Iowa Cannabis and Marijuana License

Iowa Cannabis and Marijuana License

The statement as if marijuana is legal in Iowa is misleading. But, instead of marijuana, the state’s government passed some laws. They legalize the use of medical cannabidiol for qualified patients. Iowa cannabis and marijuana license is a step-by-step guide on how to get weed within the State. The article includes details about the application and qualification processes.

How to get medical marijuana in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health(IDPH) is regulating the licensing of entities and companies who qualify for the use, manufacture, and recreation of medical cannabis.

Qualified patients can own and use cannabidiol(CBD) oil which contains up to 3% of THC. To clarify, cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating substance in cannabis and hemp. That does not cause health issues. Getting a medical card is the first step to the legal acquisition of medical marijuana.

Iowa cannabis and marijuana license. Medical Marijuana Card.

You can apply for your medical marijuana card if your age is above 18. Minor applicants can sign a caregiver. The latter will fill in the documents on behalf of the patient. A caregiver should be an adult who will fill in another caregiver’s application form. It will cost an extra $25 payment.

The application process starts with visiting a state doctor. Then, the doctor will qualify for the use of medical cannabis.

Yet, finding an appropriate doctor is quite a hard process. There is a restricted number of physicians who will give the certificate.

Anyway, if you find a doctor, take note to have your medical records with you. During the consultation, the doctor will reveal if you are eligible for the use of medical CBD.

Once the doctor certifies you to apply for the card registration, complete the patient registration online form here.

Take note to submit the following documents for the online application:

  • Iowa driver’s license or State ID copies
  • Signed patient application
  • A certificate from your licensed physician
  • License fees

After you complete the application, the OMC will review it and give feedback within 2-4 weeks.

The applicants will receive their temporary medical card by email. The permanent card will be sent to the address provided in the application.

If they don’t provide any email address, they will get their permanent card at the address written in the application.


Patients need to pay a $100 non-refundable fee for license costs.

Yet, if you submit one of these documents, you can get your medical card with a much less fee:

  • Hawk-I member card
  • Iowa Medical member card
  • Social security disability Benefit notice
  • Proof of receipt of Supplementary Security Income fee

According to the surveys, the mean cost of a doctor’s consultation in Iowa is $200.

The department also suggests a mobile registration form.

The application via smartphone or other mobile device is available. The registration process is like that of an online form. You need to shoot copies of your healthcare practitioner’s certificate and driver’s license.

Select the photos that you want to send from your phone gallery. Enclose it in your application form and submit it.

The renewal of cannabidiol medical card

As it was mentioned above, the medical cannabidiol card is temporary. It is valid per year. After the expiry, you should renew it.

The department cares that the renewal starts in time and sends a notice 60 days before the expiry.

For the renewal, the patient should pass the same procedures:

  • Get a qualifying certificate from the state health practitioner
  • Submit the application form
  • Pay for the license renewal

Iowa cannabis and marijuana license. Qualifying conditions

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cureless pain
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
  • Untreatable illness
  • Seizures

The Iowa government views new suggestions upon the permissible quantity of cannabis. Amendments tend to restrict the consumption of medical cannabis up to 4.5 grams per 3 months. If it enters force, the number of THC products will not exceed 150 grams per three months for registered patients.

Moreover, the usable forms of cannabis are also restricted.

Registered patients can use cannabis oil, inhalers, topical oils, suppositions.

Where Can I Buy medical marijuana in Iowa?

Certified patients can get medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. In 2018, The IDPH has licensed two manufacturers and five dispensaries to produce CBD. The two dispensaries are Medpharm and Relief LCC.

As of five dispensaries, the two of them ceased to operate.

Currently, Medpharm is the only licensed marijuana grower. The three other dispensaries are Sioux City, Waterloo and Windsor Heights.

Iowa cannabis and marijuana license. History of laws.

The first bill to regulate the use, access and possession of cannabidiol was introduced in 2014. Yet, HF 524 didn’t pass the committee hearing and failed. Another law, around the same issue called Bill 2360, passed. It allowed the use of cannabidiol with the approval of the therapist. Yet, it restricted the access to CBD, allowing only minors to use it against epilepsy seizures.

In 2017, state governor Terry Branstad entered to force the extended version of the act. It allowed the manufacture, delivery, and possession of CBD with up to 3% THC.

The bill also revised the qualifying conditions. It added several more diseases to the list.

