Davenport Among Five Iowa Cities Approved For Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

Photo Credit: Jordan Sellergren

A medical cannabis company with plans to operate a dispensary in Davenport is one of five firms the Iowa Department of Public Health intends to license, the state agency announced Tuesday.

Have a Heart Compassion Care received a pair of licenses to run facilities in Davenport and Council Bluffs; MedPharm Iowa won licenses for Windsor Heights and Sioux City; and Iowa Cannabis Company received a license for Waterloo.

The companies have until 9 a.m. Wednesday to accept the licenses.

The organizer of Have a Heart Compassion Care, or HAH IA LLC, is Marsha Siha of Houston, according to a document filed Feb. 7 with the Iowa Secretary of State. Other listed members of the company include Ryan Kunkel of Everett, Washington; Edward Mitchell of Seattle; Charles Boyden Jr. of Chico, California; and Todd Shirley of Seattle. The company’s registered agent is Legalinc Corporate Services Inc. in Des Moines.

Have a Heart owns six cannabis retail locations throughout Washington.

Iowa law allows license holders to produce and sell cannabidiol, or CBD, that has a tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, content of up to 3 percent. THC is the plant’s main psychoactive component that produces a “high.”

MedPharm Iowa in Des Moines, the state’s only licensed CBD manufacturer, met the minimum score to develop a location in Davenport, but the business was not awarded a license. Iowa Apothecarium applied for a dispensary license in Davenport, too, but it did not meet the state’s required minimum score.

Quad-City businessman Matt Stern, owner of Nature’s Treatment of Illinois, a medical cannabis retail shop in Milan, applied to build a dispensary in Eldridge, but the state did not identify his application as eligible or ineligible.

The health department opened the bidding process in January and closed it March 8 with the goal of awarding as many as five licenses by April 1. Seven entities submitted 21 applications to operate dispensaries in 11 cities, the agency reported.

The state received four proposals for potential sites in the Davenport area. An additional four applications were filed for Sioux City; three each for Des Moines and Council Bluffs; and one each for Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City, Urbandale, Waterloo and Windsor Heights. The companies paid a $5,000 fee for each application.

MedPharm Iowa must begin supplying dispensaries no later than Dec. 1, and dispensaries will begin selling product in early 2019.

As of March 22, a total of 327 patients and caregivers had been issued CBD cards, according to the health department.