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Iowa Health Department Issues First Medical Marijuana Producer License

A new Des Moines company is expected to become Iowa’s first legal producer of medical marijuana products.

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that it intends to issue a license to MedPharm Iowa, which would produce medications derived from cannabis plants. Department spokeswoman Polly Carver-Kimm said MedPharm’s permit is expected to be the sole production license the state issues under a new law allowing production and distribution of medical marijuana products in Iowa.

MedPharm Iowa is owned by Chris Nelson, who is the president of Kemin Industries. Kemin is a large company producing food ingredients and supplements that it ships around the world.

 “With the creation of MedPharm Iowa, we will use our innovative expertise and experience with scientifically sound research to assist those dealing with chronic pain, cancer, debilitating diseases and possibly help alleviate the opioid epidemic in Iowa,”  Nelson said in a news release. The company plans to set up a production and manufacturing facility for medical cannabis products at Kemin’s campus south of downtown Des Moines. Under the state law, it must start providing products by Dec. 1, 2018.

The health department later would approve permits for distributors of the products MedPharm Iowa makes. The new company is associated with MedPharm Colorado, which specializes in such products. [Read more at Des Moines Register]

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