Iowa Attorney General Tells Agency to Halt Part of State's Medical Marijuana Law

The Iowa Attorney General's office has advised the Iowa Department of Public Health to halt implementation of a small section in the state's new medical marijuana law amid legal concerns it could invite scrutiny from the federal government.

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September 11, 2017
U.S. News & World Report
Distribution Legislation and regulation Medical News State by State: Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An unusual attempt by Iowa to work with another state to transport medical marijuana oil across state lines is on hold amid legal concerns it could invite scrutiny from the federal government.

The Iowa Attorney General's office advised the Iowa Department of Public Health this month that it should not implement a small section in Iowa's new medical marijuana law that requires the state, before the end of the year, to license up to two "out-of-state" dispensaries from a bordering state. Those entities would have been expected to bring cannabis oil into Iowa in order to sell it.

STATE BY STATE: Iowa Cannabis News

That's considered illegal under federal law, which categorizes marijuana as a type of controlled substance that is prohibited from being moved across state lines. But during the final hours of the legislative session in April, some Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature suggested adding the language to open the door for a partnership with a neighboring state like Minnesota.

The development is not expected to impact other provisions in the law that call for establishing an in-state production system for cannabis oil by the end of 2018. Still, some GOP lawmakers expressed frustration with the news because the provision was also aimed at creating more immediate access to cannabis oil. Currently, Iowans have no way of getting the product within the state.

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