Lifestyle & Leisure

A Comprehensive Guide to Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana in Iowa has been legal since 2014. The state program aims to alleviate pain and suffering while adhering to strict regulations. Patients must receive a certification from a physician to qualify for the program. Then, they must apply to the program to obtain their card.


Medical marijuana in Iowa is currently legal for use by registered patients and their caregivers. However, the state does not allow patients to possess smokable marijuana or any cannabis products with a THC content above 3%. This includes edibles, THC/CBD vape oil cartridges, and concentrates.

However, Iowa medical marijuana patients can obtain CBD oil and other cannabis products that have a low THC content or are formulated only to contain a small amount of THC. This is commonly seen in ratios of 20:1, 10:1, or even 1:1 CBD to THC. To become a medical marijuana patient, you should first schedule a medical evaluation with an experienced doctor.

You will discuss your medical history and relevant medical records with the doctor during the appointment. After the consultation, the physician will give you a medical marijuana certification that outlines your condition and recommends cannabis as a treatment.

Additionally, you will be asked about your family and personal history to determine your eligibility for a medical marijuana card. If you are approved, you will be issued a medical marijuana card, which will expire one year after the approval date.

Qualifying Conditions

You can qualify to become a medical marijuana patient if you have a medical condition that is on the state’s list of qualifying illnesses. These conditions have been identified as benefiting from the medicinal use of cannabis by licensed physicians.

For example, cancer patients, especially those undergoing chemotherapy, can benefit from cannabis use to alleviate side effects such as nausea and severe wasting. Additionally, cannabis is effective in treating PTSD by reducing the symptoms of this disorder through the disinhibition of the release of catecholamines in the brain.

Patients with these diseases will receive a written certification from their doctor, which is required to apply for a medical marijuana card. Once you receive your healthcare practitioner certification, you can submit your application to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Adult patients must provide proof of identity, residence in the state, and a $100 fee.

However, if you cannot submit your application, you can have a designated caregiver submit it. Upon approval, you’ll be issued a card that will allow you to access low-THC cannabis oil from one of the state’s licensed dispensaries.


Patients who want to obtain a medical marijuana card must first get a written certification from their doctor confirming that they have a debilitating condition that can be treated with cannabis. After that, they can complete an application on the state registry website and pay an application fee.

The cost of a medical cannabis consultation for patients is currently not specified. In case the patient is under 18, a designated caregiver can apply for a medical marijuana card on their behalf. Caregivers are allowed to possess, obtain from a dispensary, and dispense medical cannabis for their qualifying patient.

They must also register and pay an application fee to the state. Once you have a valid medical marijuana card, you will be able to purchase and consume cannabis products such as oils, edibles, tinctures, and capsules.

However, smoking marijuana is still not permitted statewide. It’s important to note that having a medical cannabis card may potentially affect your eligibility for federal firearm licenses, as the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I drug. To obtain your Iowa medical marijuana card, you must be a resident of Iowa with a valid photo ID.

It would help if you also were diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition that is listed in Iowa’s medical marijuana 2023 list of qualifying conditions. Once you complete an online evaluation, you’ll meet with licensed medical doctors who will provide you with a cannabis recommendation that you can use to apply for your Iowa medical marijuana card.


If you possess a medical marijuana card, you will have easier access to a wider variety of high-quality cannabis products. Additionally, having an MMID can save you money on sales taxes imposed on recreational users, providing complete legal protection.

Your MMID will be valid for one year, and the state will notify you to renew it within 60 days of its expiry. The standard application fee is $100, but eligible patients can pay a reduced fee of $25. You can also register a designated caregiver on your behalf; however, they cannot consume or possess cannabis themselves.