Top Benefits of Getting A Medical Marijuana Card In Iowa
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Iowa has experienced a tumultuous relationship with cannabis over the years. In the past, obtaining a medical marijuana card in the state was a challenging process, and strict regulations hindered many individuals from accessing the assistance they needed.

Fortunately, significant developments have taken place in Iowa’s cannabis industry recently. As a result, obtaining a medical card in IA now offers substantial advantages for one’s health and overall well-being.

Now, let’s explore the numerous benefits of having a medical marijuana card in Iowa. There are plenty to discuss, so let’s begin.


The History of Medical Marijuana Cards in Iowa

The Medical Cannabidiol Act, signed by Governor Terry Brandstad in May 2014, made CBD oil for medical purposes lawful in Iowa. As a result, Iowans now have access to medical marijuana for therapeutic purposes.

The Act included substantial restrictions, as people with uncontrollable epilepsy may only possess low-THC oil with a neurologist’s approval. This raised concerns because it didn’t address how people could get CBD since it was prohibited to manufacture it in the state or import it from another state.

As a result, patients were denied access to medical marijuana even if they had epilepsy and a neurologist’s recommendation.

The Act was amended in 2017 and 2020 throughout time. With a possession restriction of up to 4.5 grams within a 90-day period, medicinal marijuana will be legal to buy and use for a variety of qualifying ailments in Iowa by 2022 for any patient with a medical marijuana card.

As of July 2022, there were 11,676 active patient Iowa med cards, according to information from the Office of Medical Cannabidiol (OMC) of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Getting an Iowa medical marijuana card has changed these people’s lives. Regarding the legality of marijuana for recreational use in Iowa, there is still some uncertainty.


Although we’ve previously covered medical marijuana, individuals residing in or visiting Iowa who are curious about recreational cannabis might inquire, “Is adult-use marijuana permitted in Iowa?”

No, recreational marijuana is not permitted in Iowa. Only those possessing an Iowa medical card can lawfully obtain marijuana. If you are caught with marijuana without a medical card in Iowa, you could be subject to fines and imprisonment.


State Polls and the Campaign for Sensible Cannabis Laws

Despite facing various obstacles in the process of legalization, Iowans remain determined and unwavering. According to polls, there is widespread support for recreational marijuana among the public.

Should the residents of the state have their way, the question of whether recreational marijuana is legal in Iowa would soon receive a positive answer.

In a survey conducted in March 2020, 53% of respondents expressed their favor for legalizing recreational marijuana, marking a significant improvement from a 2013 poll where only 29% supported legalization.

Another poll carried out in 2021 showed that 54% of respondents favored recreational marijuana. The recent survey also revealed that most participants were in favor of expanding the existing medical marijuana program to include more qualifying diseases and conditions.

Leading the charge for legalization in Iowa is the Campaign for Sensible Cannabis Laws (CSC). The group strongly believes that Iowa’s cannabis laws are outdated and detrimental to the state’s well-being.

Brad Knott, the president of CSC, accuses Governor Reynolds and representatives who oppose recreational marijuana of being disconnected from reality. Knott cites the polls as evidence of the widespread public support for recreational marijuana. He also suggests that some Republicans who publicly oppose recreational marijuana have a different private opinion, expressing a willingness to change their stance if they had the freedom to do so from their party leadership.


Top Benefits of Owning A Medical Card In Iowa

Why you require a medical marijuana card in Iowa might pique your curiosity! The advantages of obtaining an IA MMJ card are plentiful, and we have outlined the primary benefits associated with acquiring one in Iowa.


1. You Can Possess and Use Marijuana

In clear terms, Iowa has strict regulations regarding marijuana. With recreational use being illegal, the sole avenue for obtaining legal marijuana is through medical means.

Consequently, only individuals holding a medical card in Iowa are permitted to purchase, have, and utilize medical marijuana.

Similarly, in states where recreational marijuana is legalized, one still requires a medical marijuana card to avail themselves of the special privileges associated with medical cannabis.


2. You Can Buy Marijuana in Other States

Certain states have reciprocity, which allows individuals to purchase marijuana using their MMJ card issued in their home state.

On occasions when you have to travel, whether for work or leisure, you might be concerned about the availability of medical marijuana.

If you possess an Iowa medical card, you don’t have to halt your medication, as you can acquire medical marijuana in states that honor reciprocity.


