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Is CBD Legal in Iowa?
With mixed marijuana legalization in Iowa, the Hawkeye state’s cannabis laws are currently some of the most limiting and confusing in the country. If you are an Iowa resident looking to utilize the healing properties of cannabis, what should you do? Since cannabis in Iowa is not yet decriminalized, CBD might be the next best step toward better wellness in this midwest state.
So is CBD legal in Iowa? How can you start your cannabis journey in Iowa?
Elevate Holistics is here to dive into the state’s CBD complexities and teach you how to get your hands on CBD in Iowa. Iowa may be a bit behind the times but we’re here to help you get ahead.
What is CBD?
First of all, what is CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is one of marijuana’s non-psychoactive compounds, meaning that, unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high.
Cannabidiol is known for its therapeutic benefits like pain and inflammation reduction, anxiety and depression relief, and sleep aid among many other perks.
CBD and other cannabis compounds embody extremely diverse and effective healing properties.
So, who should consider CBD? CBD could be a beneficial option for:
- First-time consumers who just want to dip their toes into cannabis
- Those who desire the healing benefits of cannabis without the high
- Patients who want to try holistic healing rather than chemical-based pharmaceuticals
- Patients with any physical or mental ailment that other treatments are failing to improve
How to Get CBD in Iowa
Is CBD legal in Iowa? Yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Medical marijuana in Iowa has mixed legality and unique guidelines limiting THC amounts and what form you can purchase CBD in.
Since CBD oil in Iowa is legal, who can purchase it? Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Program allows residents to apply for a “medical cannabidiol registration card.”
The program states that permanent residents at least 18 years of age might qualify for medical Iowa cannabidiol if their doctor certifies they have a “Qualifying Debilitating Medical Condition.”
So, what are these conditions?
What Medical Conditions Qualify for CBD Oil Use in Iowa?
Iowa’s qualifying medical conditions are pretty strict, sometimes even adding conditions to the qualifying conditions.
The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program lists the following as its Qualifying Medical Conditions:
: if the illness or its treatment produces severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia, or severe wasting.
- Seizures with severe and persistent muscle spasms (as defined in Iowa Code, section 141A.1) (ALS) (PTSD)
- Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year: if the illness or its treatment produces severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting
- Severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
- Severe, intractable autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
- Corticobasal Degeneration
Iowa CBD laws
With CBD oil legal in Iowa, is marijuana legal? Medical marijuana is technically legal in Iowa but with added difficulties.
It all started in 2014 when Iowa lawmakers passed the Medical Cannabidiol Act. This act legalized CBD products with 3% THC or less to treat patients with intractable epilepsy but made no provision for purchasing it
These Iowa cannabis laws weren’t cutting it. In 2017, Governor Terry Branstad passed House File 524 which added more qualifying conditions, legalized licensed cultivation of medical marijuana in the state, and allowed dispensaries to begin opening in December 2018.
In 2020, House File 2589 added more qualifying conditions and upped the amount of THC allowed in CBD products.
Now, patients are allowed 4.5 grams of THC in their cannabis products every 90 days. CBD Iowa, containing 3% THC or less, comes in oil tinctures, topicals, capsules, suppositories, nebulizable inhaled forms, and vapes.
Smokable cannabis products and edibles are illegal in Iowa.
Iowa marijuana laws state that recreational marijuana is still entirely illegal in the state. Iowa law enforcement will arrest individuals for possessing a small amount of marijuana as little as a joint.
First-offense possession is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine – one of the most severe first-offense penalties in the country.
According to the ACLU of Iowa, 55% of drug arrests in the state are marijuana-related. Cultivation and distribution of marijuana in Iowa could result in a felony.
Driving while under the influence of marijuana could result in a misdemeanor.
Iowa senators have been pushing for cannabis reform in the state but continue to get shut down. Without a citizen initiative process in Iowa, changing Iowa CBD laws would have to pass through the legislature first.
Do You Need a Prescription for CBD Iowa?
