iowa Public Health Department earlier approved MedPharm of Des Moines to be licensed as the manufacturer of medical cannabis products.

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