Cannabidiol dispensaries in Iowa will open their doors on Saturday.
That includes Have a Heart Compassionate Care, which will open at 3615 Ninth Ave. in Council Bluffs. It’ll be one of five medical marijuana oil dispensaries in the state.
“We’re excited about Iowa,” Have a Heart CEO Ryan Kunkel said Wednesday.
Kunkel noted the company is happy to have another group of patients to serve, and that being able to track the progress of those patients.
“We get a chance to accrue data from our products,” he said. “Our roots are medical. That’s what started this thing. We’re excited to get back into that and focus on the medical side of the industry.”
Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, Washington, Have a Heart has retail stores across the nation. Along with Iowa, there are medical and/or recreational cannabis locations in Washington, Hawaii, Oregon and California, with additional stores opening soon in Ohio, according to a release.
The Council Bluffs dispensary will offer cannabidiol (CBD) capsules, topical creams and tinctures (administrated with droppers).
The products are produced by MedPharm, currently the only sanctioned manufacturer in Iowa.
During the 2017 Iowa legislative session, lawmakers approved the Medical Cannabidiol Act, which allows for the use of medical cannabidiol to treat certain debilitating medical conditions, including cancer (with severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting); multiple sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms; seizures; AIDS or HIV; Crohn’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year (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); Parkinson’s disease; and untreatable pain.
The bill requires the oil to have 3 percent or less THC content. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
For comparison, Leafly.com, an outlet dedicated to the cannabis industry, notes higher-potency strains of marijuana have THC levels in the 20 to 30 percent range.
“Under the state’s program, there will not be ‘prescriptions’ for medical cannabidiol. The role of the patient’s physician in the process is limited to certifying that a patient has a particular debilitating medical condition and providing the patient with information on medical cannabidiol developed by our department,” said Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Department of Public Health. “The physician is not ‘prescribing’ medical cannabidiol in the traditional sense.”
Instead, physicians certify patients for access to state-issued medical CBD cards. According to the Department of Public Health’s Office of Medical Cannabidiol, as of Nov. 16 the state has issued 499 cards to patients and caregivers.
That number includes 10 in Pottawattamie County and nine in Mills County. There are none listed for Harrison, Cass, Montgomery, Fremont and Page Counties.
A total of 325 different doctors have certified patients, according to the office.
Statewide, the most common condition among those patients is cancer with nausea or severe vomiting, coming in at 46 percent of the certified patients.
Second on the list is cancer with severe or chronic pain at 13 percent.
Cardholders will be able to go to the Council Bluffs location for products. Like dispensaries across the country, the Iowa locations will be cash-only businesses.
Kunkel said there would be an ATM at Have a Heart on Ninth Avenue.
The Council Bluffs store will open Saturday, with Kunkel noting a grand opening on Dec. 8. The facility will be open Tuesdays through Sundays.
Along with Council Bluffs, Have a Heart will open a dispensary in Davenport as well. Separate companies will open locations in Sioux City, Windsor Heights and Waterloo.
For information about the Iowa Office of Medical Cannabidiol, including the registration form, medical certification form, petition to add qualifying conditions and more, visit idph.iowa.gov/cbd.
For more information on Have a Heart, go to haveaheart510.com.
The cannabis-based cannabidiol products sold at Have a Heart will differ from hemp-based CBD products sold at convenience stores and elsewhere, including in Iowa, Kunkel said.
One of the key differences between the products is THC levels.
Reisetter noted that while the dispensaries will sell items with around 3 percent THC — maximum — “my understanding is that other types of CBD products that are currently available vary in THC amounts.”
“Some manufacturers claim there is zero percent THC in those products, others claim they are 0.3 percent THC or less,” she said.
Article originally published by The Daily Nonpareil