Does Iowa cannabidiol have to be prescribed to obtain it? Yes, patients must obtain an Iowa medical marijuana card to be prescribed CBD oil in Iowa.
If a patient has one or more of the state’s qualifying conditions, they are welcome to apply online for a card.
The state fee is $100, but only $25 for Medicaid members and other beneficiaries of government assistance. Minor patients under 18 years of age and any adult patients who need a caregiver must complete a separate caregiver registration application. A $25 caregiver fee applies. All Iowa medical marijuana cards are valid for one year.
And what about the amount of product prescribed? For most people, the 4.5 grams of THC per 90 days purchase limit applies.
There are two exceptions to that rule:
- A healthcare practitioner may indicate more THC per 90-days at the time of certification for any patient certified for a terminal illness.
- If the patient’s original healthcare practitioner certifies them for additional THC after the patient has participated in the program.
For more information, visit our Iowa FAQ cannabis page.
Where to Buy CBD Products in Iowa
So you’re interested in purchasing CBD in Iowa, but where do you go? Residents can find trustworthy CBD oil Iowa at MedPharm Iowa locations, Iowa’s only manufacturer of cannabis products.
Iowans will also find CBD products in local vape shops, hemp stores, and other wellness shops. Most importantly, regardless of where you get your cannabidiol Iowa:
- Make sure that the CBD product has been third-party tested to ensure it’s the real deal. Third-party testing confirms that the product contains what it says it does and that it doesn’t contain any contaminants.
- Look for full or broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD means that it contains all of the cannabis plant’s wonderful compounds, like cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds synergistically work together to promote more extensive healing, known as the entourage effect. Full-spectrum CBD will contain a small amount of THC (0.3% or less), but it won’t get you high. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all cannabis compounds besides THC.
- If you’re a first-time THC consumer, consume cannabis products that contain a higher level of THC with caution. Products with higher levels of THC can provide added therapeutic benefits but might at first induce a bit of anxiety for those that are anxiety-prone.
Iowa Cannabidiol Dispensary
What’s a good Iowa cannabidiol dispensary? The safest Iowa cannabidiol dispensary is partnered with the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program and has five locations across the state.
MedPharm Iowa, recently rebranded as Bud & Mary’s, offers Aliviar brand tinctures, creams, capsules, and vapes.
These cannabis products are available at dispensaries in Sioux City, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Windsor Heights, and Iowa City. When getting your cannabis products from Bud & Mary’s, you know that your products have been thoroughly third-party tested and contain the healing benefits they claim to boast.
Over-the-counter CBD products outside of Iowa’s five licensed dispensaries have not been FDA-approved.
If you are unable to visit dispensaries yourself, you can apply for the state to pair you with an Iowa cannabis caregiver – someone who picks up and delivers your cannabis products to you.
A medical cannabis caregiver can be someone of your choosing or someone the state assigns.
Another option is to find a credible online CBD retailer. Hemp-derived CBD containing 0.3% THC or less is legal to ship in all 50 states.
Hemp, versus the cannabis Sativa plant, naturally contains lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD and is federally legal.
Get Your Medical Card With Elevate Holistics
So is CBD legal in Iowa? Yes, but patients must obtain an Iowa medical marijuana card. Luckily, there’s no need to look any further – Elevate Holistics is ready to help you every step of the way to getting your Iowa CBD card.
Elevate Holistics offers a hassle-free, safe way to get your medical marijuana card.
Through our fully online process, you can even book a same-day virtual doctor’s appointment for med card approval.
Is CBD Legal in Iowa? (2022 CBD Laws)
The Hawkeye State honed in on CBD laws in 2020, making hemp products with up to 0.3% THC legal.
So, yes, CBD is legal in Iowa. It’s gotta be made from hemp and not exceed the 0.3% THC limit, though. Iowa also has a medical cannabis program. The state’s strict laws prohibit marijuana use.
Iowa CBD Laws At A Glance
When it comes to CBD in Iowa, it’s good to know what’s what. Like feathers, stick these in your cap for easy recall:
• Hemp-derived, USDA-compliant CBD products with up to 0.3% CBD are legal.
