Next Friday is the second funnel so both chambers were busy this week moving legislation through the process. With the weather finally starting to warm a bit, everyone is itching to finish the session and return home. That could happen in another month.
Over the last few weeks, much of the state has experienced severe flooding, which doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. The western part of Iowa has been impacted significantly compared to the rest of the state with several towns being evacuated.
In response to the flooding, Governor Reynolds has been traveling the state to survey the damage and meet with local officials. House Republicans thank the Governor for her work and quick action to help in recovery efforts.
Governor Reynolds requested an expedited Presidential Disaster Declaration for $1.6 billion in aid which President Trump quickly approved for 56 counties, making them immediately eligible for federal disaster relief.
A few years ago, the Legislature passed a bill that expanded Iowa’s medical marijuana program to allow the growing, producing, and distributing of cannabidiol (CBD) in Iowa and added to the list of conditions that are eligible for treatment with CBD.
As part of that legislation, a board of medical professionals and law enforcement was created which was tasked with reviewing research and studies to help guide the Legislature in policy discussions related to CBD. They are also able to add new medical conditions to the approved list through administrative rule.
This ensures that medical determinations are being made by medical experts, not politicians. The Board has already expanded the list of qualifying conditions since the law went into effect.
This session, the Board has provided us with additional ways that we can move forward and improve our CBD program to help Iowans suffering from debilitating medical issues.
House File 732 creates more access to CBD for sick Iowans and updates the law to reflect common medical terminology. The provisions of the bill are recommendations that came directly from the Medical Cannabidiol Board.
These recommendations are based on science and research, rather than anecdotal stories or emotion.
The bill would allow additional medical professionals to recommend CBD for a patient, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners. This makes it easier for sick Iowans in rural parts of the state to access a health care provider that is able to recommend CBD as a treatment.
The bill also removes the 3% THC cap and replaces it with a 25-gram limit over 90 days, which is more in line with medical terminology. These changes would put clear boundaries in place to prevent abuse of CBD medications.
Finally, the bill allows for compassionate end-of-life care when a doctor determines that someone has less than 12 months to live through a waiver process. This would allow terminally-ill Iowans, with a doctor’s recommendation, to request higher dosage levels from the Medical Cannabidiol Board to alleviate pain in their final months.
This legislation continues to keep public safety at the forefront while also providing sick Iowans with relief. Law enforcement has been at the table during these discussions. Throughout the course of this discussion, House Republicans worked closely with House Democrats and medical professionals to find solutions.
This legislation is a good step forward to ensure that sick Iowans are able to access evidence-based treatments that may help alleviate the symptoms of their condition.
You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or at home at 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. My home address is P. O. Box 398, Aurelia, Iowa 51005. If you have email, please contact me at [email protected]