FIRST LOOK: Inside tour of Iowa's medical cannabis manufacturer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FIRST LOOK: Inside tour of Iowa's medical cannabis manufacturer MedPharm

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

In a few short weeks cannabis will be grown right here in Iowa. The marijuana will be grown at MedPharm, a manufacturing plant in Des Moines and eventually cannabis oil and other forms will be sold in eastern Iowa.

Five dispensaries will be popping up in Iowa, in Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Davenport and Windsor Heights.

MedPharm is the only licensed manufacturer of medical cannabis in the state .Cannabis will be grown and turned into oil and other forms at the plant. It will then be packaged, labeled and sent to one of the five locations.

Right now, the sounds of construction fill MedPharm, it doesn't look like much now, but soon several rooms will be full of marijuana.

"The mother room is where it holds the plants that are going to be in production for the rest of the facility, they are the plants that are high in THC or CBD or a combination of both," said Nick TeBockhorst, Plant Production Associate. "We want to keep the mother plants or original plants alive in the room behind us."

The plants will grow in a few different rooms for about 20 weeks, then they will be made into medical cannabis products.

"We've got tinctures, which is basically an oil dropper, we've also got soft gels and transdermal cream that is really effective for localized pain," said Lucas Nelson, MedPharm Consultant.

MedPharm is hoping the legislature will change a few things to help the new business run smoothly, including changing the cap on THC, which is the component in marijuana that creates a "high" and changing the legal definition of pain.

"These patients across the state are expecting certain benefits from the products, without some of these legislative tweaks we are afraid that these patients are going to be disappointed and not receive the benefits they need," said Nelson.

For those who are skeptical Nelson says it's important to remember the cannabis MedPharm produces is medicine.

"I think one of the first things is understanding this is a medicine, it's not the common street drug that some of us knew growing up," said Nelson. "There really are medical benefits for some of the compounds in the plant and research backs that up."

Even though construction is ongoing at MedPharm in Des Moines, they plan to start growing the plants in the next couple of weeks, while they finish up building the facility.

Patients need to be issued a medical cannabidiol registration card to be able to buy the products from the dispensaries, right now around 300 Iowans are already approved. Products will be available this December.

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