3. Personalized Treatment Plans

With a medical marijuana card, patients in Iowa can work with qualified healthcare professionals who can recommend personalized treatment plans tailored to their specific medical needs. These healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurse practitioners, are well-versed in the medical applications of cannabis and can guide patients towards the most suitable strains and delivery methods based on their condition, medical history, and individual preferences.


4. Employment and Housing Protections

Having a medical marijuana card in Iowa offers certain protections for patients in employment and housing situations. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their status as a medical marijuana cardholder, provided they do not use cannabis during working hours or on company premises. Additionally, landlords cannot reject applicants solely because they hold a medical marijuana card.


Iowa Medical Card vs Recreational Weed Across the Border

Illinois allows the legal purchase of recreational marijuana for individuals over the age of 21 from neighboring states, even without a marijuana card.

However, those under the age of 21 cannot buy marijuana in Illinois, despite its legality for recreational use.

On the other hand, acquiring a medical marijuana card in Iowa offers more benefits beyond access and reciprocity. The age limit for patients is lower at 18, and minors under 18 can apply with the help of their caregivers.

According to IDPH data from July 2022, there were 163 registered patients under 18 years old.

Even if you are of legal age (21 or over), living far from the Illinois border may make it inconvenient to purchase marijuana from there. In such cases, obtaining an Iowa medical marijuana card is a more viable option.

Moreover, if you reside near the Illinois border, be prepared to pay substantial taxes on recreational marijuana purchases.

Illinois imposes a high tax rate of up to 40% on various recreational marijuana products. Conversely, purchasing medical marijuana using your Iowa med card incurs only a 6% sales tax.

To summarize, choosing to cross the border to buy marijuana would result in higher costs and increased stress compared to obtaining a medical marijuana card in Iowa. Additionally, it is essential to remember that transporting marijuana across state lines is entirely illegal.


How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

After learning about the advantages of possessing an Iowa medical card, you might be curious about the procedure for obtaining a medical marijuana card in Iowa. No need to be concerned, as we will walk you through the process.

The prerequisites for an Iowa medical card include:

Physician’s certification
Completed patient application
A photocopy of a valid photo ID
An application fee of $100. If applicants can provide scanned evidence of any of the following, they pay only $25:
A copy of the notice for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI notice)
Proof of receiving Supplemental Security Income Payment (SSI receipt)
A copy of their Iowa Medicaid member card
A copy of their Hawk-I member card


Some patients in Iowa prefer taking their medication orally and may inquire about the legality of edibles. The state’s weed laws strictly dictate the permissible forms of marijuana for patients. If you possess a medical marijuana card in Iowa, you can purchase various forms of weed, such as vaporizable products, oral forms like tablets, capsules, liquids, tinctures, and sublingual options, topical products like gels, ointments, creams, lotions, and transdermal patches, as well as nebulizable inhaled forms and suppositories (both rectal and vaginal). However, it’s important to note that the most prevalent form of marijuana, flower, remains illegal in Iowa.

While licensed dispensaries in Iowa do offer edible products, not all types are legal. Specifically, THC-infused edibles like gummies and chocolate are prohibited.





Can I Grow Marijuana at Home with a Medical Marijuana Card?

No, even for those with a medicinal marijuana certificate, home cultivation of marijuana is not legal in Iowa. Patients can only buy cannabis from authorized dispensaries.


Are There Any Age Restrictions for Medical Marijuana Use in Iowa?

Yes, patients in Iowa need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a medical marijuana card. Patients under the age of 18 may submit an application on their behalf through a designated carer, such as a parent or guardian.


Can I Consume Medical Marijuana in Public?

No, medical marijuana use in Iowa is only permitted in private settings. Use in public is highly forbidden and may have legal repercussions.


Can I use my out-of-state medical marijuana card in Iowa?

Outside-of-Iowa medical marijuana cards are not accepted. You need a legitimate medical marijuana card issued by the state of Iowa in order to get cannabis for medical purposes.


Also Read: How to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Iowa: A Definitive Guide



Iowa’s medical marijuana programme is expected to provide patients with a higher standard of living, less pain, and a more natural way to manage their health issues as it develops. Patients are advised to speak with their doctor to ascertain whether medical marijuana is the best option for their particular needs, as with any medical treatment.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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