It’s a good news, bad news situation for medical marijuana patients in Iowa. Good news: the state’s House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that adds more qualifying conditions to its MMJ program. Bad news: the same bill limits the per patient cap on THC below what many argue is needed.

To start with the good. Passed 52 to 46, the bill adds multiple qualifying conditions for medical marijuana recommendation, including post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and “severe, intractable autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors.”

It also expands the number of health care professionals who can issue MMJ recommendations by adding advanced registered nurse practitioners, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, and podiatrists to the list.

So, MMJ recs are easier to qualify and easier to obtain, which sounds good. The only issue is that many of the patients won’t be able to get what they feel is the proper dosage. 

Patients are limited to 4.5 grams of THC for a 90-day period in the form of extracts, capsules, and topicals. Cannabis flower is banned altogether for some reason.

Among the naysayers of the THC cap is State Rep. John Forbes, who is also a pharmacist. Forbes called the move a step backwards and said, “I’ve had a couple of patients tell me if we pass legislation that limits it to the 50 milligrams per day, which is the 4.5 grams per 90 days, they will probably drop off the program — and they’ll have to have something for pain relief, so they’ll go back on their opioid medications.”

Photo via Flickr/Tony Fischer