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The Benefits of Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

Jan, 2023
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Iowa is one of those states that has had a bit of rocky history with cannabis. In the past, getting a medical marijuana card in Iowa wasn't simple, and the restrictions prevented numerous people from getting the support they deserved.

Thankfully, the Hawkeye State has seen major changes in the cannabis industry lately, and now, having a medical card in IA is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health and wellness.

So, what are the benefits of getting a medical marijuana card in Iowa? There are so many. Let's get started.

The History of Medical Marijuana Cards in Iowa 

The Hawkeye State legalized CBD oil in May 2014 when Governor Terry Brandstad signed the Medical Cannabidiol Act that signaled Iowa residents’ access to medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

However, the Act was very restrictive: it allowed only patients with intractable epilepsy to possess low-THC oil if they got a neurologist’s recommendation. 

The 2014 act faced much criticism because it made no provision for how patients could obtain CBD since it was illegal to manufacture it in the state or import it from other states.

So, even if patients had epilepsy and a neurologist’s recommendation, medical marijuana was still out of reach. 

Fast forward to 2022, after more alterations in 2017 and 2020, any patient with a medical marijuana card in Iowa can legally buy and use for several qualifying conditions and possess up to 4.5 grams within 90 days.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is in charge of medical marijuana via the Office of Medical Cannabidiol (OMC), and their data shows there are 11,676 valid patient Iowa med cards as of July 2022.  

For these people, getting an Iowa medical marijuana card has been transformative. But, what about rec cannabis?

Medical Marijuana Card In Iowa

We’ve discussed medical marijuana, but residents or visitors interested in adult-use weed may ask, “is recreational marijuana legal in Iowa?”

No, recreational marijuana is illegal in Iowa. Only people who have an Iowa med card can legally access marijuana. If you possess marijuana without a medical marijuana card in the Hawkeye State, you face fines and jail time.

State Polls and the Campaign for Sensible Cannabis Laws

Despite various legalization hurdles, Iowans are not backing down. Polls indicate the public favor recreational marijuana.

If the state residents should have their way, the answer to “is recreational marijuana legal in Iowa?” will quickly become positive. 

In a March 2020 poll, 53% of respondents said they favored legalizing recreational marijuana, which was a massive improvement from a 2013 poll in which only 29% said they favored legalization.

In another poll conducted in 2021, 54% of respondents said they favored recreational marijuana. The recent poll also found that most respondents favor expanding the current medical marijuana program to add more qualifying diseases and conditions

One group, Campaign for Sensible Cannabis Laws (CSC), is at the forefront of the legalization drive in Iowa. The group states, “Iowa’s cannabis laws are archaic, out of touch and hurting, not helping Iowa.”

CSC president, Brad Knott, says president Reynolds and the representatives who oppose recreational marijuana are out of touch with reality. 

Knott points to the polls as proof that the Iowa public favors recreational marijuana. He also indicated that some republicans who oppose recreational marijuana in public express a different opinion in private.

He said: “In public, they seem to be pretty much holding the line of the governor and leadership, but privately, I hear that a lot of them would move if they just got the freedom to do so from leadership.”

Benefits of an Iowa Medical Card 

You may wonder why you need a medical marijuana card in Iowa in the first place!

The reasons behind having an IA MMJ card are numerous, but we've explained the major benefits surrounding getting a medical marijuana card in Iowa below.

You Can Possess and Use Marijuana

Plain and simple, Iowa is tough on weed. Since recreational marijuana is not legal, the only option for legal weed is medical marijuana.

This means only patients with a medical card in Iowa can buy, possess and use medical marijuana.

Even in states where recreational marijuana is legal, you need a medical marijuana card to access the exclusive benefits of medical marijuana.

You Can Buy Marijuana in Other States

Some states have reciprocity, meaning you can buy weed using the MMJ card from your home state.

There are times when you need to travel, whether for business or pleasure, and you may be worried that you won’t have access to medical marijuana.

With your Iowa medical card, your medication doesn’t have to stop — you can buy medical marijuana in states that have reciprocity. 

Medical Marijuana Card In Iowa

Iowa Medical Card vs Recreational Weed Across the Border

Yes, recreational marijuana is legal in neighboring Illinois, and if you’re 21 or over, you can cross the border to buy weed without a marijuana card.

But if you’re not up to 21, you cannot buy marijuana in Illinois, even though recreational marijuana is legal.

On the other hand, the benefits of getting a medical marijuana card in Iowa are more than just access and reciprocity: a different age limit also applies to patients. It has a lower age limit of 18, and minors younger than 18 can apply via their caregivers.

IDPH data indicates 163 registered patients younger than 18 as of July 2022.

Even if you’re up to 21, you may live so far from the Illinois border. So, why go through that stress if you can get an Iowa med card? 

In addition, if you live close to the Illinois border, prepare to pay huge taxes whenever you buy recreational marijuana.

Illinois’s tax on recreational marijuana is as high as 40%, depending on which products you buy. But if you buy medical marijuana with your Iowa med card, you pay only 6% sales tax.

In summary, crossing the border for weed will cost you more money and cause more stress than getting a medical marijuana card in Iowa. And don't forget that bringing it back with you across state lines is 100% illegal.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

Now that you know all the benefits of an Iowa medical card, you’re probably wondering how to get a medical marijuana card in Iowa in the first place. Don't worry: we’ll guide you through the process.

The following are the Iowa medical card requirements:

  • Physician certification  
  • Completed patient application  
  • Copy of a valid photo ID
  • $100 application fee. Applicants who can provide scanned proof of any of the following pay $25
  • Copy of Social Security Disability Benefit notice (SSDI notice)
  • Copy of proof of receipt of Supplemental Security Income Payment (SSI receipt)
  • Copy of Iowa Medicaid member card
  • Copy of Hawk-I member card

Remember, you can always book an appointment for a physician certificate through Elevate Holistics. We can help you through the whole application process, and you don’t even have to leave your house.

Click here for more on how to get a medical marijuana card in Iowa.

Some patients prefer to consume their medication orally, and they may ask, “are edibles legal in Iowa?”

Yes, you can find edible products in licensed dispensaries in Iowa, but weed laws in the state clearly specify the forms of marijuana available to patients.

If you have a medical marijuana card in Iowa, you can purchase the following forms of weed:

  • Vaporizable
  • Oral forms – tablets, capsules, liquids, tinctures, and sublingual forms
  • Topical forms – gels, ointments, creams, lotions, and transdermal patches
  • Nebulizable inhaled forms
  • Suppositories – rectal and vaginal

The most common form of marijuana is flower, but it is illegal in Iowa.

Also, not all forms of edibles are legal. THC-infused edibles like gummies and chocolate are illegal. 

Enjoy Wellness With Elevate Holistics 

The Iowa medical marijuana card benefits are immense. As a cardholder, you have exclusive access to marijuana in the state and even better benefits than buying adult-use marijuana in neighboring states.

At Elevate Holistics, we want you to have this access and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of nature’s wonder drug.

Our job is to simplify access to medical marijuana. So, if you’re wondering how to get an Iowa medical card online, you’ve come to the right place.

We have a team of qualified doctors who can answer your questions, evaluate your qualifying condition and get you a physician certification, all from the safety and comfort of your home.

Wellness is just a click away. Book an appointment with us here to get your IA MMJ card 100% online, 100% hassle-free.


Iowa Patient Resources

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