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Branstad signs cannabis oil, HIV bills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed five bills on Friday, enacting into law significant policy changes for the state including a bill that legalizes the use of cannabis oil to treat severe epilepsy. Another bill lessens the penalties for people who unknowingly expose someone to HIV.

Branstad still has large pieces of the state budget on his desk with a deadline of today to act on them.

Dozens of mothers and their children with epilepsy gathered for the cannabis oil bill signing.

“This bill received tremendous support and truly shows the power of people talking to their legislators and their governor about important issues to them and their families and their children,” he said.

The law, which takes effect July 1, narrowly allows the use of oil derived from the cannabis plant if it’s prescribed by an Iowa neurologist for a form of epilepsy.