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Iowa regulators are recommending a Marijuana Task Force to explore a federal exemption for the state’s medical program

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An Iowa regulatory board has voted to recommend that the legislature create a legal task force to explore seeking an exemption that would protect the state’s limited medical cannabis program from federal interference.

At a meeting of the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board last week, the task force was proposed by activist Carl Olsen, who he said should bring legal experts together to “carefully review state, federal and international drug laws to come up with an exception request” under the federal laws.

Olsen has long been pressing the state to make such a request, and the legislature passed a bill in 2020 requiring the state to seek protection. But after months of delays, the lawyer said He sued the governor last year to force the state to move forward with the request, and one department later took steps to communicate with federal agencies about the process.

Board member Robert Schreck said at last week’s meeting that Olsen “believes the state can get an exemption from restrictions on cannabis, and as far as I can tell from reading what he’s done, and he’s been very persistent about it, I think he’s right.”

“This is the way forward in doing it,” he said. “It was done half-heartedly by some parts of our government… At least, it didn’t get ahead and it was successful. But I would very much support Carl’s recommendation. I would suggest that the board make that recommendation.”

Owen Parker, Chief of the Office of the Medical Cannabidiol Board at the Iowa Department of Public Health, submitted a motion for a vote to include the Olsen task force’s recommendation in the Board’s annual report to the legislature, and Passed successfully unanimous.

It’s another modest win for Olsen, whose previous lawsuit against the governor drew headlines and appeared to spur the Public Health Department to send letters about the exception to the cannabis law to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Education management.

In 2020, DEA Rejection of an exemption request which Olsen himself submitted, but he hoped that the outcome would be different with the country officially involved.

DEA regulations state that an agency official “may grant an exemption at its discretion, but in no event shall he be required to grant an exemption to any person who would otherwise be required by law or regulation.”

Likewise, the Hawaii legislature a decision last year seeking an exemption of the Drug Enforcement Administration states that a state is allowed to operate its own medical cannabis program without federal interference.

Back in Iowa, the board separately She voted to recommend to the legislature He is passing legislation to exempt medical cannabis products from state sales tax and separate cannabis taxes from a federal code known as 280E that bars companies from taking tax cuts if they sell a Schedule I controlled substance such as marijuana.

At the beginning of the year, the Iowa Democrats are Senators A joint resolution text was issued to put the issue of cannabis legalization before voters on the state ballot, but that ultimately did not move forward.

Sens. Joe Bolcom (D), Janet Petersen (D), and Sarah Troon Garriott (D), the first to They unveil their plan to reform marijuana Last year, he said the lack of action on the issue in the GOP-controlled legislature meant they needed to take the alternative route to ending Prohibition.

A bill to decriminalize cannabis possession He liquidated an Iowa Senate subcommittee Early last year, but it also stopped. Another Senate committee separately approved the bill Reduce medical cannabis patient registration costs last year.

Irish legislator’s bill to legalize adult marijuana possession draws early criticism from top government officials

Photo provided by Mike Latimer.

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