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CBD in Iowa: Official State Guide

CBD in Iowa

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The legalization of Marijuana in all 50 states is an ongoing debate. According to the NCL (National Conference of State Legislatures), 36 states and four territories allowed medical marijuana as of May 18, 2021. 

In particular, the buzz creator is CBD (cannabidiol), a marijuana extract known to not only treat conditions such as depression, pain, and seizures. Additionally, it is a component of cosmetic products

Are you wondering about the legality and marijuana laws in Iowa? We have all the answers. 

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Is CBD Legal in Iowa? (Laws and Regulations)


CBD Legality




No, CBD is not legal in Iowa, and its possession, sale, or purchase can lead to prosecution and arrest. The people who do qualify are patients registered with Iowa’s medical marijuana program.

They can purchase CBD products from five state-approved dispensaries. 

CBD Laws in Iowa

The following timeline states the laws and regulations for CBD regulation in the state of Iowa.

Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act

In 2014, the Iowa Legislature passed the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act, also known as Senate File (SF) 2360. The act allowed state residents suffering from intractable epilepsy to use CBD products containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Despite an existing law, residents had no access to CBD products within the state.

The Medical Cannabidiol Act was revised in 2017 when Governor Terry Branstad signed House File (HF) 524 to allow the use of medical marijuana. The law authorized the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to develop a regulatory scheme to support the production and sale of CBD. 

The law also authorized the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to assign a medical cannabidiol registration card to qualifying patients, allowing them to purchase CBD products from state-licensed dispensaries legally.

The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill passed in 2018 recognized hemp as an agricultural commodity and allowed its cultivation, growth, and manufacture. The bill led to the legalization of hemp under federal law as long as the products carried less than 0.3% of THC.

Iowa Hemp Act

In May 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF 599, also known as the Iowa Hemp Act. The law tasked the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to draft an industrial CBD plan.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the plan and authorized IDALS to command CBD product management within Iowa. 

In July 2019, Attorney General Thomas Miller declared the use of CBD products illegal for those not suffering from a medical condition. The law prohibited any possession, sale, or purchase of CBD within the state.


Later governors made changes to Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Program with HF 2589. 

On June 20, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Act, in which he replaced the 0.3% THC limit with a 4.50 gms THC purchase limit every 90 days. The changes came into effect on July 1, 2020. 

However, terminally ill patients and those certified by their healthcare practitioners for additional THC use are exempt from the law. 

Through HF 2589, the responsibility of issuing registration cards went from DOT to IDPH.

Iowa CBD Possession Limits

Only medical marijuana patients with a qualifying medical condition and a valid medical cannabidiol registration card are legally allowed CBD possession. The product must contain less than 0.3% THC and be purchased from a licensed dispensary. 

CBD products are only permitted through oral or transdermal means, and smoking or vaping is prohibited.

How to Get a Medical Card in Iowa

Acquiring a medical marijuana card isn’t a complex process. You can apply for the card if you’re 18+ years and suffer from a qualifying condition. 

  1. Download and print a copy of the healthcare practitioner certification form and book an appointment with your doctor or licensed physician. 
  2. Provide your medical records and ask your doctor or the physician to fill and submit the application on your behalf. 
  3. Once certified, fill out the patient registration form.
  4. You will be notified via email upon approval. Then head to your nearest Iowa Driver License Station (DMV) and ask for a printout of your card. 

To summarize, your application must include the following:

  • A complete healthcare practitioner certification form with your doctor’s or physician’s signature.
  • A complete adult patient registration form.
  • Your photo ID for verification. You can also submit your valid Iowa driver’s license or a non-operators card.
  • The accompanying fees.

At first, one had to mail the application to the IDPH, but now you can also apply online. The wait time for your card to arrive in the mail is two to four weeks.

