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how to get medical marijuana in iowa

IA Marijuana Qualification

Updated on June 5, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

What Ailments Can Be Treated With Medical Cannabidiol in Iowa?

Patients in Iowa diagnosed with one or more of the following illnesses can be certified for a Medical Cannabidiol Card in IA:

  • AIDS or HIV (as defined in Iowa Code, section 141A.1)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer (If the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, Cachexia or Severe Wasting/Wasting Syndrome.)
  • Corticobasal Degeneration – Effective October 16, 2019
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (with severe and persistent Muscle Spasms)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Seizures
  • Severe, intractable Autism (including Pediatric Autism) with aggressive or self-injurious behaviors (Effective November 27, 2019)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Untreatable Pain – any pain whose cause cannot be removed and, according to generally accepted medical practice, the full range of pain management modalities appropriate for the patient has been used without adequate result or with intolerable side effects.
  • Any Terminal Illnesses with a probable life expectancy of under one year – if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting

Patients can also fill out a Petition Form to have medial conditions added to the above list. Petition may be emailed, mailed or hand-delievered to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Office of Medical Cannabidiol
Lucas State Office Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Please visit the Department of Public Health’s Website here to view the Timeline, Process & Previous List of Denied & Accepted Medical Conditions.

Iowa Medical Marijuana Qualifications

How to Become a Medical Cannabidiol Patient in Iowa

  • Patient’s must be aged eighteen (18) years of age or older. If a patient is under the age of eighteen (18) they must have a caregiver complete a separate Caregiver Application as well.
  • Must be a resident of Iowa with a valid Iowa I.D. as proof of residency
  • Obtain a copy of your medical records indicating that you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition. Learn how to request your medical records
  • Obtain a Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form from a physician licensed in the state of Iowa that you suffer from a qualifying condition. Be sure to bring your medical records with you to your appointment.
  • Complete an Adult Patient Registration Form and submit it to the Department of Public Health (DPH).
    • All applications must include:
      1. Completed & signed Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form,
      2. Completed Adult Patient Application
      3. Copy of photo ID
        • Valid IA Driver’s License or
        • Valid IA Identification Card
      4. Payment of $100.00 (unless patient is applicable for a reduced fee or is a minor patient):
        • Application fee is waived for minors, but the $25 Application Fee for Caregivers still applies.
        • Reduced Fee is $25 and is only for patients who can provide proof using one of the following: Copy of Social Security Disability Benefit (SSDI) Notice, Copy of proof of receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Payment, Copy of Iowa Medicaid Member Card or Copy of Hawk-I Member Card.
  • If your application is approved by the DPH, you can then visit any Department of Transportation (DOT) location to have your Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card created.

Medical Cannabidiol Access in Iowa

Some Medical Cannabidiol patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal and Iowa only has a Medical Cannabidiol currently. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore, doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Iowa will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

Whereas previously Iowa seemed to take a short-sighted approach to medical marijuana, change is expected as the new advisory board begins to roll out information about how the medical marijuana program will change in the next two years. As new information is released about the expanding Medical Cannabidiol program in Iowa, we’ll also continue to provide information such as how to obtain an Iowa medical cannabis card and much more.

Learn more about qualifying for medical marijuana in Iowa. Get info on qualifying conditions and find local doctors at Marijuana Doctors.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

Still curious about how to find a medical marijuana doctor in Iowa and get approved for legal cannabis treatment in Iowa? Well this article certainly has the answers you have been looking for.

If you live in Iowa, and you are reading this article, chances are that you already use cannabis. Or maybe at least some form of the medicine. And if you don’t have a medical card already then that suggests you use it illegally.

Don’t worry, we’re not here to point fingers or make you feel worried, quite the opposite. We want to help you get safe, legal, access to medical cannabis in Iowa. The great news is now there is a way you can start buying cannabis legally in Iowa and have a lot more convenient access to it.

How do I get medical marijuana in Iowa?

In essence, it is actually a relatively easy process. Historically it used to be tough, and you had to have a terminal illness or jump through several hoops – and go to the doctor multiple times to get certified. But recently, Iowa enhanced their marijuana program and have removed many of the barriers to getting a medical license and now it is much easier, and safer.

The first step is to book an appointment with a Veriheal Doctor to get evaluated and approved for medical marijuana. The cost to be consulted, evaluated and approved by the doctor is $200. Separate from that, after you are approved you apply to the state (the fee is $100 for a card that is valid for ONE year). Once submitted to the state of Iowa will review your information to confirm you live in Iowa, then approve you and your card will arrive in the mail in 2-4weeks.

