How A Medical Marijuana Company In Iowa Is Organizing Patients To Fight For Change

Medical marijuana has been legal in Iowa since 2014, but with a catch. Patients currently only have access to cannabis with high levels of CBD, but little THC. As different conditions respond to different cannabis compounds, the Iowa laws prevent a lot of patients from accessing the medicine they need.

In an attempt to have these restrictive regulations reformed, CBD company MedPharm organized a group of patients to appear at the state house in Des Moines. Several patients gave testimonies and argued that changes to the laws would allow more people access to potentially lifesaving medication, and expand the medical marijuana economy.

Lucas Nelson, general manager of outsourcing services for Kemin Industries, the ingredient manufacturing company that runs MedPharm, explained the importance of the proposed changes to High Times:

"Not enough of our legislators apparently seem to care about the lack of effective treatment they’re going to provide patients under this program," Nelson said. "We thought it was important to make sure those voices were heard."

"We had a former police officer who now suffers from PTSD who wouldn’t even qualify under our program right now. We had an MS patient who understands what this cap is going to do not only for her but for many of her fellow MS patients…we had a couple folks, one with Crohn’s, the other with ulcerative colitis."

While the Iowa Senate seemed to respond positively to the proposed changes, the House is another story. While the Senate passed a bill that would have implemented many of the changes patients are seeking last fall, it was ultimately shot down when it reached the House.

But Nelson is hopeful that patients will see movement on these issues soon.

"What they’re failing to grasp is that the urgency is right now," Nelson said. "Those patients can’t wait. Their diseases don’t wait on them. So what we were trying to showcase was that the legislature should not wait either."


A non-profit group of over 150 current and former athletes is calling for marijuana to be removed form the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited substances list. Medical marijuana legalization is spreading across the US, but most pro-athletes are still prevented from accessing it. That's because most major sports leagues follow drug guidelines set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which bans athletes from using cannabis even outside of competition.

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