Iowa has always been a hotbed of political activity. The host of the first democratic caucus during presidential election years, consumers in Iowa are consistently interested in contributing to the political dialogue in their state.
The growing debate on marijuana and related products has been no exception when it comes to the dialogue created by concerned citizens. At the urging of concerned parties all over the state, Iowa continues to evaluate and restructure their regulatory system for cannabis and CBD products.
Despite the increasing dialogue on the issue, Iowa has still not legalized any form of medical or recreational marijuana. However, the state has still made it possible for CBD users to access products derived from the cannabis plant—as long as they contain a minimal amount of THC by weight. House File 524 states that Iowa citizens may possess CBD products as long as the products fail to exceed 3% THC content.
This is a larger limit than most states offer, allowing Iowans to access a wider variety of CBD products than they might be able to access otherwise.
When it comes to hemp, states that have legalized the substance may have adopted their regulations for cultivation, possession, and transportation. Because of the way each state treats the substance can vary, it may be beneficial to understand the regulations that each one applies to the substance. This general overview covers hemp regulations in Iowa.
CBD Cannabis Law – House File 524
CBD derived from the cannabis law falls under the jurisdiction of House File 524, which is explained above. If a CBD product is derived from the cannabis plant, it is legal for Iowa citizens to possess only if it has a THC content of below three percent. THC is the chemical in marijuana which induces the “high” that many users experience. CBD from the cannabis plant typically contains a far higher concentration of THC than CBD derived from industrial hemp, so users need to know the difference between the two.
Additionally, the state only allows individuals to possess cannabis-derived CBD if they have written permission from a healthcare professional. This means that consumers must have a debilitating condition and acquire a recommendation for medical cannabis oil from their physician or healthcare provider. Iowa's Medical Cannabidiol Board is also debating adding PTSD and Alzheimer’s as treatable conditions.
Hemp CBD is legal in Iowa for all consumers over the age of eighteen, as is the case in most states. The CBD must have below .03% THC by weight, and users can purchase it from a variety of stores and shops anywhere in the state. There are few restrictions placed on low-THC CBD, which does not induce a high and will not show up on most modern drug tests.
The state still has a long way to go before a full CBD market is available to consumers. However, Iowa still offers low-THC CBD products relatively easily to consumers.
Iowa Senate Bill 599
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Ownership’s (Department) website indicates that Iowa Senate 599, also known as the state’s hemp bill, passed the state senate and house of representatives in 2019. It was subsequently signed into law on May 13, 2019, by Governor Reynolds. Under the bill, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is tasked with developing a plan for the licensing and regulation of hemp production.
Once the plan is developed, the Department will submit it to the USDA for approval. According to the website, the production of hemp will likely not be legalized until the 2020 growing season “at the earliest.” So, it appears that it will be some time before hemp production can commence in the state.
Further, several points are apparent from the website. For example, The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Stewardship is responsible for the production of hemp and to grow hemp, farmers must receive a license from the same department. Further, hemp plants are those that have a level of 0.3% THC or less, and plants that have a level above 0.3% THC are considered controlled substances and must be destroyed.
Besides, not all hemp products can be legally produced in the state. As we mentioned above, the recreational use of marijuana and over the counter sale of CBD is not legal in the state, according to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website.
Hemp Licensing Applications
Those who apply for a hemp license in the state must meet certain requires. Such requirements can be found on the Department’s website. A few of the requirements include, but are not limited to, submitting fingerprints for an FBI national criminal history record check.
Once individuals are cleared and have received their license, they must meet pre-harvest requirements before growing the hemp. A few of the pre-harvest requirements include, but are not limited to, notifying the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at least 30 days in advance so that it may sample and test the THC levels.
If it is determined that the product has over 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, the product will be destroyed. There are also costs associated with a pre-harvest inspection. For instance, according to the Department’s website, the inspection has a base fee charge of $1,000 for the inspection and pre-test harvest.
Once the product has been inspected, tested, and has received a certificate of crop inspection, it can be transported with a certificate of crop inspection that covers the harvested hemp, a bill of lading that meets the required information, along with the name of the owner of the hemp, and a point of delivery. The Department’s website also explains the conditions of transportation where the hemp originates out of state and hemp seed transportation.
More information and more detailed information for this section and those above can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or guidance. But simply general information. It is best to stay abreast of federal law and the law in one’s state and individuals are responsible for their own decisions concerning CBD and marijuana.