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Spirit Lake pharmacist among gubernatorial appointees to medical cannabis board
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Spirit Lake pharmacist among gubernatorial appointees to medical cannabis board

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DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds named eight Iowans Wednesday to serve on a state board that will oversee the state’s expanded medical cannabis law.

The appointees to the Medical Cannabidiol Board include Dr. Stephen Richards, a Spirit Lake pharmacist.

The Republican governor also appointed Dr. Ken Cheyne, a Clive pediatrician; Dr. Jill Liesveld, a Coralville psychiatrist; Dr. Wendy Zadeh, an Ankeny neurologist; Dr. Jacqueline Stoken, a Waukee pain manager; Dr. Robert Shreck, a Des Moines oncologist; Dr. Lonny Miller, a Creston family medicine specialist; and Mike McKelvey, a law enforcement representative from Mason City. The positions, which are effective Friday, are unpaid and not subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.

House File 524, known as the Medical Cannabidiol Act, requires the board to consist of eight medical practitioners representing specific specialty fields and one law enforcement representative. The governor’s office is still seeking one licensed practitioner representing gastroenterology to serve on the panel.

Officials with the state Board of Public Health say dozens of individuals and businesses have inquired about establishing a medical cannabis business in Iowa, which will be subject to rules and regulations established by the new state board under the state’s expanded program.

Earlier this year Iowa’s medical cannabis law was expanded to allow for the creation of no more than two businesses to grow marijuana and produce medical cannabidiol and no more than five businesses to sell the product.

Previously, Iowans could obtain medical cannabidiol to treat epileptic seizures, but the law did not allow for the production and sale of the medicine here.

State public health officials say their department plans to put out a request for proposals for manufacturers this fall, likely in October, with the goal of having up to two producers licensed by December. Then, the department will put out a request for proposals for dispensaries in January, with the goal of having up to five sellers licensed by April, Mayer said.

The businesses must be licensed and ready to operate by Dec. 1, 2018.

The state’s application fees are $7,500 for manufacturers and $5,000 for dispensaries.

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