Iowans suffering from chronic epilepsy can now apply for a medical cannabidiol registration card, public health officials announced Monday.
The Iowa Department of Public Health worked with the Iowa Department of Transportation to put together a process to approve and generate cannabidiol registration cards for patients or their primary caregivers.
The move comes after the Iowa Legislature approved limited use of medical marijuana through the Medical Cannabidiol Act in 2014. Cannabidiol is a non-smokable oil extract of marijuana with a low THC level that can be used to treat seizures.
Patients must have a neurologist’s recommendation to receive the state-issued registration card, which will be issued through the DOT’s driver’s license issuance sites. The card is valid for 12 months from the date it is issued and can be renewed annually, according to the department of public health.
The law allows only for the oil’s usage and does not permit the product to be produced in Iowa, which advocates told The Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau in November can cause a problem because similar programs in other states do not recognize out-of-state patients.
Advocates added that if an Iowa resident does obtain the oil, he or she risks breaking laws in other states while transporting it back to Iowa.
But Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated he believes the state should be cautious and analyze the issue before expanding cannabidiol use.