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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

April 14, 2023

With much of the United States legalizing the use of marijuana for medical use, Iowans may be wondering where the state stands in the debate. If you’re a Hawkeye looking for where to get a medical cannabis card in Iowa, we’ll cover what you need to know, including:

  1. What’s legal
  2. What’s not
  3. Who qualifies
  4. How to get it
  5. How much it costs

In this resource, My Virtual Physician lays out all the details around medical cannabis cards and answers the question: “Where can I get a medical cannabis card?”

Medical Cannabis in Iowa: What’s Legal

Just over five years ago, Iowa passed the Medical Cannabidiol Act (2017). This provided a pathway for Iowans to get relief from medical symptoms by using certain approved products that contain CBD and THC. However, it did not fully legalize marijuana for cardholders.

What is Medical Cannabidiol?

Iowa’s medical cannabis law differs from most states because it only provides access to medical cannabidiol products. What is medical cannabidiol, you ask? Medical cannabidiol is a pharmaceutical-grade product derived from the cannabis plant. See the list of approved cannabidiol products in the next section.

Here’s What’s Legal

This act gives patients who possess a medical cannabis card the ability to purchase a range of cannabidiol products at state-licensed dispensaries, such as:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Liquids
  • Tinctures
  • Sublinguals
  • Topical gels, ointments, creams, or lotions
  • Patches
  • Vapes
  • Nebulizables
  • Suppositories

Here’s What’s NOT Legal in Iowa

Medical marijuana is not legal in its natural plant form in Iowa. That means that cardholders may not possess cannabis in leaf, flower, or any smokable marijuana. Edibles are also not legal in Iowa. Only the forms listed in the previous section are legal and available from Iowan dispensaries for those who have a medical card for cannabis.

Do I Qualify for a Medical Cannabis Card in Iowa?

If you’re a citizen of Iowa and want to know if you qualify for a medical cannabis card, you can verify your eligibility by reviewing the list of qualifying conditions below. The Medical Cannabidiol Act lists the following debilitating medical conditions:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia
  • Nausea
  • Severe Vomiting
  • Severe Pain
  • Chronic Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Seizures
  • HIV or AIDS
  • ALS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Terminal Illness
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Autism (in certain cases)
  • Corticobasal Degeneration

If you suffer from any of the conditions or symptoms above, your condition qualifies. Next, we’ll cover the steps to get your card for medical cannabis in Iowa.

Getting Your Medical Cannabis Card in Iowa

The Office of Medical Cannabidiol (OMC), part of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, manages the issuance of medical cannabis cards in Iowa. To obtain your Iowa medical cannabis card, you’ll need to complete three steps.

  1. Physician’s Certification
  2. Application for Medical Cannabis Card
  3. Payment

Step #1: Physician’s Certification

Before starting the application process, the first step to getting your medical cannabis card in Iowa, is a consultation with your doctor.

In Iowa, your regular doctor must complete a physician certification form to document medical necessity and recommendation of medical cannabis for your particular health condition.

My Virtual Physician has primary care physicians that you can get established with in order to develop a patient-doctor relationship. Once established, our physicians can help with your medical cannabis consultation and certification for Iowa.

To begin the process, if you’re already a patient—meet with one of our doctors to get your card now. Otherwise, reach out to us for your first visit to establish a patient-provider relationship.

Once you’ve completed the consultation process with My Virtual Physician, one of our Iowa-licensed physicians will complete the Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form and you can move on to step #2. Important: your physician certification form is valid for only 60 days once signed, so be sure to submit your application within that time period.

Step #2: Medical Cannabis Card Application

Once you have your Healthcare Practitioner Certification form in hand, signed by your doctor—you can begin the application process to get your medical cannabis card from the Iowa OMC. Here is a list of documents you’ll need to complete the application process:

  • Completed Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form
  • Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card
  • For reduced fees: Proof of participation in Medicaid, disability, or SSI

When you’ve got these items in hand, apply here to start your medical cannabis card application online with the state’s secure portal. Applications can also be submitted by mail.

Step #3: Paying for Your Medical Cannabis Card

Paying for your medical cannabis card is a two-step process.

  • First, you’ll pay your healthcare provider for the medical consultation that results in your physician certification form.
  • Second, you’ll pay a fee with your application to the state registry.

My Virtual Physician charges $115 for medical cannabis consultation visits and the current application fee in Iowa is $100 (or a $25 reduced fee if you participate in Medicaid or disability).

Since cards are valid for one year, that puts your total cost for a medical cannabis card in Iowa at $215 per year.

Take the First Step Now

If you’re ready to take the first step to get your medical cannabis card in Iowa, start with My Virtual Physician. Get established with our doctors to manage your chronic pain or other medical concerns and set up your physician consultation with My Virtual Physician to get relief today.

Get Your Medical Cannabis Card Now

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