Council Bluffs could get a medical marijuana dispensary; what does that mean for the metro area?

Council Bluffs could get a medical marijuana dispensary; what does that mean for the metro area?

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Council Bluffs is among Iowa communities that could have a medical marijuana dispensary by the end of the year. Seven companies have submitted 21 applications to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Iowa, and three of those are for Council Bluffs. The dispensaries are part of a law approved by the Iowa Legislature last year. The Council Bluffs City Council voted 5-0 on Monday to lend its support to bringing such businesses to the city. The final decision rests with the Iowa Department of Public Health, which will review the applications. “It’ll benefit the community, with the health benefits,” said Councilman Roger Sandau, who put the resolution on the agenda. Council Bluffs Police Chief Tim Carmody said he supports helping people in pain but expressed concerns. He talked about marijuana-related crimes of the last few years and noted that dispensaries are cash-based businesses with products that could be the target of robberies. The World-Herald talked with Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, about how the dispensaries will work. Q: Who will be able to purchase the cannabis products? A: Only permanent residents of Iowa will be allowed to purchase them. Residents of Nebraska or any other state will be not be eligible. Q: How will that work? A: Patients must fill out an application and the patient’s doctor must sign off on the application to certify that the patient has one of the conditions outlined in Iowa law, which include cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures and ALS. The patient submits the application to the Iowa Department of Public Health and pays a $100 fee. A reduced fee of $25 is available to certain individuals such as those receiving Medicaid. The department reviews the applications. If the department approves the application, the patient receives a special ID […]

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