Medical Cannabidiol Board Approves Chronic Pain as Condition, Delays PTSD Decision

ANKENY, Iowa -- Iowa's Medical Cannabidiol Board held its first meeting Friday since Governor Kim Reynolds vetoed a bill that would have expanded the program.

Friday the board denied adding general anxiety and opioid dependency to the approved medical conditions list, despite what several speakers noted during public comment.

“There are more than 300,000 sick Iowans taking narcotic pain pills, while only 3,300 patients have been able to access safer medicines made from cannabis,” Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said.

Several others who addressed the board said they believe the state’s medical cannabis program should not be expanded at all.

“This is largely an unscientific rush to market for a dangerous psychoactive drug and it circumvents all the work by the FDA and federal authorities to provide good sound medicines through traditional medical channels that Iowans need. But maybe someday [it] would include some marijuana products, but not this way,” Partnership for a Healthy Iowa’s Peter Komendowski said.

The board did approve chronic pain as a condition but decided to delay their decision on whether or not to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the condition list.

One speaker, who is a former police officer, said without using CBD to treat his severe PTSD, he might not be here today.

"After PTSD kept dragging me down to those dark places, I didn't want my kids growing up without a father, so I said I'll do it. I'll do it for them. I tried CBD and for the first time within a week or two I felt like I had my life back," Tyler Rice said.

Several members of the board said they need to see more studies and more research before they can make a decision about adding PTSD.

“There are no randomized controlled clinical trials that have been completed for cannabis product therapeutic for PTSD. Two sets of trials are now organized and they said when they publish this, they anticipated results in 2018. The results have not been published. Interim reports show no benefit,” board member Robert Shreck said.

The board will take up adding PTSD as a condition at their next meeting on Nov.1.

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