• You can shop for CBD locally or online.
• Medicinal CBD is legally available for medical cannabidiol registration cardholders.
• The maximum amount of THC that can be a patient’s 90-day supply of CBD product is 4.5 grams.
• Recreational marijuana is illegal. Penalties include criminal charges and hefty fines.
Is CBD Legal in Iowa?
While they may have been reluctant to legalize CBD in Iowa at first, it’s approved and widely available now. The legalization of CBD in Iowa was long anticipated — some might even say overdue considering the 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp products legal. So, for a time, it remained illegal to sell, purchase, or possess CBD in the state, even though Uncle Sam said it was a-okay.
IA is still holding back on recreational marijuana or decriminalization. Its medical marijuana program was modified. However, this may have resulted in many patients having access to less medicinal CBD than they previously had available to them.
Here’s the short version of notable hemp and cannabis laws in Iowa.
- Considering the slow adoption of federal-legal hemp CBD, it may come as no surprise that Iowa has stringent marijuana laws. Marijuana has been outlawed since 1923 and hasn’t made a comeback.
- Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Act, aka SF 2360, passed in 2014. It legalized CBD products with 3% or less THC by weight for patients with intractable epilepsy.
- SF 2360 didn’t create a dispensary system for medical CBD, so patients had no way to legally obtain it. So, HF 524 was signed in 2017. It tasked the Iowa Department of Public Health with regulating the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol program.
- The 2018 Farm Bill didn’t change Iowa’s state law, which defined CBD as a controlled substance. This changed in 2019 with the passing of the Iowa Hemp Act. The act legalized the production of hemp, but sale, purchase, and possession were still a legal gray area. And, the act didn’t technically take effect until it was approved by the USDA in 2020.
- In 2020, CBD got the green light when HF 2581 specified stores could sell hemp products that don’t exceed 0.3% THC content. The hemp used in the products must comply with the Iowa Hemp Act and USDA regulation. So, no CBD in food, beverages, or dietary supplements. Smokable CBD products are specified as illegal and punishable by criminal charges.
Can You Buy CBD Products Legally In Iowa?
Iowa has given the green light CBD. You’re free to buy and use federally-sanctioned CBD products here.
This also means Iowans can shop online or locally for their CBD items. The good news is — between physical stores and virtual markets — tons of CBD shopping options are available. Just be sure to find a trustworthy retailer.
Can You Buy CBD At Brick & Mortar Stores?
CBD seems to be everywhere these days. You may spy it on the shelves of your nearest hemp shops, health and wellness shop, pharmacies, or other stores in Iowa. Which is awesome if you like to “look at products with your hands” or discuss them with (hopefully) knowledgeable staff. You really needn’t look elsewhere for your CBD products if you don’t want to.
Are you a medical cannabis shopper? If so, you should know that there’s one state-licensed medical cannabis manufacturer in the state, five licensed dispensaries, and a cap on how much THC can be in a patient’s 90-day supply.
Can You Buy CBD Online?
No need to stress if you’re looking for CBD in Iowa and don’t feel like hitting the local venues. Hemp-derived CBD oil with 0.0-0.3% THC can be legally mailed to the 50 states according to federal law. So, all you need to do is order your CBD online. Pretty easy, right? (And VERY convenient, too!)
You can safely purchase CBD online from Pure Craft. Need some inspiration? These high-quality CBD products are popular in your area:
Is CBD Oil Legal in Iowa? – August 2022
Iowa state law still classifies CBD under Schedule I controlled substances (4) . Thus, such products are illegal until the federal government approves Iowa ’s hemp plan.
Attorney General Thomas Miller issued the statement on hemp plants and CBD products in May 2020, clarifying to the public that CBD is illegal under Iowa law (5) .
Historically, the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act defined Schedule I drugs as substances with high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (6) .
The law included hemp, marijuana, and other cannabis plant varieties.
The 2018 Farm Bill redefined industrial hemp to remove it from the category and allowed its growth, cultivation, and manufacture (7) .
