DES MOINES, Iowa -- It was a big day for the state's sole supplier of medical marijuana. MedPharm Iowa unveiled its first products set to hit shelves by December 1.
Iowa's first ever medical marijuana products fall under the name “Aliviar”. They'll come as either a tincture, a cream, or in capsules.
“Each product has its strengths and drawbacks and that’s why we encourage patients to try several different products in order to find the right one that's going to help relieve any symptoms they may have” said Dispensary Manager Stephen Wilson.
In addition, MedPharm will be using four formulas for their products, each with a different ratio of CBD to THC. They say a ratio of 20-1 CBD to THC will be more effective at treating inflammation, where a ratio of 20-1 THC to CBD will be better for people in extreme pain. MedPharm general manager Lucas Nelson hopes that offering a product for that type of pain will help cut into the opioid epidemic.
“We're certainly hopeful that this will become part of the solution. It won't necessarily work for every single person and we've been clear about that but I do think that it will benefit a lot of people who are on opioids; both able to reduce the amount they're taking there, but also reduce the other prescriptions they're taking to combat some of those side effects” said Nelson.
While MedPharm considers the reveal a big moment, they say there's still more work to be done in the next legislative session. One of the big pushes is to increase the amount of THC they can put in each product. Currently, their max is 20 milligrams per pill. Nelson says in some cancer patients it's common to require 140 milligrams to treat their pain.
“That's seven pills they're going to have to take in a day…you can see quite quickly you'll be buying more, makes it more expensive for those patients. If we had the space to create a pill that had more milligrams in it we could get that down to two pills or even one pill” he said.
The products will be available at five dispensaries throughout the state including one in Windsor Heights.