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Will medical marijuana be sold in Winneshiek County? County officials are trying to be prepared if it does

Posted: Mon, May 6, 2019 3:15 PM

On the last day of the 2019 session of the Iowa Legislature, a bill was passed (House File 732) to expand the state's medical marijuana program. The measure is now on Governor Kim Reynolds' desk.

The legislation eliminates the cap on the percent of THC allowed in marijuana for sale.  THC is the primary agent responsible for creating the high associated with cannabis use.  The new measure also imposes restrictions regarding the total amount of THC a patient may possess in a 90-day period (25 grams). However, this limit may be waived at the advice of a health practitioner.

On Monday, Helping Services Prevention Coordinator Jen Kimber met with county supervisors to ask supervisors, "Is this something we want in our county?"  Cities and counties are allowed to opt out of the law, if they wish.  In Colorado, 66 percent of counties have opted out of that state's medical marijuana law.

Kimber says she's worried about new products coming into Iowa because the state legislature has lifted the three percent THC cap on medical marijuana.  "We don't even know the effects of some of these products," she told supervisors.

The City of Garner just west of Clear Lake last year became one of the first Iowa cities to regulate medical marijuana, using zoning laws to restrict any such future development to property zoned industrial.  The City of Decorah has not yet been contacted by Kimber, but she says she also plans to talk with Decorah.

County Board Chair John Logsdon said it might be possible someone would want to open a medical marijuana outlet in Winneshiek County.  In fact, he stated that Decorah "would be a natural" for such an operation.