The revised definition of hemp made hemp-derived CBD products legal under federal laws , as long as the products contained less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) on a dry weight basis (8) .
The Farm Bill also tasked the United States Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) with regulating the labeling of CBD products .
Although such federal laws exist, the legality of using hemp products in Iowa remains limited to qualified citizens.
Iowa CBD Laws
The Iowa legislature passed Senate File (SF) 2360 or the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act in 2014 (9) .
The law allowed Iowans with intractable epilepsy to use CBD products with a THC content of less than 0.3%.
Although the act existed, residents had no way to purchase CBD products within the state of Iowa .
House File 524
Former Gov. Terry Branstad signed HF 524 or a revised version of the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act in 2017 to authorize the use of medical cannabis (10) .
This law assigned the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) with developing a framework to regulate the manufacture and sale of CBD.
The law also granted the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) the authority to issue a medical cannabidiol registration card to qualified patients.
Patients with a medical cannabidiol registration card may purchase CBD products legally from licensed dispensaries in Iowa.
Iowa Hemp Act (SF 599)
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed Senate File (SF) 599 or the Iowa Hemp Act in May 2019 (11) .
Through this law, the current governor assigned the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to draft an industrial hemp program.
By approving the draft, the United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) granted the IDALS the power to oversee hemp and CBD product regulation within the state.
House File 2589
Later on, lawmakers signed more amendments to Iowa ’s Medical Cannabidiol Program through HF 2589 (12) .
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law on June 29, 2020, which took effect on July 1, 2020.
This law removed the 0.3% THC limit on products and replaced it with a 4.50g THC purchase limit per 90 days.
The only exceptions to this amendment were terminally ill patients and those with healthcare practitioner s that certified them for additional THC use upon joining the program.
Other modifications included the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the conditions.
This law also redefined the scope of medical conditions that CBD was used for , from “untreatable pain” to “ chronic pain .”
HF 2589 also shifted the responsibility of issuing registration cards to the IDPH instead of the DOT.
Farmers and growers can apply for an Iowa hemp license to grow and cultivate hemp plants within the state through the IDALS Hemp Law (13) .
It is important to note that this commercial hemp production program does not legalize CBD consumption.
All individuals associated with the hemp industry must submit their fingerprints upon applying for a hemp license.
Associated individuals include:
- Those with at least 5% or more legal or equitable interest in hemp crops
- Those applying as a member of a business entity
- Key participants in an executive corporate entity
- An applicant appointed by the president or chancellor of an institution governed by the state board of regents
- An individual acting as the authorized representative for the hemp licensee
The IDALS also collect s license application fees once an individual submits their hemp license application.
|Acres||License Fee||Base Inspection Fee|
|0 to 5||$500 plus $5 per acre||$1,000|
|5.1 to 10||$750 plus $5 per acre||$1,000|
|10.1 to 40||$1,000 plus $5 per acre||$1,000|
More information on the application process is available at the Iowa Department of Agriculture website .
At the state level, laboratories must establish independent test methods and implement standard operating procedures for testing CBD products for cannabinoids , microbials, residual solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides (14) .
Based on Iowa ’s Hemp Law, apart from standard nonrefundable sampling fees, a hemp licensee must provide a pre-harvest notification to the IDALS through a published form at least 30 days before harvesting (15) .
Upon receipt of the pre-harvest notice, the IDALS schedule a sampling appointment with the licensee.
The licensee or an authorized representative then accompan ies the IDALS inspector at the crop site to produce official samples. The inspector collect s samples based on the following table (16) :
|Number of Acres||Number of Plants Sampled||Number of Acres||Number of Plants Sampled||Number of Acres||Number of Plants Sampled||Number of Acres||Number of Plants Sampled|
*If necessary for obtaining adequate samples, the IDALS inspector may take more than the minimum cuttings listed in the table.
More information on official hemp harvest sampling, testing, and timing is available at the Iowa Department of Agriculture website .
Buying CBD Legally
MedPharm Iowa is the only licensed CBD manufacturer within the state, per the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program (17) .
