Manufacturer Unveils Iowa's First Legal Cannabis Products

Oct 17, 2018

MedPharm, Iowa’s only medical marijuana manufacturer, revealed the state’s first legal cannabis products Wednesday at its facility in Des Moines.

“This is obviously a major, major day for both MedPharm, and I think for patients across the state of Iowa,” said Lucas Nelson, a lead consultant for MedPharm.

He said the company recently completed its first cannabis harvest and formulated the oil into Aliviar branded cannabis products.

MedPharm is making medical marijuana in the form of tinctures (drops under the tongue) capsules and creams. They are offering four different ratios of the active ingredients, known as CBD and THC, to cover various illnesses and symptoms.

“Each product has its strengths and drawbacks,” said Stephen Wilson, who is overseeing MedPharm’s two dispensaries that open December 1. “That’s why we encourage patients to try several different products in order to find the right one that’s going to help relieve any symptoms that they’re suffering from.”

Wilson said consultants at the dispensaries will help patients figure out works for them.

Prices will range from $30 to $130 for about a month’s supply, but doses will vary among patients. Health insurance does not cover medical cannabis.

Five dispensaries across the state are set to open December 1. Nelson said Iowa’s short list of qualifying conditions, the strict limit on THC content, and skepticism from some doctors are still barriers for MedPharm and patients.

Patients will have their health condition certified by a doctor, get an application approved by the state, and pick up a medical marijuana card in order to purchase these products. Nelson said about 500 Iowans have cards, and he expects the number to shoot up when the dispensaries open.