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A Senate subcommittee approved a bill early this week that would allow patients to access medical cannabis for a wider range of health problems than previously depicted.

Under current rules, patients wanting to participate in the program must get a physician to certify they have a qualifying medical condition, such as seizures, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or chronic pain.

If the bill is passed, the measure would also let health care providers approve use of cannabis products for any condition for which they determined cannabis could be “medically beneficial.” Supporters say the new language is modeled on rules governing “off-label” orders of prescription drugs. Under those rules, doctors and other health care providers may prescribe medications for conditions other than those for which the drugs were originally approved.

Currently, only physicians may certify patients for Iowa’s medical cannabis program. The new measure would allow also nurse practitioners and physician assistants certify patients. It also would let patients have medical cannabis products delivered to their homes. As of now, patients and/or their caregivers must travel to one of five dispensaries across the state in order to obtain the necessary products.

So far, about 1,200 patients of Iowa have obtained state cards allowing them to purchase oils, creams or capsules with cannabis extracts under Iowa’s initial medical cannabis program that launched in December.

Source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/18/medical-marijuana-iowa-senate-bill-cannabis-cannabidiol-brad-zaun-expand-conditions-legalize-health/2911073002/

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