Des Moines – Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he expects the issue of whether to extend the states limited medical cannabis law beyond its July 1 expiration date will be the subject of legislative discussions during the 2017 session.
Branstad said he is open to considering some expansion of a 2014 law that parents of sick and suffering children say are needed to provide better access to marijuana-derived medicine.
We dont want people to lose something they think will be helpful or that has been helpful to members of their families, the governor said.
At the same time, he said he opposes legalizing marijuana for recreational use and does not want to make changes that may bring unintended consequences with them.
Steve Lukan, Iowas drug czar, said his office is closely monitoring research developments that may win FDA approval and have implications for possible changes to Iowas medical cannabis law.
Were going to have to find out in the next few months how thats going to play out. Were waiting for results like many others, he said.
Branstad said he also would be willing to look at medical cannabis production options other states have undertaken but only under a very controlled circumstance. Current Iowa law – set to expire July 1, 2017 – allows Iowa residents to possess and use up to 32 ounces of cannabidiol, a derivative of the marijuana plant, for the sole purpose of treating intractable epilepsy and its side effects.