COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWY)-- Iowa’s medical cannabis dispensaries are asking the Department of Health Advisory to list post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition and will present their case on Friday.
Council Bluffs is one of five dispensaries allowed to sell the medical cannabis products in Iowa. 3,500 people in the state are currently using the products.
According to experts, doctors must sign off on people using medical marijuana and the majority of these people are using it for untreatable pain.
Amber Points is the manager at Have a Heart CBD shop in Council Bluffs. “There’s still a huge stigma around THC,” said Points. “They don’t want to be stoned or high. What they’re really seeing is pain relief. We see it every day. We hear their stories. They’re tired of taking pills. They’re tired of taking opioids and are looking for a more natural way to live.”
According to the State, three products are allowed to be sold: capsules, mouth oil, cream, and new as of today, a vape pen. The pen is a quicker remedy.
"Fast-acting. The tincture which is our oil can take 15-30 minutes versus your capsule. The vape is within seconds. It’s instant pain relief," said Points.
There are some concerns with the new addition to the dispensaries later this month. Lorelle Mueting with Heartland Family Services believes there is a blurred line.
"...they look like a vaping device that someone would use to vape nicotine. As we have seen all over the news and in our own communities – vaping is at epidemic proportions in our youth...This doesn't mean we are against people finding relief from their symptoms – we are against the products coming in packaging that looks "normal" and appeals to youth," said Mueting.
The Medical Cannabis Industry stresses that the vape method is simply about the delivery of instant pain relief and clients still need a doctor’s permission. Most of their patients are over the age of 50.
Friday, the Medical Cannabis Board of Iowa will hear about possibly expanding the conditions that qualify to PTSD as well as make changes to the definition of chronic pain.
Governor Kim Reynolds rejected expansion plans last Spring.