Iowa is known for its picturesque rural landscapes and famous for its corn production. The state is also known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to many historical landmarks and museums. One thing it’s not famous for – is friendly weed laws. Is weed legal in Iowa? Nope. Except for under very unique circumstances. Let’s take a look at legal weed laws in the Hawkeye State.
Is Weed Legal in Iowa? Straight to the point.
- Recreational THC: No
- Medical THC: No
- CBD: Yes, medically
- Delta-8: No
Weed is Illegal in Iowa
Iowa introduced its version of a medical marijuana program in 2014, which initially only permitted the use of CBD oil with less than 3 percent THC content to treat pediatric epilepsy. However, in 2017, the program underwent expansion to cover other chronic health conditions as well.
Recently, in 2020, Iowa voted to increase the amount of THC that medical marijuana patients can purchase, allowing cardholders to buy up to 4.5 grams of THC within a 90-day period. Moreover, the state has taken measures to make medical marijuana more widely available to patients throughout the state who require it for treatment.
Weed is illegal in Iowa, except for these particular and limited medical conditions, and even then, only hemp-derived products. No marijuana is allowed. In fact, Iowa has some of the most oppressive weed laws in the country, even compared to strict states like South Carolina.
How to Get a CBD Prescription in Iowa
Unlike most states where CBD is readily available at health food stores and pharmacies, you need a card to obtain medically prescribed CBD oil in Iowa. You cannot smoke CBD flower or eat CBD edibles, but you can use CBD oil so long as a medical practitioner prescribes it to you. To learn more about the program, visit this website.
As the use of CBD and alternative cannabinoids becomes more prevalent, it’s essential to understand the legal landscape of these substances in each state. In Iowa, the legality of these products is strict, with all tetrahydrocannabinols, including Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC, being considered controlled substances under state law. This section explores the legality of various cannabinoids in Iowa, including CBD, Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, HHC, and HHC-O.
Is CBD legal in Iowa?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. In addition, CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products.
The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution.
Under Iowa law, hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC are allowed for patients with a cannabidiol card.
Is Delta-8 legal in Iowa?
Delta-8 THC is illegal in Iowa due to the state’s ban on tetrahydrocannabinols derived from all cannabis. While the substance exists within a legal loophole according to the Farm Bill, Iowa regulators have acted against it. Law enforcement will likely consider it an illegal substance until further notice.
Is Delta-10 legal in Iowa?
Delta-10 THC derived from hemp is not legal in Iowa, per the same rulings that outlawed Delta-8.
Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Iowa?
In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. This is because these compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers.
For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. However, advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.
However, all THC variants are illegal in Iowa.
Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Iowa?
Under the Iowa Hemp Act, all hemp-derived cannabinoids with intoxicating properties are subject to the same regulations as Delta-9 THC. So, yep, you guessed it – that means that HHC and HHC-O are illegal in Iowa.
It is illegal to grow cannabis in any amount in Iowa. See below for more information on penalties.
Where to Buy Weed in Iowa
As you may have imagined, there are incredibly limited channels for purchasing weed in Iowa.
Direct to Consumer
In Iowa, all tetrahydrocannabinols, including THC-O, Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC, are considered controlled substances under state law. Therefore, the direct-to-consumer sale and distribution of THC products, whether in the form of edibles, vape pens, or other consumables, are illegal in Iowa.
To buy medically approved CBD oil, patients can visit the one and only licensed retailer in the entire state.
Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.
Efforts to Legalize Weed in Iowa
Iowa is considering legalizing the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana for adults through Senate Joint Resolution 2003. This resolution proposes to let registered voters vote on whether or not to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over. The amendment is pending and would make it legal for adults to possess, grow, cultivate, process, manufacture, prepare, package, transfer, consume, and purchase cannabis or cannabis products. A recent poll indicates that most Iowa residents support recreational marijuana use legalization.
Where can you smoke weed in Iowa?
It is illegal to smoke weed in Iowa and not allowed anywhere.
Can you smoke weed in public in Iowa?
No, you cannot smoke weed in public in Iowa. Marijuana is illegal in the state, and smoking it publicly can have legal consequences.
Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ
What are the penalties for growing weed?
The penalties for growing weed in Iowa depend on the amount of marijuana being cultivated. The minimum incarceration time is five years, with fines up to $7,500. Maximum punishments can garner up to 25 years and $100,000 in fines.
What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?
The penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed vary by the amount of marijuana involved and the location of the transaction. Here are the penalties for each scenario:
Distribution or cultivation of 50 kilograms of marijuana or less is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $7,500 and up to five years of imprisonment.
Distribution or cultivation of more than 50 and up to 100 kilograms of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to 10 years of imprisonment.
Distribution or cultivation of more than 100 and up to 1,000 kilograms of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 25 years of imprisonment.
Distribution or cultivation of more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000,000 and up to 50 years of imprisonment.
Selling or distributing marijuana to a minor under t8 is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 25 years of imprisonment. Additionally, a mandatory minimum term of five years will apply.
Selling or distributing marijuana to a minor within 1,000 feet of a park, elementary school, middle school, or marked school bus is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 10 years of imprisonment. A mandatory minimum term of 10 years will also apply.
Transporting or importing marijuana into Iowa is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to 10 years of imprisonment.
It’s important to note that these penalties are subject to change and may vary depending on the circumstances of each case.
What is the penalty for selling to a minor?
The penalty for selling marijuana to a minor in Iowa is a felony, punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 25 years of imprisonment. In addition, a mandatory minimum term of five years will apply. If the sale to a minor occurs within 1,000 feet of a park, elementary school, middle school, or marked school bus, a mandatory minimum term of 10 years will apply.
What is possession with the intent to sell?
In Iowa, possession with intent to distribute marijuana is a felony offense with severe penalties. This means having more cannabis than what is considered reasonable for personal consumption, potentially exceeding legal limits. The punishment for possession with intent to distribute marijuana can range from a minimum of five years to a maximum of 50 years in prison, depending on the amount and circumstances of the offense. Additionally, fines and other legal consequences may also apply.
What are the penalties for possession for personal use?
If caught possessing any amount of marijuana for the first time in Iowa, it is considered a misdemeanor offense. It can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a maximum of six months imprisonment. A second offense carries a maximum fine of $2,560 and/or up to one year in prison. A third offense is considered an aggravated misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum fine of $8,540 and/or up to two years in prison. Chronic abusers of marijuana may also be sent to rehab.