What is the Health Care Practitioner Certification? And Primary Caregiver Designation?

To possess and/or use medical cannabidiol in Iowa, patients and primary caregivers must have Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards.  To receive a card, patients and primary caregivers must submit applications to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).  The applications submitted to IDPH must include a written certification signed by the patient’s health care practitioner that the patient has a qualifying debilitating medical condition, and designation by the health care practitioner of the patient’s primary caregiver(s), if any. 

A health care practitioner, defined as an individual licensed under chapter 148 to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery, may provide, but has no duty to provide, a certification for a Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card.  A health care practitioner who agrees to provide such certification, is required to do all of the following:

  • Determine, in the health care practitioner’s medical judgment, whether the patient whom the health care practitioner has examined and treated, suffers from a debilitating medical condition that qualifies for the use of medical cannabidiol and, if so determined, provide the patient with a written certification of that diagnosis by completing the health care practitioner sections of the Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card application forms;
  • Designate a patient’s primary caregiver(s), if any, as a necessary caretaker taking responsibility for managing the well-being of the patient with respect to the use of medical cannabidiol;
  • Provide explanatory information from IDPH to the patient about the therapeutic use of medical cannabidiol and the possible risks, benefits, and side effects of the proposed treatment;
  • Determine, on an annual basis, if the patient continues to suffer from a qualifying debilitating medical condition and, if so, issue a new certification; and
  • Otherwise comply with all requirements established by IDPH pursuant to rule.

Information Sheet for Patients