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Help Grow Iowa’s Economy: Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Iowa

by Faith Fidura February 08, 2018

Did you know today is National Iowa Day? That is why the Dispensary Permits team is highlighting medical marijuana business opportunities in Iowa to help grow their economy.

Iowa Medical Marijuana Overview

Iowa Medical MarijuanaIn 2014, Iowa passed a medical cannabidiol law that only gave patients with seizure disorders a defense to prosecution for use of cannabidiol. Medical cannabidoil is defined as any pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid found in cannabis that has a THC level of no more than 3% and is delivered in a form recommended by the Medical Cannabidiol Board and approved by the Board of Medicine.

On May 12, 2017, Gov. Terry Branstad signed HF 524, also known as the 2017 Medical Cannabidoil Act (Act) into law, enacting changes to
the previous medical cannabidiol program, allowing qualified patients in the state to use, possess, and access low-THC cannabis oil. The Act also allows for the production, delivery, transportation and dispensing of cannabidiol.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working to identify tasks and develop timelines to implement the Act, as well as the resources needed to accomplish those tasks. As of January 2018, administrative rules have been adopted for the patient and primary caregiver Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card process. The IDPH is currently working to develop the rules that govern the implementation of the remainder of the Act.

Upcoming Iowa Medical Marijuana Business Opportunities

The IDPH has specified timelines for licensing manufacturers and dispensaries, and requires medical cannabidiol dispensaries to begin dispensing to patients in Iowa by December 1, 2018. In order to obtain a dispensary license, you must apply to the state when applications become available.

Iowa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Application Guidelines:

  • The IDPH will issue a competitive process for the selection of up to five (5) medical cannabidiol dispensaries in Iowa.
  • The dispensaries selected through the competitive process will obtain licenses from the department to legally supply medical cannabidiol to patients and primary caregivers with valid Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards.
  • The licensed dispensaries must agree to be ready to begin supplying the medical cannabidiol by December 1, 2018.
  • The Act set the non-refundable application fee for a dispensary license at $5,000.

Iowa Medical Marijuana Program Timeline:

May 12, 2017 – HF 524 signed into law.

By December 1, 2017 – The IDPH issued a request for proposals to select and license up to 2 manufacturers. Only 1 manufacturer licensed was issued.

By April 1, 2018 – The IDPH shall issue a request for proposals to select and license up to 5 dispensaries.

By December 1, 2018Patient access to medical cannabidiol.

Need Help Applying for an Iowa Dispensary License?

Prepare your application for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Iowa with our Iowa Marijuana Business Application Package which includes a comprehensive informational overview, an application guide and checklist, a dispensary business plan template, and a financial plan template.

Need more help? The Dispensary Permits team can assist you through the entire application process to secure a business license. To inquire about our custom solutions, call 602-621-0648 or email