If you receive government assistance or are experiencing financial hardship, then the state fee is reduced to $25. Otherwise, it is $100. So, in total it will cost you $300: $200 for the doctor and $100 to the state (or $225 for financial hardship).

Once your card is received, you can start shopping at the dispensaries near you. Sound simple enough? Let’s break down some more details.

When did the medical marijuana program in Iowa start?

The initial legislation passed in 2017 for medical cannabis to be allowed in Iowa under House File 524. This is the Act that establishes the regulations and rules on “Medical Cannabidiol” in the state and how it is dispersed.

After reading the bill, you can even notice that the state of Iowa doesn’t even include the word “marijuana” in its legal applications at all. That shows how opposed they were at first to accept the plant as medicine. But over time, the program has become more accessible for all patients.

“Medical Cannabidiol” (cannabidiol, aka CBD) is a non-intoxicating substance in cannabis that provides medical benefits without getting users high.

It has taken the state a little over a year to start selling cannabis and helping patients get the medicine they need. The first dispensaries opened in December 2018. Since then five other dispensaries have opened:

  • Council Bluffs // Have A Heart Compassionate Care | 3615 9th Ave
  • Davenport // Have A Heart Compassionate Care | 2222 E. 53rd St
  • Sioux City // MedPharm Iowa | 5700 Sunnybrook Dr.
  • Waterloo // Iowa Cannabis Company | 1955 La Porte Rd.
  • Windsor Heights // MedPharm Iowa | 7229 Apple Valley Dr.

Finding a medical marijuana doctor in Iowa

Veriheal connects you with an MMJ doctor in Iowa to evaluate and approve you for medical marijuana. These doctors are understanding so do not be afraid to let them know you have tried other medication avenues.

Veriheal’s doctors are located all throughout the state and they have helped patients already since the beginning of the program to get their medical cards.

The state-licensed mmj doctor you choose on the Veriheal platform is available on your time and your schedule. You create your account, choose your appointment time, and go to the consultation. Previous medical records are not required.

What to expect at the appointment

Doctors generally approve any qualifying condition. You must have one of the qualifying conditions for to get approved in Iowa. The qualifying conditions include:

  • Cancer with severe or chronic pain
  • Cancer with nausea or severe vomiting
  • Cancer with cachexia or severe wasting
  • Multiple sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy AIDS or HIV
  • Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year and severe or chronic pain Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year and nausea or severe vomiting
  • Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year and cachexia or severe wasting
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Untreatable Pain and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is described as any severe, debilitating pain that the practitioner determines worsens health and functional capability, pain that has intolerable side-effects, that has or is expected to last three months or longer, and other types of therapy that have either failed to treat or are too harmful to apply.

Chronic pain also includes wasting syndrome (cachexia), seizures and severe muscle spasms, and severe nausea.

At the consultation, you simply let them know what condition you are suffering from, and the will discuss possible treatments to treat with medical cannabis. At the appointment, the doctor will determine if you are approved.

One of the best things about using Veriheal is that, if you are not approved, then your consultation and evaluation are free! The doctors want to help you to try medical cannabis for your treatment is it makes sense for your health.

How medical marijuana can help you

The first thing that people should do is discover how medical marijuana can help them. Veriheal has a full page on resources and medical conditions that medical marijuana can help treat.

Certain conditions or diseases are not treated completely by cannabis, but it can certainly help. Patients who end up trying medical marijuana in Iowa have an opportunity to be some of the pioneers to help move forward to Iowa MMJ Program.

Those people who have digestive issues like IBS or Crohn’s can be helped immensely by the impact of the anti-inflammatory attributes of MMJ. Plenty of chronic seizure disorders can be relieved by CBD oil with some patients increasing their quality of life immensely.

Are there any other steps?

Once you have your physician certification in Hand, on the Iowa Department of Health’s, you need to register with the state of Iowa by providing your name, address, date of birth, and uploading an image of a valid state government ID. After this is submitted and you pay your state fee, then you can be approved and receive your Iowa MMJ Card in the mail.

What can I buy at dispensaries in Iowa?

Once you have a medical marijuana card in Iowa, you can buy:

  • Cannabis Suppositories
  • Cannabis Tinctures
  • Cannabis Liquids
  • Cannabis Inhalers
  • Cannabis Capsules

Historically, the process to obtain a medical cannabis card had been tough, and you had to have a terminal illness or jump through several hoops to get certified. Now the process is easier than ever.