How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa
Download the HPC Form and Schedule an Appointment
The first step is to download the Healthcare Practioner Certification (HPC) form and print it out. Next, you need to book an appointment with a licensed physician (MMJCardOnline can help put you in touch with one).
If you have been diagnosed with one or more of the qualifying medical conditions listed below, and the doctor deems that you could benefit from medical marijuana, they will certify you as a qualifying MMJ patient and fill out the HPC form on your behalf.
Complete the Patient Application and Apply Online
The next step after being certified is to apply online via the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.
All applications must include the following documents:
- Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form, signed by your doctor
- Adult Patient Application Form (paper or online)
- A copy of your photo identification, which can be either a current Iowa driver’s license or a valid non-operator identification card from Iowa
- Payment of the $100 registration fee unless the patient qualifies for a reduced fee
Proof of eligibility for the reduced fee of $25 includes scanned copies of:
- Notice of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI notice)
- a copy of the receipt for the Supplemental Security Income Payment (SSI receipt)
- A copy of your Iowa Medicaid membership card
- a copy of the Hawk-I membership card
Receive Your Iowa MMJ Card
The OMC will review your application, and if approved, you will receive your temporary Iowa medical marijuana card via email. You can use your temporary card until you get your official Iowa MMJ card in the mail, which typically takes about two weeks.
How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa
- A Step-by-Step Guide
- Check your eligibility
- Download the Healthcare Practioner Form and print it out
- Schedule an appointment with a licensed Iowa physician (MMJCardOnline can help you with this)
- Attend your appointment and be certified as a qualifying patient
- Complete the patient application form online via Iowa’s DOH website
- Provide all necessary documentation and pay the registration fee (either $100 or the reduced fee of $25 if eligible)
- Await approval from the OMC
- Receive your temporary MMJ card via email and later, your official Iowa MMJ card in the mail
Iowa Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions
To be eligible for an Iowa MMJ card, you must have been diagnosed by a doctor with one or more of the following qualifying medical conditions:
Patient Qualifying Conditions
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic, untreatable pain
- Ulcerative colitis
- Severe, intractable autism (adults and children) with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
- Corticobasal degeneration
- Terminal illness (that produces severe or chronic pain, nausea, or severe wasting) with a probable life expectancy of under a year
In the next sections, we will outline how to renew your Iowa medical marijuana card and provide you with important information regarding caregiver rules.
Medical Marijuana Card Renewal in Iowa
Your Iowa medical marijuana card is valid for one year. Within 60 days of the card’s expiry date, the OMC will notify patients to renew their card via email or by mail. To renew your Iowa MMJ card, you must visit your doctor to be recertified for another year. You must fill out the same forms as before and pay the renewal fee of $100 or the $25 reduced fee if eligible.
Iowa MMJ patients can choose a caregiver who is at least 18 years old, but they must fill out a separate caregiver application form and pay a $25 fee.
History of Cannabis in Iowa
In 2014, House File 524, an Act to Establish Rules and Regulations on “Medical Cannabidiol,” was proposed. However, it was rejected because it did not progress before the deadline passed. Thankfully, Senate Bill 2360 was signed into law the same year.
Senate Bill 2360, also known as the Medical Cannabidiol Act, permitted the use of CBD oil with a neurologist’s recommendation. However, it was restricted to children with intractable epilepsy. Furthermore, the Bill made no provision on how to obtain CBD in Iowa legally. In May 2017, Governor Terry Branstad signed an expanded version of the act, which increased the number of qualifying medical conditions.
It took nearly a year for the state to put a plan in place to produce low-THC products for qualifying patients. Finally, in March 2018, five licensed dispensaries were approved to sell cannabis.
While House File 2589 has made things slightly better, there is little indication that Iowa will relax its laws regarding the medical use of marijuana. Republican state lawmakers are opposed to expanding the current program or legalizing adult-use marijuana.
Iowa Medical Marijuana Laws and Rules
Marijuana is still illegal in Iowa, and the penalties are severe. If you are caught with a gram of marijuana, you could face up to six months in prison. Furthermore, a second offense could result in a 12-month prison sentence, while a third offense could mean a two-year prison sentence. The distribution or cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a felony punishable by a five-year prison sentence.
What Types of Cannabis Can I Purchase in Iowa?
Because smoking marijuana is illegal, Iowa MMJ patients are unable to purchase marijuana flower. Instead, they can choose from the following options:
- Cannabis tinctures
- Topical products such as transdermal patches, gels, lotions, ointments, or creams
- Nebulizers (inhalers) (inhalers)
- Concentrates and other vaporizable products
How Much Cannabis Can I Buy and Possess?
In June 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed House File 2589, which established an official cap on THC consumption. It took the place of the previous 3% THC limit. Patients using medical marijuana in Iowa can now consume 4.5 grams of THC every 90 days.
You can get more if your doctor certifies that you need more to treat your condition. There is also an exception for patients with terminal illnesses who have a life expectancy of less than 12 months.
Where can I Legally Purchase MMJ in Iowa?
Currently, Iowa has five licensed dispensaries:
- Sioux City’s Bud and Mary’s Dispensary-MedPharm
- Windsor Heights’ Bud and Mary’s Dispensary-MedPharm
- Council Bluffs’ Iowa Cannabis Company West
- Waterloo, Iowa Cannabis Company
- Iowa Cannabis Company East is located in Iowa City.
There have been calls in Iowa to increase the maximum number of dispensaries, but this is unlikely to happen for some time.
Can I Take my MMJ to a Different State?
No. Marijuana remains federally illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. It is thus unlawful to travel across state lines with marijuana in your possession.
FAQ About Getting an MMJ Card in Iowa
You could receive a digital card in a matter of hours if you can get certified using telemedicine and complete your application online. However, if you apply by mail, it could take up to two weeks.
Users of MMJCardOnline have an extremely high approval rate. To increase your chances of success, please read the information in this guide before applying. In the unlikely event, you're not approved, you will receive a full refund.
The application fee for an Iowa medical marijuana card is $100. Certain applicants, however, are eligible for a $25 fee reduction. If you can provide a copy of one of the following documents, you can apply for this discount:
- Notice of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)
- Proof of receipt of Supplemental Security Income Payment (SSI)
- Iowa Medicaid Member Card
- Hawk-I Member Card