How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy
When choosing the best CBD products to buy in Iowa , customers should consider if the shops they plan to purchase from are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB gathers consumer reports and reviews on various businesses and only accredits credible entities (18) .
As of November 2020, only two CBD oil stores in Iowa are listed on the BBB site, both of which are not accredited by the BB B (19) :
- 50 Shades of Green
Council Bluffs, IA
Phone: (712) 326-1850
- Your CBD Store
Phone: (563) 676-1122
CBD oil comes in various forms. Standard CBD products include oil tinctures , CBD gummies , pills or capsules, topicals , and vape products.
The acceptable forms of medical CBD in Iowa are any of the following (20) :
- Oral forms – tablets, capsules, liquids, tinctures , and sublingual forms
- Topical forms – gels, ointments, creams, lotions , and transdermal patches
- Nebulized inhaled forms
- Suppositories – rectal and vaginal
Hemp quality is an important factor to consider in choosing CBD products since most of them are hemp-derived.
Individuals purchasing CBD products from licensed distributors in Iowa must look for the certificate of analysis (COA).
The COA is a document that third-party labs issue a CBD company to ensure that its products meet quality standards.
A COA contains a CBD product ’s cannabinoid profile and test results to see if they contain pesticides, bacteria, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
Where to Buy CBD Products Legally
Registered patients or their proxies may purchase CBD products in person from one of three licensed dispensaries in the s tate:
- Sioux City, IA
- Windsor Heights, IA
Iowa Cannabis Company
These dispensaries have lists of products on their websites. Registered patients may contact the nearest location to schedule appointments for making purchases.
How to Read CBD Labels and Packaging
Medical CBD products in Iowa must meet the state’s extensive labeling requirements (21) .
Per Iowa state regulations, CBD product labels must list the following details:
- Manufacturer’s name and address
- Primary active ingredients
- Directions for use
- The recommended amount and the maximum amount by age and weight
- Expiration date
- Storage instructions
Customers should seek CBD brands that comply with these labeling requirements to ensure that they are purchasing from a reliable source.
Some CBD brands include scannable QR codes on their products so customers can compare the labels with actual lab results.
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa plants, particularly hemp.
The three types of CBD are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and naturally occurring cannabinoids within the hemp plant .
Broad-spectrum CBD contains almost the same components as full-spectrum CBD, except THC .
Meanwhile, CBD isolates only contain cannabidiol after chemically separating the other components of the hemp plant .
What Is the Difference Between Hemp- and Marijuana-Derived CBD?
Both hemp and marijuana plants contain CBD.
CBD is more abundant in hemp plants , while THC is more abundant in marijuana plants.
Hemp-derived CBD has less than 0.3 % THC on a dry weight basis and is federally legal.
Marijuana-derived CBD contain s more than that THC amount, making such products illegal.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
Several studies have looked at the purported benefits of CBD oil .
Researchers observed that CBD has potential therapeutic benefits for Parkinson’s disease (22) , Crohn ’s disease (23) , and multiple sclerosis (24) .
Still, the US FDA has only one approved CBD treatment for epilepsy called Epidiolex (25) .
Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?
CBD has a good safety profile , according to the World Health Organization (26) . However, it may have potential adverse effects, including the following (27) :
- Liver damage
- Loss of appetite and gastrointestinal problems
- Mood changes
- Potential drug interactions
- Changes in alertness
- Dry mouth
Why Is CBD Oil Legal in the Other States?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation at the federal level. This law redefined hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC content .
Individual states have their interpretation of this law while adhering to FDA standards.
Retailers cannot market CBD as medication or dietary supplements , per FDA regulation.
Misdemeanors and failure to comply with federal law enforcement may result in corresponding fines.
Although the Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the cultivation of hemp in all 50 states at the federal level, CBD is still illegal in Iowa .
Iowans may only purchase medical CBD from licensed dispensaries within the state.
*The information shared in this article was based on findings retrieved on November 11, 2020. The legality and regulations for CBD may change without notice .