Iowa Medical Marijuana Program

Updated on October 7, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya.

State Jurisdiction: Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)

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

Phone: (515) 281-7689

Website: Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program

Registering for the Iowa Medical Marijuana Program

Patients are required to have a recommendation from a licensed marijuana physician before they can start their application for an Iowa medical marijuana card. After receiving your signed medical marijuana recommendation, you may submit your application by mailing it to the IDPH or completing the online portal registration. Take note of the following application criteria:

  • Patients must be at least 18 years of age in order to apply. 
  • Minor patients may designate a caregiver, such as one of their parents, to apply on their behalf. 
  • You must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition recognized by the state of Iowa (listed below). 
  • In-state applicants must provide proof of Iowa residency alongside their application. This may come in the form of a state-issued driver’s license or an Iowa State ID Card.
  • Along with their physician-issued medical recommendation and valid form of ID,  all patients are required to pay a state application fee of $100
  • Out-of-state applicants are not eligible to receive a medical card in Iowa.

A Brief History of the Iowa Medical Marijuana Program 

Iowa’s first steps towards medical marijuana legalization were made back in May 2014 – when state lawmakers enacted one of the first Iowa marijuana laws – which allowed a case-by-case possession of low-THC cannabis oils for qualifying patients. Thankfully, the legislature was revisited in the following years, once in 2017 through House Bill 524, which gave the MCP its status of legitimacy, and again in 2020 through House Bill 2589. 

Being the most recent version of Iowa’s medical marijuana law, it entered into effect on July 1st, 2020, following its signing at the end of June. Among its other positive modifications, the revision significantly lengthened the list of qualifying conditions, with chronic pain and PTSD as two major additions for patients all around the state. 

Currently, Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Program remains in a fully functioning state, yet it does so in a rather restricted manner, as opposed to the MMPs of some of its more open-minded neighbors, such as Illinois. 

For one, Iowa medical marijuana laws indicate that dispensaries are allowed to provide only cannabis preparations, not actual raw hemp flower smokable products or CBD-infused edibles. Moreover, access to THC-based medication is limited to a maximum 90-day supply capped at 4.5 grams, a quantity that is oftentimes insufficient for most of Iowa’s medical cannabis patients.

Getting your Marijuana Recommendation

Getting a medical marijuana recommendation in Iowa is easier than you might think. 

In just a few easy steps you can schedule an online appointment with one of our licensed Iowa medical card doctors today. Once you’ve done that, you and your chosen doctor will have a conversation about why medical marijuana may be beneficial for your treatment, and they will make a decision based on your specific medical condition. 

Appointments usually take between 10 to 15 minutes and are all done via Doxy. If the doctor approves you, then you’ll be qualified for a medical card in Iowa. 

Once you’ve discussed your condition, you’ll have all the information you need on the next steps of your medical treatment, along with key pointers on how to begin your application.

The physician’s recommendation will be valid for 90 days after your consultation.

Iowa Medical Marijuana Program Requirements: How to Qualify?

Our Iowa medical cannabis doctors can help you figure out if MMJ treatment is the best solution for your health and well-being while giving you all of the information and reassurance you need. 

You should consider talking to a healthcare practitioner about medical marijuana treatment if you are currently suffering from any of the Iowa medical marijuana 2021 list of conditions:

  • 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)
  • Chronic pain
  • Corticobasal Degeneration
  • Crohn’s Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (With severe and persistent muscle spasms)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures
  • Ulcerative Colitis (IBD)
  • Severe, intractable autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors.
  • Severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors.
  • Terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year.

Iowa Medical Cannabis Laws

As a patient dealing with marijuana law in your day-to-day life, you ought to be aware of what you can and cannot do as a medical marijuana card-holder in Iowa:

  • Your patient status provides you with access to a 90-day supply of THC-compound marijuana, which is soft-capped at 4.5 grams and can be extended based on your specific condition. There is no legal reason for you to possess any marijuana beyond your explicitly set limit.
  • The only authorized locations for marijuana-related purchases are state-approved dispensaries. Personal sales are highly prohibited by the court of law and you should NOT engage with them in any way, shape, or form.
  • Your patient status does NOT give you the right to grow cannabis plants under any circumstance. Any and all medical cannabis you intend to use needs to be acquired through legal purchase from a licensed dispensary. 
  • If your prescription includes hashish-based products OR any other type of marijuana concentrate, know that the regulations remain the same. Because of their legal treatment as a Schedule I Drug identical to marijuana, the Iowa code for possession of a controlled substance is in full effect. 
  • Marijuana paraphernalia (such as bongs, tobacco blunts, rolling paper) is NOT necessary for any type of marijuana treatment. You have no legal excuse for possessing such an item, or, similar to cultivation, to be using it in order to create your own medication.

Iowa Medical Marijuana Card

Learn all you need to know about what it means to be a medical marijuana patient in Iowa. 

Check out how to get an Iowa medical marijuana card for extensive information on obtaining a med card, renewing it, as well as any other questions and curiosities you might have.

Iowa Dispensaries

Iowa currently numbers 5 dispensary locations across its state borders, with notable locations including Sioux City, Waterloo, and Windsor Heights.

For a full account of the registered dispensaries in Iowa, check out the IDPH’s official list of licensed marijuana establishments.