is cbd legal in iowa

Is CBD Legal In Iowa? Ask An Expert


When it comes to the accessibility of CBD products, Iowa is a mixed bag. It hasn’t gone into full reactionary mode like neighboring Nebraska, but that’s about it. Iowa has enacted maybe the weirdest “compromise”  plant cannabis sativa cannabis law enforcement in America these days, which hardly qualifies as medical marijuana. So what about hemp? Are CBD products legal to buy in Iowa?

It’s a valid question, given the state of things in the Hawkeye State. Here’s everything you need to know about whether CBD products are legal to buy in Iowa or to bring across state lines.  


Despite being a grain producing capital and a key part of America's bread basket, Iowa has not had a great relationship with hemp plants over the decades. Iowa's first experiment with hemp came as early as 1843, when a group of men gathered to build an industrial hemp mill near Hauntown, which is on the banks of the Mississippi River between Davenport and Dubuque.1 

However, the mill didn't fare well in Hauntown, even though a large quantity of hemp was raised that year. The problem was the "impracticable amount of labor required" in running the mill, according to Wolfe's History of Clinton County, Iowa. So "the plan for the hemp factory fell through."2


Both medical and recreational marijuana are still illegal in Iowa, and out of reach of users and patients. This conservative rural state just isn’t ready for it and remains one of the 15 states in America without medical cannabis products. 

As far as the medicinal properties of both hemp and marijuana, the only concession that Iowa has made thus far began with the Iowa Legislature passing the Medical Cannabidiol Act in 2014.

The Medical CBD Act initially enabled licensed neurologists to certify patients with certain medical conditions for the cannabidiol program. Licensing is provided through the Iowa Department of Public Health and is tightly regimented. These patients could be prescribed pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid products with less than 3 percent THC, which is significantly higher THC content than the 0.3 percent limit in federally legal CBD products.3

In 2020, cannabis health supplement advocates in Iowa suffered a setback when Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill that amended this already draconian state law. This bill redefined medical cannabidiol from a 3 percent THC level cap, to a per-patient limit of 4.5 grams of THC in a 90-day period. 

Rep. John Forbes, D-Urbandale, a pharmacist, told the Des Moines Register that he had patients who received more THC than the new law allowed. Before Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law, she noted, "I’ve had a couple of patients tell me if we pass legislation that limits it to the 50 milligrams per day, which is the 4.5 grams per 90 days, they will probably drop off the Iowa medical cannabidiol program — and they’ll have to have something for discomfort relief, so they’ll go back on their opioid medications."4


Iowa leads the states in the production of corn, but could a new crop come nipping at the heels of corn, soybeans, and other agricultural crops that are abundant in Iowa?5 Could hemp production catch up to the major players? 

The federal Farm Bill of 2018 defined hemp derived CBD products on the federal level as those containing no more than 0.3 percent THC. In 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds signed the Iowa Hemp Act into law, allowing Iowan farmers to legally grow up to 40 acres of hemp containing less than 0.3% THC.

As of April 2020, it is legal to grow, possess or buy or sell hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC in Iowa. This includes full spectrum CBD products, as long as they abide by the Iowa Department of Agriculture's hemp plan.6 CBD products should be marketed as a dietary supplement only and can not make therapeutic claims. And regulatory agencies frown upon selling CBD-infused food products, according to law website JDSupra.7 

In Iowa, hemp flower is still illegal, and so is CBD vaping. However, CBD products like CBD creamCBD capsulesCBD oil, andCBD gummies are available at CBD stores, health food stores, pharmacies, and of course you can get CBD online.


The best news for Iowans is that CBD oil legal is readily available to buy online. However, make sure to avoid sites like Amazon, where you are more likely to find fake CBD than a safe and trustworthy product. You will have better luck looking at a specific CBD brand's website.

While shopping online, you have access to reviews—both on the retailers’ sites and in various columns—and to lab results that you can view. Cornbread Hemp publishes the third-party lab test results for each batch right on our website for full transparency about what is in our products.

The US Postal Service stated affirmatively in 2019 that sending CBD oils through the US mail is perfectly legal.8 As long as the CBD products comply with federal government law regarding the THC limit of 0.3 percent, then there’s no problem. Therefore, if you’re in Iowa and you want the number-one rated USDA organic CBD products, you can feel safe ordering from Cornbread Hemp. We ship from Louisville, Kentucky to every corner of America.


Medical and recreational marijuana remain illegal in Iowa. And efforts to legalize it seem to be, if anything, waning. Despite these setbacks, CBD oil is legal to buy and sell in Iowa as long as the CBD products follow the provisions set forth by the Farm Bill. There’s no hemp flower and no CBD vape allowed. But there is this weird “medical-grade CBD oils” law that seems more restrictive than it is valuable. 

When you’re shopping for hemp-derived CBD oil, look for the USDA organic seal. The USDA organic seal guarantees the CBD oil bearing it is made from non-GMO seeds; grown from hemp cultivated with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

Instead of the harsh CO2 extraction method which can leave a bitter aftertaste, we use organic sugarcane ethanol to gently remove all the cannabinoid goodness from our organic hemp flower-only material. This leaves a smooth tasting pure hemp extract that requires no added flavoring or sweeteners.

We put the best of Kentucky hemp in every bottle, that’s just part of the Cornbread Hemp commitment to CBD consumers in Iowa.

About the Author
Jim Higdon, Co-Founder

Jim is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012 before co-founding Cornbread Hemp. Full author bio here.


CBD oil is legal to buy and sell in Iowa as long as the CBD products follow the provisions set forth by the Farm Bill.

No, you do not need a medical marijuana card to get the benefits of cannabidiol or CBD in Iowa.

You'll likely need to be at least 18 years old to purchase CBD products in Iowa, though this may vary depending on the store.


1,2. Wolfe, Patrick. "Wolfe's History of Clinton County, Iowa - Volume 1 - Page 250" Published 1911. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

3,4. Gruber Miler, Stephen. “Iowa House passes bill changing THC limit in state's medical marijuana program.” Des Moines Register. Pub: 11 March 2020. Accessed: 23 Nov. 2020.

5. “Iowa Economy” Netstate. Accessed: 23 Nov. 2020.,produced%20in%20Iowa%20are%20apples 

6,7. “Hemp is now legal in Iowa.” JDSupra. Pub: 9 April 2020. Accessed: 23 Nov. 2020.

8. US Postal Service. “Publication 52 Revision: New Mailability Policy for Cannabis and Hemp-Related Products” Effective: June 6, 2019. Accessed: 19 Nov 2020: