Residents of Clinton, Iowa have something new to gossip about this week after posters advertising Iowa’s first marijuana dispensary popped up. Although medical marijuana remains illegal under state law, freedom of speech still has it’s place and it seems that one Iowa resident has taken to the streets (and online) to spark controversy among this small town’s residents.
What seems to be more of an antic or concept of the future has certainly caught the attention of Iowa’s media outlets. The posters depict corn cobs assembled to form pot leaves and are marked with “IA Marijuana Co” at the top followed by a date; 10/01/15 at the bottom. Simple enough. A visit to the proposed dispensary’s website reveals plans for two more locations, one in Cedar Rapids and another in Iowa City, and even Google Maps street views of each location. The website even has a menu posted with 18 strains, several types of edibles, clones, concentrates, drinks and tinctures.
Currently, only the use of CBD oil for the treatment of epilepsy is permitted in the state with no laws yet in place for medicinal marijuana. With the tide shifting among Iowa voters towards a more Democratic stance, perhaps these ideals set forth by the folks behind Iowa Marijuana Company have a fighting chance for 2016. These posters may have already achieved their mission by starting a conversation about what legalized marijuana would look like in Iowa, but it won’t be happening in 2015.
Mixed emotions were captured from local residents by Iowa’s KWQC. “I’m definitely excited about it because I feel like economically it could do a lot for the state,” said Clinton resident Andrew Lots. “As long as it’s all done legally and that the State of Iowa has everything done by the books, I think it could be a really good thing just like tobacco or prohibition and alcohol for instance.”
Others, including a nearby pub owner James Hook expressed concern about what a dispensary might do to the neighborhood. Hook commented on the posters saying “I worry about the neighborhood. You know, this kind of business in a neighborhood, I don’t know. I don’t think it’d do well.” Seems odd coming from the owner of a bar. Brian Reafsnider, who lives directly across the street said, “If comes in what the heck. Pot’s everywhere. It wouldn’t bother me.”
The Iowa Marijuana company hasn’t broken any laws yet, but they have started an important dialogue in one of Iowa’s many small communities. There will certainly of more of these conversations to be had in anytown USA and we will be there to watch the story of legalization unfold.