Smokable hemp possession or sale in Iowa punishable with fines, jail in state’s new hemp and CBD regulations

New regulations clarifying the types of hemp and CBD products that are legal to sell and purchase in Iowa took effect with the enactment of the Hemp Consumer and Public Safety law on Wednesday.

The law changes certain provisions of the Iowa Hemp Act, which Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed to legalize hemp production in the state in May 2019.

Until now, products containing CBD were illegal to be sold or purchased over the counter in Iowa, as CBD still qualified as a controlled substance in the state.

CBD could only legally be sold in a small number of approved pharmacies.

Smokable hemp remains illegal in Iowa and the new rules impose penalties and restrictions on any harvested hemp used for inhalation such as cigarettes, vaporizers and others.

Retailers caught selling smokable hemp products and consumers found using them could face “a serious misdemeanor” punishable by up to a year of confinement and a fine of $315-$1,875.

The new rules:

  • Regulate hemp as a commodity.
  • Define a consumable hemp product as one that is metabolized or subject to a “biotransformative process” when introduced into the human body.
  • Expressly prohibit possession, use and all manufacturing, marketing, transportation, delivery or distribution of all smokable or inhalable hemp products.
  • Allow hemp-derived products that are manufactured in Iowa and comply with state packaging and labeling requirements to be sold and consumed.
  • Allow importation of consumable hemp only if the source originates within a state or jurisdiction that has a state or tribal plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has testing requirements “substantially similar” to Iowa’s.
  • Require manufacturers and retailers to register with the state for a license through the Department of Inspection and Appeals.

Iowa’s hemp production plan was among the first USDA-approved state plans in March under the federal agency’s interim final rule.

The Iowa Hemp Act was not implemented until after it received USDA approval.