SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As cannabidiol and marijuana laws are changing rapidly across the country, several Iowa lawmakers spoke out at the capitol Friday, encouraging their fellow lawmakers to make changes to the state’s medical cannabis program they say is falling behind.

MedPharm Iowa’s, Rachel Cass says, “I don’t really know why we are so far behind. Iowa is one of the strictest states.”

While Iowa is one of 33 states with medical cannabis programs, Cass says there are still various fundamental barriers that prevent patients from receiving treatment.

Patients like Siouxlander Madison Boehme who suffer from chronic pain doesn’t qualify for drugs containing THC.

“I’m on like a drug cocktail in order to sleep every night. And that’s not healthy for me,” says Boehme.

Two Iowa lawmakers hosted a news conference at the state capitol Friday, advocating for lawmakers to make some major changes to the state’s medical cannabis program that will help give more Iowans access to care.

Senator Joe Bolkcom says, “The medicine is too expensive and ineffective for most people. There are only five dispensaries, none located in rural Iowa. Getting approval as a patient to buy the medicine is difficult and bureaucratic.”

Earlier this year, a bill that would expand Iowa’s program passed, but was quickly vetoed by Governor Kim Reynolds, saying the proposed THC limit on was not strict enough.

“I’ve been on a lot of different drugs that have far worse side effects than CBD with THC would ever have,” says Boehme.