CBD in Iowa
The Hawkeyes State’s CBD laws are confusing. And while CBD brands argue that it is legal to sell and buy CBD in the state, the laws are not so well-defined. So, what is it exactly?
Is CBD Oil Legal
CBD Oil could be Legal or Illegal in Iowa, means that there is no absolute answer. In fact, whether your bottle of CBD Oil is legal or not depends on the percentage of THC in the Oil.
What's Legal, What's Not!
For your bottle of CBD Oil to be legal in Iowa, it needs to be extracted from the Hemp part of the Cannabis plant. Also, the THC content in the oil shouldn’t be more than 0.3%.
If your bottle of CBD Oil comes from the Marijuana Part of the Cannabis plant, or it has more than 0.3% of THC by weight, it is Illegal.
The CBD oil that contains more than 0.3% of THC however can still be used by people who have a medical condition under certain restrictions.
CBD in Iowa can be used in many different types including as candy, sweets, salves, creams, pastes, sprays, liquid oil, capsules, tinctures, sublingual supplements as well as inhaling liquids through a vapor release pen that works like an e-cigarette.
Although CBD Oil is easily available almost everywhere in the state, the Iowa Department of Public Health on their website states that the retail sales as well as manufacturing of even the hemp derived CBD product is governed by federal law and not by them.
The FDA has approved only some of the food ingredients for human and animal consumption that are derived from hemp but they have not approved CBD derived from marijuana.
They also do not recognize CBD as a dietary supplement and hence as per their definition its usage in any health products or supplements is illegal. They further warn Iowa state residents that as the state law cannot preempt federal law any and all such people who are engaged in the manufacture, sale and/or purchase of CBD products even if derived from hemp should be careful of their actions under both Iowa and Federal laws.
The Senate bill 2360 that came into effect from 2015, allows residents of Iowa with a medical condition, to possess and use of CBD products that have been derived from industrial hemp and has up to 3% THC.
But this higher dose is allowed only to the people with a medical condition and for the treatment of intractable epilepsy only through a written recommendation of a neurologist. No doctor can allow usage of these cannabis products and can only recommend it under the law. The bill further states that this higher dosage should be obtained from an out of state source and is again only ‘recommended’ for oral use as a capsule, drops and vapors. This transportation of cannabis products though is an illegal activity as per the law across state lines and also there are ethical issues being raised by a group who are championing for their usage for children who have epilepsy.
In 2017 the law was further expanded to allow usage of CBD for the treatment of various other health problems like chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, Aids, cancer, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many more. The effectiveness of CBD in treating cancer is still an on-going medical debate and is awaiting further tests and the interpretation of their test results.
This belief that CBD is legal in Iowa was further bolstered in 2018 by the Iowa Hemp Act that legalized the production of CBD from hemp that contained less than 0.3% THC.
Though the Iowa Attorney General’s Office warned people soon after that the future of CBD is yet not clear as the consumers are thinking as the US Department of Agriculture is yet to approve the State’s hemp plan. They further warned that till then it is still a controlled substance and possession or sale of it could result in criminal charges.
In late 2018 however, law enforcement suddenly began seizing products that contained CBD under Iowa’s 124E Medical CBD law which says even Medical CBD is treated as marijuana without any license. The same law defines Medical CBD as
"Any pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis Indica or any other preparation thereof that has a tetrahydrocannabinol level of no more than three percent and that is delivered in a form recommended by the medical cannabidiol board, approved by the board of medicine, and adopted by the department pursuant to rule. "
The confusion is that the law does not define what is considered as a pharmaceutical grade of CBD and which kind of CBD should be defined as a dietary or health supplement. After public outcry on these seizures, some of the products were sent to the state crime lab for further testing. The results of these tests were far from scientific and seem to be no more than an opinion of the lab examiner/s as no analytical data was presented regarding concentrations of CBD, THC or of any other cannabinoids.
At present the ball is in the USDA’s court, who if they approve the Iowa Hemp Plan can legalize CBD and no longer consider it as a controlled substance under state law.
This would make CBD and its products legal but there are still a few riders left. If approved, the consumers will not be arrested for possessing or using it but food products that contain CBD like tinctures or candies would still remain illegal as per the Federal Government’s FDA regulations. Which in layman terms means that outside the body use like lotions and creams that contain CBD will become legal whereas the more popular varieties that are ingested in any manner will still be illegal.
Where to buy CBD
If the product has been derived from hemp then it does not need any recommendation and is sold everywhere from health stores, food stores, pharmacies, vape shops, and more. The hemp derived CBD is legal as per federal law and you can easily buy it from the nearest retailer in a product that suits your needs. There is no shortage of places and stores that are opening up every day to capitalize on this CBD craze.
The only legal place in the state where one can buy CBD oil is at one of the only five licensed dispensaries and that too only for people who have a valid state issued registration card.
But only less than 1,500 people in Iowa have this license. You qualify as a patient under the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program by proving that you are permanent Iowa resident and present a certificate from the doctor that shows you have one of the following medical conditions and the exact reasons for CBD usage. These are:
- Cancer – only if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting.
- Crohn’s disease
- Untreatable pain
- Multiple Sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms
- AIDS and HIV (as defined in Iowa Code, section 141A.1)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Any terminal illness that has a probable life expectancy of less than a year
- Ulcerative colitis
- Severe, pediatric autism with aggressive or self-injurious behaviors
The confusing part to this is that healthcare providers and physicians are not allowed to prescribe any of the CBD derivative whereas the doctor is authorized to only ‘recommend’ its usage in case of a patient who has any one or more of the above-mentioned health problems.
How to get CBD Oil Online
Buying CBD Oil online rescues, you from the confusion and the blurry lines of Legal and Illegal.
You can order CBD Online from a number of Brands and have it delivered it to your doorsteps.
However, make sure you take the following steps before buying:
- Check for reviews of the CBD Brand
- Almost every trusted brand has ‘Third Party Tested Lab Reports’ available on their website, for you to vet.
- Get in touch with their customer support, if you feel satisfied, only then should you proceed.
- The amount of CBD in their products should be clearly visible on the site or the bottle.
- Also calculate if you are getting the right CBD/Dollar.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Iowa
Make sure you have done your fair bit of research before buying CBD Oil Locally or Online. Understand that CBD Oil could be: Marijuana Derived which is Illegal and Hemp Derived which is Legal.