How to get a cannabis grower’s license?

First, let’s clarify what kind of marijuana production is allowable in the state of Iowa.

The manufacture and delivery of marijuana is illegal in the state. But hemp growing is quite a legalized process. It’s worth to mention that hemp and marijuana are the same plants. Yet, there is a slight difference in the THC percentage contained. Hemp includes up to 0.3% of THC while marijuana contains more than 0.3% of THC. The laboratory test is the only available tool to differentiate these two.

The state law allows the farmers to grow hemp only if USDA approves its annual proposal.

According to 2020 hemp regulatory plan, approved by USDA, an individual farmer can grow up to 40 plots of hemp. Iowa’s Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship regulates the farmer licensing. Yet, the growth and trade of smokable hemp and marijuana remain illegal.

It’s desirable that before the application growers do market research. It will reveal whether there is any available market for hemp growth. This step will ensure their success. It will prevent failures before making any investments.

Iowa cannabis and marijuana license. How to apply for a hemp grower license?

All applicants should prove they have no drug-related criminal background.  Thus, they will need to submit their fingerprints for an FBI criminal history check. The department will refuse any application for the following case. If the participants had imprisonment for drug production, growth, trade, delivery, or distribution.

If you don’t know where you can have your fingerprints.  You can find a law enforcement agency by your location. Currently, because of pandemic restrictions, only one official fingerprint service is operating.  Print IDS in Central Iowa will handle the fingerprint check procedures.

All participants must provide written information about the diversity of hemp plants.

Click here to start the inline registration process

To start, submit your full name, email, and password on the front page. After, you will be taken to another page. Here you will see the map of business locations. Furthermore, you will answer how many fingerprint cards are necessary.

If there are other participants to qualify for the license, fill in the data. The Department of Agriculture will send another notification letter. It will clarify the details and requirements for the associate to join the licensing.

You will see the map on the 5th page. Here you should sign the location of your plot. At the next to last, you should read and sign the acknowledgments. To finish the registration, fill in the fee in the payment box.

The application payment for the grower’s license is $7000. The payment is nonrefundable. Yet hemp growing requirements do not end after you get the license

Other restrictions

There are other demands for harvesting as well 30 days before the harvesting, the licensed associates should deliver the IDALS at about the start of the season. Furthermore, the department should test the crops. This will check the percentage of THC in the product. If the THC level exceeds the normal 0.3%, the hemp grower should drop the crop. If it does not exceed the normal 0.3%, the IDALS certifies the grower to harvest the crop.

The inspection cost for a pre-harvest is $1000, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. For extra testing, the department will request supplementary payment.

Are there any rules for the shipping of harvested crops?

Hemp growers can ship their harvest once the IDALS inspects and asserts it. The written permission to allow to the transport of the harvested crop is a Temporary Harvest and Transportation Permit. It’s worth mentioning that the licensee may transport the hemp within the area of the state. Thus, he can take the crop to the locations licensed by IDALS. The licensee also has no right to assign the hemp to another person. He/she can ship it to another state after a certificate of analysis approves it.

The hemp owners should know that regular inspections within the growing period are a common thing. The state-issued specialists may visit the growing sites at regular working hours. They will check whether the licensee matches with the general rules of Iowa hemp.

Satenik T

Satenik T

Satenik has just stepped into the sphere of content writing. Initially it seemed something difficult to overcome, however within time she got introduced with the nuances of the job. She has started the long road of introduction with English in 2010. Linguistic University after V. Bryusov served a good background for approving her skills and revealing new horizons of a foreign language. During the studentship she tried her luck at news agencies both as journalist and translator of the English language. Satenik has had internship at Armenpress news agency, Yerkir Media TV channel, news agency and other local news websites. After the graduation she got the opportunity of working as an interpreter at police departments. She also cooperated with the Investigative committee of Armenia and translated for foreigners at court hearings. Working with foreigners enriched her professional vocabulary and helped to navigate at any unexpectable and stressful situations. Besides, different situations with various people seemed an interesting adventure where she was someone to help find the solution. Satenik also did written translations in the law sphere. Detailed and challenging tasks taught her self-discipline and introduced with the key terms of the sphere. Currently she hopes that evolving in content writing will add new skills to her professional background and upgrade her as a professional. As for hobbies, Satenik has had experience in professional hip hop dancing for 4 years. During that time she had participated at local dance competitions and battles.