Iowa medical marijuana FAQ

Is medical marijuana legal in Iowa?

Unfortunately, medical marijuana is not yet fully legal in Iowa. The state has crafted a program that allows “medical cannabis” for patients with qualifying conditions, but the products allowed are limited. The law states that the products sold at Iowa dispensaries cannot contain “more than a combined total of four and one-half grams of total THC to a patient in a 90-day period.” Essentially, this means that medical patients have access to products with THC, but they must be offset by CBD percentages. 

Until 2020, CBD products in Iowa couldn’t contain more than 3% THC. Thankfully, the state eliminated this regulation, understanding that some patients may require higher THC percentages than others. 

Is CBD legal in Iowa?

Thankfully, yes, CBD is legal in Iowa. The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act 2017 legalized CBD for patients with qualifying medical conditions. At the time, there was a 3% THC cap on these products, but that has since been lifted. Today, you can purchase marijuana-derived CBD products of varying types from the limited dispensaries around the state. 

How to apply for a medical marijuana card in Iowa

To apply for a medical card in Iowa, you have to first meet with a qualified practitioner that can verify you qualify for medical cannabidiol. Once they approve you and you have certification, you’ll head on over to the Iowa Department of Public Health website. Simply follow the prompt they provide and fill out the information needed. The site states that IDPH medical card applications may be approved in as little as 24 hours. 

As soon as the IDPH approves you for medical cannabidiol and you get your card, you can visit a dispensary and start shopping. The process for getting your IDPH medical card is a lot more straightforward and quick than other states’ processes. 

Who can prescribe medical marijuana?

In Iowa, medical cannabidiol isn’t prescribed. Once you have your medical card, you can simply visit one of the state’s dispensaries and purchase the products you want and need. 

In terms of getting your medical card recommendation, any MD, DO, ARNP, PA, APRN, or podiatrist in Iowa can certify you. You just have to find a doctor that’s willing to give MMJ a chance.  

How much does a medical card cost? 

To get an Iowa medical card, you have to pay a fee of $100 or $25 with a copy of your Social Security Disability or Medicaid card. On top of this, you may also have to pay for your appointment with your qualifying physician. The cost of these appointments varies depending on where you go.  

How long does it take to get a medical card?

Getting a medical card in Iowa doesn’t take too long. When you apply, the state may process your application within 24 hours. If not, it should only take a few days (about 3-5). As soon as you’re approved, the state sends you a temporary medical card so you can start purchasing your products right away. When your permanent card is ready, you can pick it up at any Iowa DMV or courthouse.  

What conditions can you get a medical card for?

To get your Iowa medical card, a doctor must diagnose you with one of the following qualifying conditions: 

Are there any medical marijuana dispensaries in Iowa?

Yes! Where there aren’t many dispensaries in Iowa, you do have five to choose from. Each of these Iowa dispensaries is dispersed throughout the state, so you just have to find the one you’re closest to. You’ll find cannabis dispensaries in Sioux City, Waterloo, Des Moines, Iowa City, and Council Bluffs. 

Are edibles legal in Iowa?

According to Iowa weed laws, edibles are not permitted in the state. The only acceptable forms of medical cannabidiol in the Hawkeye State are as follow: 

  • Nebulizers 
  • Capsules
  • Liquids
  • Sublingual 
  • Tablets
  • Tinctures
  • Suppositories (both rectal and vaginal)
  • Topicals
    • Creams
    • Gels
    • Lotions
    • Ointments
    • Transdermal patches
  • Vapes

You cannot purchase CBD edibles nor can you purchase CBD flower in Iowa.

It is legal to grow marijuana in Iowa?

No, patients cannot grow marijuana in Iowa in any capacity. The only people permitted to grow cannabis in Iowa are farmers approved by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

How to become an MMJ caregiver

To become an MMJ caregiver in Iowa, you must have a patient designate you on their application form. If the patient is a minor, then the healthcare practitioner form with the designed caregiver’s name on it will suffice. 

As soon as the prospective caregiver has the patient’s application number (or practitioner form if a minor), then you must complete your own application. This application requires a valid photo ID from either Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Iowa state ID cards are also accepted. Along with these forms, you need to include a $25 payment.   

Does Medicaid cover medical marijuana?

Unfortunately, because of the federal legalization status of cannabis, medical cannabidiol products are not currently covered by Medicaid. However, if you are on Medicaid, you do qualify for a reduced Iowa medical card fee.