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Plans advancing to expand Iowa’s medical marijuana law

DES MOINES — Iowa lawmakers are considering proposals that would let nurse practitioners and physicians assistants as well as doctors recommend medical marijuana for patients suffering from chronic pain or other ailments.

The plan that has emerged in the Iowa House also would increase the potency of the cannabis products now being sold legally in Iowa. Dane Schumann is a lobbyist for MedPharm Iowa, the company producing and selling cannabis products in Iowa — and he thanked lawmakers who’re suggesting the limit on the chemical THC in those products should be increased.

“It’s something we’ve been asking for and a discussion we’ve been having up here for a long time,” Schumann said during a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

Representative Jarad Klein of Keota, a Republican, said he’s seeking a compromise that can get broad approval in the legislature.

“We’re never going to end up in a perfect place,” Klein said, “but we can continue to take steps to provide relief to sick Iowans.”

Klein said lawmakers have gotten advice from medical experts about what level of the chemical THC is most appropriate in cannabis oils, creams and pills. The House bill Klein has been working on is scheduled for debate in a committee today. A similar bill cleared a Senate panel earlier this week.

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