Medical Marijuana Board Makes Recommendations On PTSD and THC Level

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The state board which oversees medical marijuana is recommending allowing patients with post-traumatic stress disorder to qualify for Iowa’s medical cannabis program. Medical professionals approved the recommendation after saying there’s not enough scientific evidence supporting use of cannabis to treat PTSD.

Board member and doctor Lonny Miller says it’ll be several years before strong scientific conclusions can be drawn about cannabis as a medical treatment. He also shared a story about his friend who had PTSD and committed suicide.

He says his friend is an example of those risks.

Several members of the public testified in favor of allowing medical cannabis for PTSD, and one testified against, warning the board about potential health and safety risks. The recommendation now goes to the Iowa Board of Medicine for final consideration.

The board is also recommending lawmakers remove the three percent cap on THC in Iowa’s medical cannabis products. THC is the chemical that makes cannabis users high. They recommend allowing patients to obtain up to four-point-five grams of THC in a 90 day period, with some exceptions. The legislature passed a bipartisan bill this spring that would’ve allowed for 25 grams of THC in 90 days — but Governor Kim Reynolds vetoed it. Board member and pharmacist Stephen Richards says he hasn’t seen any data to support allowing 25 grams of THC.

Democratic Representative John Forbes, who’s also a pharmacist, asked the board to support a higher THC limit. He says some patients won’t be able to get enough pain relief under their recommendation.