Illinois’ law legalizing marijuana could threaten Iowa’s fledgling medical cannabis industry

July 10th, 2019 by admin Leave a reply »


MedPharm Iowa held a ribbon cutting at their medical marijuana production facility in Des Moines on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018.
Kelsey Kremer,

Iowans seeking marijuana for medical purposes will have another option — albeit an illegal one — when Illinois legalizes recreational marijuana next year.

Marijuana will remain illegal in Iowa, but that won’t stop many people from traveling to Illinois to purchase the drug.

And that could harm Iowa’s fledgling medical cannabis industry.

“I have massive concern about this,” said Lucas Nelson, the general manager of MedPharm Iowa, a Des Moines-based medical cannabis manufacturer.

The company has five dispensaries — Windsor Heights, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Davenport and Waterloo — where it sells medical cannabis products, including oils, creams and capsules.

► RELATED: Marijuana will soon be legal in Illinois. What does that mean for Iowans?

In Iowa, medical cannabis patients must have a qualifying condition, receive a doctor’s certification and obtain a state card authorizing them to purchase the products.

Nelson said he worries that some people will opt to bypass Iowa’s strict regulations for easy access afforded to customers in Illinois.

“There is no doubt in my mind that patients will forgo options in Iowa to go

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