Government

Iowa seeks second medical marijuana manufacturer

Department of Public Health licensed the first maker last year

Lucas Nelson, general manager of outsourcing services for Kemin Industries, talks in the entrance to MedPharm Iowa in Des Moines on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. The company recently received the state’s only license to grow and process medical cannabidiol. MedPharm will have products ready to sell by December 1, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Lucas Nelson, general manager of outsourcing services for Kemin Industries, talks in the entrance to MedPharm Iowa in Des Moines on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. The company recently received the state’s only license to grow and process medical cannabidiol. MedPharm will have products ready to sell by December 1, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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The state of Iowa is seeking another maker of medical cannabidiol slightly more than four months after licensing its first medical marijuana manufacturer.

The Iowa Department of Public Health released an request for proposal Wednesday for the manufacturer.

Once chosen, the second company would join Des Moines-based MedPharm Iowa, which currently is the sole licensed company that can grow marijuana and produce medical products from it.

Companies who want to produce medical cannabidiol have until May 16 to notify the department of their interest. Formal applications are due May 31.

The department will announce the intended license on June 29.

State law allows the public health department to license up to two makers of medical cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a chemical found in cannabis plants that can be used to make products, such as oils, to treat medical conditions.

The second manufacturer would have until July 1, 2019, to make its products available. MedPharm, which received its license in late November 2017, has until December 2018 to bring its products to market.

MedPharm currently is renovating a warehouse in Des Moines to cultivate, grow and dry medical marijuana. The company has said it plans to produce bottles of cannabidiol oil, soft gel capsules, suppositories and creams.

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MedPharm is leasing its space from Kemin, a Des-Moines based company that makes ingredients for animal feed. Kemin CEO Chris Nelson owns MedPharm Iowa.

The public health department also has licensed MedPharm to operate two dispensaries in Windsor Heights and Sioux City that can sell medical marijuana products. Two other companies are licensed to operate dispensaries in Council Bluffs, Davenport and Waterloo.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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