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CBD in Iowa

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With mixed cannabis legalization in Iowa, the Hawkeye state’s cannabis laws are currently some of the most limiting and confusing in the country. If you are an Iowa resident looking to utilize the healing properties of cannabis, what should you do? Since cannabis in Iowa is not yet decriminalized, CBD might be the next best step toward better wellness in this midwest state.


Elevate Holistics is here to dive into the state’s CBD complexities and teach you how to get your hands on CBD in Iowa. Iowa may be a bit behind the times, but we’re here to help you get ahead.


What is CBD?


First of all, what is CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is one of marijuana’s non-psychoactive compounds, meaning that, unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high. 


Cannabidiol is known for its therapeutic benefits, like pain and inflammation reduction, anxiety and depression relief, and sleep aid, among many other perks.


CBD is effective in treating countless conditions, such as arthritis, epilepsy, diabetes, PTSD, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and alcoholism


CBD and other cannabis compounds embody extremely diverse and effective healing properties.


So, who should consider CBD? CBD could be a beneficial option for:


  • First-time consumers who just want to dip their toes into the cannabis
  • Those who desire the healing benefits of cannabis without the high
  • Patients who want to try holistic healing rather than chemical-based pharmaceuticals
  • Patients with any physical or mental ailment that other treatments are failing to improve

Is CBD Legal in Iowa?


Yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that. CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Iowa is no exception. The Medical Cannabidiol Act, signed into law in 2014 and expanded in subsequent years, allows the use of CBD oil with less than 3% THC for specific medical conditions. In 2020, the law was further expanded to include additional medical conditions and removed the 3% THC cap on products, with a total allowable purchase amount capped at 4.5 grams of THC every 90 days. CBD products must be derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC, which means that you can get the benefits of CBD without worrying about feeling high or breaking any state laws.

How to Get CBD in Iowa


Medical cannabis in Iowa has mixed legality and unique guidelines limiting THC amounts and what form you can purchase CBD in.


Since CBD oil in Iowa is legal, who can purchase it? Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Program allows residents to apply for a “medical cannabidiol registration card.” 


The program states that permanent residents at least 18 years of age might qualify for medical Iowa cannabidiol if their doctor certifies they have a “Qualifying Debilitating Medical Condition.”

What Medical Conditions Qualify for CBD Oil Use in Iowa?


Iowa’s qualifying medical conditions are pretty strict, sometimes even adding conditions to the qualifying conditions. 


The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program lists the following as its Qualifying Medical Conditions:


Iowa CBD laws


With CBD oil legal in Iowa, is cannabis legal? Medical cannabis is technically legal in Iowa but with added difficulties.


It all started in 2014 when Iowa lawmakers passed the Medical Cannabidiol Act. This act legalized CBD products with 3% THC or less to treat patients with intractable epilepsy but made no provision for purchasing it


These Iowa cannabis laws weren’t cutting it. In 2017, Governor Terry Branstad passed House File 524 which added more qualifying conditions, legalized licensed medical cannabis cultivation in the state, and allowed dispensaries to begin opening in December 2018.


In 2020, House File 2589 added more qualifying conditions and upped the amount of THC allowed in CBD products.


Now, patients are allowed 4.5 grams of THC in their cannabis products every 90 days. CBD in Iowa, containing 3% THC or less, comes in oil tinctures, topicals, capsules, suppositories, and nebulized inhaled forms. There’s no hemp flower and no CBD vape allowed.


Smokable cannabis products and edibles are illegal in Iowa.


Iowa cannabis laws state that recreational cannabis is still entirely illegal in the state. Iowa law enforcement will arrest individuals for possessing a small amount of cannabis as little as a joint. 


First-offense possession is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine – one of the most severe first-offense penalties in the country. 


Cultivation and distribution of cannabis in Iowa could result in a felony. 


Driving while under the influence of cannabis could result in a misdemeanor. 


