Even within the face of widespread retail closures, the continuing COVID-19 disaster has largely spared America’s patchwork authorized hashish trade. Thanks to hashish being granted “essential status,” with a number of states approving house supply, many areas with authorized weed noticed elevated gross sales stats through the first few months of the pandemic. But what occurs if medical hashish entry is lower off by enterprise closures in different industries?

According to The Gazette, the prolonged closure of Iowa docs’ places of work and DMV facilities have lower the Hawkeye State’s month-to-month medical marijuana registrations and renewals by multiple third. Before the pandemic, Iowa averaged 360 sufferers a month, however these numbers dropped to 244 per 30 days throughout April, May, and the primary half of June.

“That is largely due to primary care physicians not being accessible,” Iowa medical marijuana program supervisor Owen Parker told The Gazette. “Patients could not make those appointments to either become a [medical marijuana] patient or have their application renewed. They are just now starting to be able to restart those visits.”

Similarly, the Iowa Department of Transportation Drivers License stations had been additionally shuttered through the pandemic, and that is the place MMJ sufferers obtain their playing cards. The DOT facilities mailed playing cards to sufferers throughout quarantine, however apparently that wasn’t sufficient to retain the identical quantity of cardholders as earlier months. 

In March, two of Iowa’s 5 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries shut their doorways for good, leaving solely three dispensaries to serve your entire state. Iowa regulators plan to award retail licenses to 2 new dispensaries this fall, however till then, Hawkeye State hashish sufferers are compelled to journey lengthy distances to seek out an operational pot store.

“We understand that our licensees decided to leave and we are looking to replace them as fast as we possibly can,” Parker said.

Unfortunately, regardless of what number of sufferers are registered or what number of dispensaries are open, Iowa’s medical marijuana program nonetheless caps all hashish merchandise at 3% THC. A invoice to permit high-THC merchandise has already handed the Iowa legislature, nevertheless it’s at present awaiting a signature from Republican Governor Kim Reynolds with no anticipated timeline for approval.

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