116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa City — A warehouse once owned by ACT will become Iowa’s newest medical marijuana manufacturing facility, with its products expected to reach the market in early 2023.
The Iowa Cannabis Company expects to spend $10 million to adapt the 120,000-square-foot space at 2727 Scott Blvd. to grow marijuana plants and produce products for Iowa’s medical marijuana program.
“As we approached our build out, we recognized we needed to relocate our facility to a much larger space to meet the economies of scale,” Iowa Cannabis Company Owner Aaron Boshart on Friday told the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board.
The company first was licensed to manufacture in Cedar Rapids, but got state permission last year to move to Iowa City.
ACT Inc. sold the warehouse, built in 1995, to Top Venture LLC in November for $4.5 million, according to Iowa City Assessor’s Office records. Boshart said he hopes the manufacturing plant will have products ready to sell in the first quarter of 2023.
Boshart and co-owner Tate Kapple, both Iowa natives, started their business with recreational cannabis operations in Washington state and Oregon, Boshart told the board.
Cannabis & Glass, with stores in Spokane, Wash., and Ontario, Oregon, sells vape pens, pre-rolled cigarettes, edibles and other products, according to its website.
“We have never committed to a project of this scale before,” Boshart said of the Iowa manufacturing site. “As Iowans, we want to see the program continue to thrive.”
The number of patients certified to buy medical marijuana products in Iowa has gone up more than 70 percent in the last year, from 6,831 in August 2021 to 11,676 in July. A big part of that increase is the rise of online medical providers who will certify a qualifying medical condition needed to get in the program.
Iowa expanded the medical marijuana program in 2020, replacing a 3 percent cap on tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, with a cap of 4.5 grams per patient every 90 days. This change made it legal for Iowa manufacturers to make high-percentage TCH vapes — one of the most popular sellers for Bud & Mary’s, Iowa’s other licensed manufacturer.
Bud & Mary’s — called MedPharm Iowa until it rebranded in June — broke ground this summer on a $10 million expansion of its Des Moines manufacturing facility to “allow for a 3x increase in cannabis production for the Iowa program in order to meet increasing patient needs,” the company reported.
The expansion, to be complete early next year, would add at least 20 new jobs, the company said.
The Iowa Cannabis Company, which has dispensaries in Waterloo, Council Bluffs and Iowa City, said moving its Eastern Iowa dispensary license from Davenport to Iowa City boosted sales.
“Our Iowa City store was clearly the right move as that store has been able to perform many, many times the sales of the Davenport location that previously closed,” Boshart said Friday.
Iowa has two other dispensaries, in Windsor Heights and Sioux City — all owned and operated by Bud & Mary’s.
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