In Iowa charges for an MMJ card are $100, but some patients may qualify for a reduced payment of $25. If you wish to apply for the discount, submit the following documentation:

  • Your Social Security Disability Benefit Notice 
  • Supplemental Security Income Payment receipt as proof
  • Iowa Medicaid Membership Card
  • Hawk-I member card

The MMJ card stays valid for a year. To apply for a new card, you will have to repeat the entire process and pay the associated fees. It costs around $200 for a doctor’s consultation in Iowa.

Eligibility Criteria

Your MMJ card eligibility depends on the diagnosis of any of the following illnesses by your doctor or a licensed physician. 

  • Untreatable pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Terminal illness
  • Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Seizures
  • Cancer

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Finding Marijuana Dispensaries in Iowa

Currently, the authorized facility for marijuana growth in the state of Iowa is MedPharm. Initially, five dispensaries were operating in Iowa, but two of them have shut down.

Patients can now avail marijuana through their MMJ cards from the following three dispensaries:

Iowa Cannabis Company:

  • Waterloo // Iowa Cannabis Company | 1955 La Porte Rd.

MedPharm Iowa

  • Windsor Heights // MedPharm Iowa | 7229 Apple Valley Dr.
  • Sioux City // MedPharm Iowa | 5700 Sunnybrook Dr.

The list of CBD products sold at these dispensaries is present on their websites. To make a purchase, registered patients need to call and book an appointment.


How old do you have to be to buy CBD in Iowa?

In Iowa, a person must be over the age of 18 years to use hemp-derived CBD products. Whether you purchase the products from a local store or online, the state has legal limitations on CBD products. 

The state is very strict when it comes to the percentage of THC and the approved limit.

How much cannabis can I grow at home?

Cultivation of marijuana in the home for medical or recreational purposes is illegal. Even patients holding a medical marijuana card are not allowed to grow cannabis, even with a low THC percentage. 

Furthermore, there’s no indication of any allowance for cultivation in the near future.

Where can I use my Marijuana?

Illegal possession of cannabis as a first offense can result in a $1000 fine and up to six months in prison. The second offense accounts for $1,875 in fines and one year jail time, whereas a third offense leads to two years behind bars and $6,250 in fines.

How can I obtain a grow license in Marijuana?

To cultivate hemp on Iowa's land, a person requires a state permit. Farmers must acquire the proper license to grow hemp plants. They must ensure the hemp plants growing on their farms contain less than 0.3% of THC. 

If the plants contain more THC than the allowed limit, the crops will be deemed illegal by the state and destroyed. 

Those who wish to obtain a license will have to undergo a criminal record check. Once the criminal record shows no illegal activity, the farmer is eligible to apply for permits to cultivate marijuana legally.

After acquiring the license, farmers must inform the department of agriculture and land stewardship to evaluate their cultivation for levels of THC. The test costs $1000 and must be carried out 30 days before the harvest action of the hemp crops.

License Requirements

Individuals looking to apply for a hemp license require an authorized representative who will carry out the entire process and communicate with the IDALS on the applicant's behalf. The authorized representative has to be an individual and not a business entity.

The information included in the application:

  • Name, title, home address, phone number, and email address of the representative and applicant(s). 
  • The name of the business and address
  • Description of the place where cultivation will take place
  • The geographical location of the site
  • Map of the cultivation site with its boundaries and names of varieties intended for growth
  • How the license holder will destroy the crop if the department finds the THC amount more than the allowed limit.

Next Steps

Although the state of Iowa imposes strict rules for possession, sale, and purchase of CBD, you can still get hold of it if you qualify as an MMJ patient. All you need to do is complete the application form and wait for your card to arrive.

If you want to grow hemp plants, make sure to acquire a state-approved hemp license and follow the guidelines to successfully cultivate your plants.

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Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by admin


About the author 

Justin Powell

Justin Powell founded Hemp For Future to give direct answers to many of the questions surrounding THC, CBD, and everything in between. He’s been at the forefront of CBD advocacy for years, and as the go-to guru for many people, he decided to pour all his knowledge into Hemp For Future. He’s here to tell you about the best CBD gummies, how to stay under the legal THC allowance, and the core differences between commercial and in-home marijuana growth.

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