How to get marijuana in Iowa… legally

Indoor marijuana facility with artificial light.

Due to rapidly changing cannabis laws in Iowa it can be difficult to keep up with the state of medical marijuana in Iowa. Lucas Nelson, Group President of Bud & Mary’s, an Iowa-based cannabis company, explains everything you need to know about how to get medical marijuana in Iowa. (Skip to that part)

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Marijuana products available in Iowa

Iowa is growing the same marijuana strains you would find in Colorado, Michigan and other states. In fact, Bud & Mary’s is the creator of the #1 selling vape brand in Colorado. That product is also available in Iowa.

Local strains include Blueberry Bakery, Screaming Gorilla, and Emerald OG. You might expect the names to sound more scientific, but these names were actually well known before cannabis was legal in some states in the USA. The only difference is, now they’re being sold legal.

Iowa-made medical marijuana vape pens, tablets, and oil sit on a table.
Marijuana products available in Iowa including vape and tablet options. Photo courtesy: Bud & Mary’s

Bud & Mary’s is currently operating in Colorado and Michigan but currently does not sell edibles or gummies. They sell vape, sugar wax (also inhaled), oil to be consumed orally, cream you can apply topically, and they sell tablets you can take orally. All of these forms have various levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) without THC.

Nelson shared their desire to sell edible, new flavor options, and flower forms in the future, but right now these aren’t legal to sell.

Is recreational marijuana legal in Iowa?

Currently, marijuana isn’t legal for recreational use in the state of Iowa, according to Nelson. It’s legal only for medical purposes with physician approval. There are a three reasons for this in his opinion.

Tax revenue: States like Illinois are desperate for new revenue, and may have moved to legalize faster because of the additional tax revenue. Because Iowa has a surplus, the tax revenue motivation isn’t as strong.

No grassroots: Currently in Iowa there are no grassroots efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

No ballot measures: Because there is no strong grassroots movement to legalize recreational marijuana in Iowa, there are no pending ballot measures that would allow Iowa voters to vote on legalization.

Read below to understand how to get medical marijuana in Iowa.

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Why did MedPharm change its name to Bud & Mary’s?

Earlier, Bud & Mary’s went by the name MedPharm, but to align the national brand in Colorado and Michigan, they wanted to find a name more appealing, and not aligned with what looks like a pharmaceutical company—obviously, they don’t sell pharmaceuticals.

What are Iowans using medical marijuana for?

Medical marijuana vape pen, made in Iowa, fitting into a jean pocket.
Medical marijuana vape pen made in Iowa. Photo courtesy Bud & Mary’s

Nelson says Iowans are using medical cannabis primarily for chronic pain, mental pain, PTSD, people with anxiety, people using cannabis to deal with pain resulting from cancer treatment.

It’s fascinating Nelson uses the term “mental pain.” Many people don’t fully understand the strength of neurological pain, but only what’s only physically visible from the outside.

They are also seeing patients have success with treating Parkinson’s symptoms and MS conditions. They are also treating people with seizures. So, you may want to know how to get medical marijuana in Iowa, right?

How to get medical marijuana in Iowa

To get medical marijuana in Iowa, there’s a very straightforward process to follow:

  1. If you have a condition that you believe qualified for medical cannabis, go to your doctor. They are eligible to certify you. (If your doctor is uncomfortable, you can find a list of providers that are cannabis friendly. Find The List »
  2. Upon approval, the prescribing physician will direct you to fill a form online at The Office of Medical Cannabidiol of public health’s website. That process starts here »
  3. The state of Iowa has phased out the card system, and presently uses a databased tied to your state-issued ID.
  4. Once approved, you can go to a local dispensary and get what you need. You may get approved as quickly as 24-48 hours. Find an Iowa dispensary »

Lucas Nelson discusses the details at the 27:30 time mark. If you have any questions, Bud & Marys has a very thorough and well designed FAQ page here.

Will using medical marijuana void life insurance?

Will using medical marijuana void your life insurance policy or prohibit you from getting one? In some cases, yes. This is why it’s crucial to reach out to your insurance provider ahead of time. After the interview Nelson said they always encourage you to approach your provider to ask. If they say no, you should find a different company to work with who respects you and your doctors decision.

If you want to explore how to get medical marijuana in Iowa, it’s wise to call your insurance company as well.

Lucas Nelson, of Bud & Mary’s

Lucas Nelson, Group President of Bud & Mary’s

Lucas Nelson is the group President of Bud & Mary’s. You can learn more about Bud & Mary’s by going to their website, They also have additional resources on how to get medical marijuana in Iowa.

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