Iowa senators have been pushing for cannabis reform in the state but continue to get shut down. Without a citizen initiative process in Iowa, changing Iowa CBD laws would have to pass through the legislature first.

Do You Need a Prescription for CBD in Iowa?


Patients must be certified by the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program to legally purchase and possess CBD products with more than 0.3% THC content. CBD products derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC are available over the counter without a prescription, following federal law.


If a patient has one or more of the state’s qualifying conditions, they can apply online for a card. 


The state fee is $100, but only $25 for Medicaid members and other beneficiaries of government assistance. Minor patients under 18 years of age and any adult patients who need a caregiver must complete a separate caregiver registration application. A $25 caregiver fee applies. All Iowa medical cannabis cards are valid for one year. 


And what about the amount of product prescribed? For most people, the 4.5 grams of THC per 90 days purchase limit applies. 


There are two exceptions to that rule:


  • A healthcare practitioner may indicate more THC per 90-days at the time of certification for any patient certified for a terminal illness.
  • If the patient’s original healthcare practitioner certifies them for additional THC after the patient has participated in the program.  

For more information, visit our Iowa FAQ cannabis page.

Where to Buy CBD Products in Iowa


So you’re interested in purchasing CBD in Iowa, but where do you go? Residents can find trustworthy CBD oil in Iowa at MedPharm Iowa locations, Iowa’s only manufacturer of cannabis products. 

Iowans will also find CBD products in local vape shops, hemp stores, and other wellness shops. Most importantly, regardless of where you get your cannabidiol Iowa: 


  • Make sure that the CBD product has been third-party tested to ensure it’s the real deal. Third-party testing confirms that the product contains what it says it does and that it doesn’t contain any contaminants. 
  • Look for full or broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD means that it contains all of the cannabis plant’s wonderful compounds, like cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds synergistically work together to promote more extensive healing, known as the entourage effect. Full-spectrum CBD will contain a small amount of THC (0.3% or less), but it won’t get you high. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all cannabis compounds besides THC. 
  • If you’re a first-time THC consumer, consume cannabis products that contain a higher level of THC with caution. Products with higher levels of THC can provide added therapeutic benefits but might at first induce a bit of anxiety for those who are anxiety-prone.

Can I Buy CBD Online in Iowa?


Yes, an Iowa resident can legally buy CBD online. Keep in mind that it’s important to purchase your CBD from trusted vendors and manufacturers who meet quality standards and provide third-party lab testing results. Purchasing from reputable companies will ensure you get high-quality products that are safe to consume. It’s also wise to research each company you buy from to make sure they’re reputable and have positive customer reviews and feedback about their CBD products.

Iowa Cannabidiol Dispensary


What’s a good Iowa cannabidiol dispensary? The safest Iowa cannabidiol dispensary is partnered with the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program and has five locations across the state. 


MedPharm Iowa, recently rebranded as Bud & Mary’s, offers Aliviar brand tinctures, creams, capsules, and vapes. 


These cannabis products are available at dispensaries in Sioux City, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Windsor Heights, and Iowa City. When getting your cannabis products from Bud & Mary’s, you know that your products have been thoroughly third-party tested and contain the healing benefits they claim to boast. 


Over-the-counter CBD products outside of Iowa’s five licensed dispensaries have not been FDA-approved.


Another option is to find a credible online CBD retailer. Hemp-derived CBD containing 0.3% THC or less is legal to ship in all 50 states.


 Hemp, versus the cannabis Sativa plant, naturally contains lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD and is federally legal.

Get Your Medical Card With Elevate Holistics


So is CBD legal in Iowa? Yes, but patients must obtain an Iowa medical cannabis card. Luckily, there’s no need to look any further – Elevate Holistics is ready to help you every step of the way to getting your Iowa CBD card. 


Are you ready to start feeling better naturally? Elevate Holistics offers a hassle-free, safe way to get your medical cannabis cardThrough our fully online process, you can even book a same-day virtual doctor’s appointment for med card approval


Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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