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Selling CBD in Iowa Is Still Illegal

The 2018 Farm Bill brought with it many changes – the legalization of hemp being one of them. In Iowa, it also brought confusion as to whether or not selling CBD-laced products is lawful. To clarify, it is still illegal in this state to sell items such as lotions, oils, or cosmetics, that contain the substance.

What Did the Farm Bill Legalize?

When the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, it stated that hemp containing less than 0.3% of THC is no longer a schedule I controlled substances. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive part of the marijuana plant that produces a "high" in people who ingest it.

Medical Marijuana Card Needed to Obtain the Substance

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a derivative of marijuana, and many claim that it has therapeutic effects. Often, the substance is used to treat chronic pain conditions.

Unfortunately, in Iowa, the only people who can legally access the substance are those with a state-issued medical marijuana card, which aren't always easy to obtain. Additionally, even if a person has a medical marijuana card, getting the substance can prove challenging: Only 2 manufacturers make medical CBD, and only 5 dispensaries are licensed to sell it.

Those seeking relief from pain through methods other than medication, and who are unable to get a medical marijuana card, may look for a store that sells CBD products. Unfortunately, the owners of these stores may be unlawfully selling the product if it has more than 0.3% THC.

How is Marijuana Defined in Iowa?

In Iowa, marijuana and it’s derivatives are still illegal for recreational use.

State law defines marijuana as:

  • All parts of the Cannabis plant,
  • The seeds, and
  • Every compound or derivative of the plant

It follows then that CBD, being a part of the plant, is also illegal.

In many cases, before making arrests, law enforcement officers will warn store owners that their CBD products are illegal and must be removed from shelves. However, some have been taken into custody and charged with drug crimes.

What makes cases involving CBD difficult is that law enforcement officers can't tell by looking at a product whether or not it contains more than 0.3% THC. The substance has to be tested in a lab to determine the THC level and be used as evidence in a case. Many states across the nation that haven't legalized pot have also struggled with enforcing laws related to marijuana because it's not always clear whether the substance they found on a person is legal hemp or not.

If you've been charged with a drug crime in Iowa City, contact our skilled team at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger for aggressive legal defense. We can be reached by phone at (319) 499-5524 or online.