DES MOINES, Iowa -- Expanding Iowa's medical cannabis legislation made it one step further Thursday at the statehouse.
Last year Iowa passed a medical cannabis bill for those suffering from chronic epilepsy.
Thursday afternoon the Senate Ways and Means Committee pushed to expand that bill to create equal access for all Iowans.
In a vote of nine to five the bill advanced to the Senate floor for full debate.
The bill would expand Iowa's current medical cannabis law to include other conditions such as cancer, MS, Chron's Disease, PTSD, epilepsy, AIDS/HIV, glaucoma, hepatitis C, ALS, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, PTSD and severe chronic pain associated with an underlying condition.
That's good news for Lori Tassin of Des Moines who suffers from cancer and wants another option for treatment.
"The reading that I've done on it the THC is supposed to kill cancer cells and the CBD is not supposed to allow it to metastasize, so it`s another treatment option for me. I've been on seven different kinds of chemo treatments, I've had four bouts of radiation and brain surgery so i need something," says Tassin.
The same can be said for Jon Custis of Anamosa who as a Vietnam Veteran suffers from PTSD. He's confident he would see relief with medical cannabis.
"From what I hear from my friends, cannabis would calm you down and it will help you sleep through the night. It takes away the pain you have and it lessens all the effects," says Custis.
The bill establishes a medical advisory board and would allow for the cultivation, production and dispensing of medical cannabis at multiple locations across Iowa.
Sen. Joe Bolkcom, who's led the charge on medical cannabis legislation, says he credits the dozens and dozens of patients who came forward to share their stories as to why this bill is seeing success.
“This legislation is really brought to us by the patients who suffer from amazing types of conditions that we`ve learned about some of which are here with us today. They`ve shown great courage to basically come here and convince us to do something that`s really hard to do,” says Sen. Bolkcom.
The bill now advances to the full Senate for debate where lawmakers are hopeful it will pass.
However, House Republican Leader Kraig Paulson said Thursday he doesn't believe the House will take up any bills regarding medical marijuana this legislative session.