Second medical marijuana manufacturing license awarded

Cedar Rapids will be the site of Iowa’s second medical marijuana manufacturing facility, city officials confirmed Friday.

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced Friday it intends to award the license to Iowa Relief LLC. The company is subsidiary of New Jersey-based Acreage Holdings, which already grows, processes or dispenses medical marijuana in 12 states, according to its website.

Jasmine Almoayed, economic development manager for the city, who helped with the application, confirmed the license is for a new manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids. The plan calls for 20 “high quality jobs,” such as chemists and researchers in a new construction facility at 1420 26th Ave. Ct. SW off Wilson Avenue and 12th Street SW.

“It’s 21 new jobs, manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, it will be good for the people of Iowa, and it makes sense for Iowa’s second largest city to have a plant,” City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said.

Iowa Relief joins MedPharm Iowa, of Des Moines, as the two licensed manufacturers of medical marijuana. MedPharm, which got its license in December, must have products including cannabis oil, cream, gels and suppositories ready to sell by Dec. 1.

Iowa Relief has until July 1, 2019.

Products will be sold at five licensed dispensaries, in Waterloo, Davenport. Council Bluffs, Windsor Heights and Sioux City.

Iowa Relief was one of two companies that expressed interest in opening a manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids, officials said.

Iowa Cannabis Company had asked for and received the city’s endorsement for a facility here, but that firm was not chosen.

Almoayed said Friday she wasn’t sure where the Iowa Relief plant would be located in Cedar Rapids, but she said she expected work would begin shortly with a quick turnaround to meet the state’s deadline to be operational. She noted an email had circulated

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