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Iowa legislators send governor a bill to revise medical CBD program

Jun 08, 2020

autism, chronic pain, Department of Transportation, drug-testing programs, Gov. Kim Reynolds, HF 2589, IA, ID cards, Iowa, medical CBD program, patients, PTSD, Sen. Joe Bolkcom, unemployment, untreatable pain, workers


HF 2589 is a mixed bag for patients.

On Wednesday, the Iowa Senate sent Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) a bill (HF 2589) that takes several major steps forward and some equally significant steps backwards for the state’s medical CBD program. The bill passed after a heated debate, during which Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D) called for passage of a superior bill, which would have ensured patients could obtain as much medical cannabis as they need. Sen. Bolkcom also lambasted HF 2589’s negative impact on workers.

Here’s a run down of the good and bad provisions.

On the bright side, HF 2589 would:

  • Allow patients with “chronic pain” to qualify, rather than the far more restrictive standard “untreatable pain”
  • Add PTSD as a qualifying condition
  • Add autism with self-injury or aggression as a qualifying condition
  • Remove the 3% limit on THC content
  • Allow podiatrists, physicians' assistants, and advance practice nurses to recommend cannabis
  • Remove the Department of Transportation’s role in issuing ID cards

The regressive provisions in HF 2589 include:

  • Limiting patients to 4.5 grams of cannabis every 90 days (or 50 milligrams per day), unless they have a doctor’s certification that a greater quantity is needed
  • Allowing employers to restrict their employees’ cannabis use, including by continuing drug-testing programs
  • Disqualifying individuals for receiving unemployment compensation if they were fired due to testing positive for cannabis or another controlled substance, unless it was prescribed
  • Providing that workers’ compensation, governmental medical insurance, and other health insurance does not have to cover medical cannabis
  • Providing that property owners and those controlling property can prohibit the possession or use of cannabis on the property (This may allow landlords to prohibit medical cannabis use by tenants.)

Last year, Gov. Reynolds vetoed a bill that included a far more reasonable limit of 25 grams every 90 days.

You can contact the governor’s office at 515-281-5211 or via this webform if you would like to weigh in on the legislation.

Thank you for supporting compassion.