The marijuana plant consists of multiple components; the primary two being THC and CBD.  THC is the psychoactive portion of the plant with addictive qualities.  We don’t know as much about CBD, but it has shown promise for medicinal use.

Recent legislation nationally has led to the legalization of medicinal marijuana in multiple states and recreational marijuana in a handful.

Iowa joined the ranks of medicinal marijuana states in 2014 by allowing the consumption of CBD oil to treat epilepsy under the recommendation of a licensed neurologist.  This state-regulated CBD oil contained less than 3% THC, but could not be manufactured in Iowa or imported from another state.

The 2014 Iowa Cannabinoid Law sunset and was replaced in 2017.  The new law maintained the use of CBD oil only and the 3% THC limit.  The new law, however, did allow for the licensing of two manufacturers and five distributors in Iowa.  MedPharm Iowa, LLC is the only currently licensed manufacturer.  Dispensary locations approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health are located in Windsor Heights, Sioux City, Waterloo, Davenport, and Council Bluffs.

Under the 2017 law, any licensed physician can recommend CBD oil for ailments including: Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, MS, seizures, AIDS & HIV, Crohn’t Disease, ALS, or pain associated with terminal illness.

Before the system has been allowed the chance to work lobbyists and pro-marijuana companies have already begun pushing to relax many of these restrictions.  They are using media and friendly legislators to push to lift the 3% TCH limit on cannabis oil.  This would allow for the manufacture of CBD oil with levels of THC that would cause a high and increase the likelihood of addiction or negative side effects.  This is the same blueprint that was used in Colorado, leading to the legalization of recreational marijuana in that state.

The legalization of medicinal and/or recreational marijuana via legislation, rather than medical research, has a number of varied and nuanced repercussions in any state.  For more detailed information or to learn more on the topic, please contact ASAC Prevention at 319-390-1884 or

— Submitted by David Condry, Project Coordinator, ASAC