The Quad City Times reports…

A Des Moines-based company will be the first and only in Iowa licensed by the state to grow marijuana and make medical products from it.

The Iowa Department of Public Health intends to give a cannabidiol manufacturing license to MedPharm Iowa, the company announced Tuesday. MedPharm Iowa is a newly formed company owned by Chris Nelson, president and chief executive officer of ingredient company Kemin Industries.

The Health Department has until Friday to formally issue a license, but the company announced its selection in advance of the deadline.

The manufacturing license comes out of an agreement earlier this year to vastly expand Iowa’s limited medical cannabis program.

In May, then-Gov. Terry Branstad signed a law calling for up to two state-licensed medical cannabis manufacturers.

The new law also expanded beyond chronic epilepsy the illnesses patients with a doctor’s prescription could treat with medical cannabis to include cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS or HIV and others.

In a news release, Nelson said “botanicals, including the cannabis plant, offer endless possibilities.”

“With the creation of MedPharm Iowa, we will use our innovative expertise and experience with scientifically sound research to assist those dealing with chronic pain, cancer, debilitating diseases and possibly help alleviate the opioid epidemic in Iowa,” Nelson said.

MedPharm Iowa will grow cannabis and manufacture medical cannabidiol in a facility located on Kemin’s Des Moines campus. Kemin uses rosemary and other plants to make ingredients for animal feed and the food industry.

MedPharm “will be investing millions of dollars” in Iowa and use intellectual property from Denver, Colo.-based MedPharm Colorado, it said in the release. Nelson is listed as one of that firm’s managing partners on its website.

It was not clear how much MedPharm Iowa plans to produce or in what forms.

Kemin spokeswoman Lauren Burt said the company “will serve the unmet needs in the marketplace for Iowans, and will produce the adequate amount to meet those needs.”

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