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New laws in the New Year

New laws in the New Year New laws include a controversial law limiting occupancy restrictions

January 3, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Rental occupancy


Changes in society have brought changes in familial relationships. A law amending Iowa Code 414.1, subsection 1, limited the ability of cities to set occupancy restrictions for rental properties based on familial relationships.

"A city shall not, after January 1, 2018, adopt or enforce any regulation or restriction related to the occupancy of residential rental property that is based upon the existence of familial or non familial relationships between the occupants of such rental property.

The change was opposed by several cities, including the university towns of Ames and Iowa City. Property owners in those towns were actively limiting the number of students moving into historically single-family neighborhoods.

Medical cannabis

On May 12, 2017, the governor signed the Medical Cannabidiol Act. Cannabidiol is medical marijuana with CBD, which has been shown to have positive medicinal properties, and with trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive part of the Cannabis plant, resulting in no chance of a patient getting high or the substance having recreational use, according to the Iowa Department of Health.

The Act requires the Department of Health to create a Medical Cannabidiol Baord and select and license up to two medical cannabidiol manufacturers to supply cannabidiol in Iowa.

The deadline for licensing the manufacturers was Dec. 1, 2018. The IDPH issued a license to MedPharm Iowa, a newly formed company owned by Chris Nelson of Kremin Industries. Nelson is also a managing partner of MedPharm Colorado, and the medical product will use intellectual property from the Colorado company, according to a release by MedPharm Colorado.

The IDPH received nine letters of interest from potential manufacturers, but only MedPharm submitted a license application before the deadline.

Patients with certain medical conditions may apply for a Cannabidiol Registration Card. The law allows patients to obtain a card with certification from the patient's primary healthcare practitioner confirming the patient's qualifying medical condition. Patients are allowed to possess, but not sell, manufacture or transport cannabidiol across state lines. Having an in-state manufacturer and expanding the qualifying conditions for a card has added effectiveness to the original 2014 law signed by then-Governor Terry Branstad.

Stephen Richards, a pharmacist from Spirit Lake, is the sole member of the Medical Cannabidiol Board from northwest Iowa.

From the passage of the Act May 12, 2017 through Dec. 28, the Iowa Department of Health approved 241 registration cards for patients or primary caregivers. Sixteen applications are pending and 13 were denied.

Officials with the IDPH said they were unable to state the number of cards issued in Emmet County because the number is at this time so small that doing so might identify the person in possession of a card. MedPharm Iowa was required to begin supplying cannabidiol Dec. 1.



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