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CBD Sales in Iowa


Cannabidiol or CBD has been generating growing interest within the convenience store industry.  CBD is a co-product of hemp and has been found to have medicinal benefits in treating anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, arthritis and even epilepsy.  Interest in the sale of CBD has grown since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill which removed hemp, and in turn hemp derived co-products, from the list of Schedule I controlled substances contained within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  Although the removal of hemp derived co-products from the CSA brings the sale of CBD products a step closer to reality on the federal level, it really has no bearing on what sales are legal within the state of Iowa. Iowa has adopted its own state laws and regulations governing the sale of medical CBD.

Iowa allows the sale of CBD products to persons in possession of a state-issued medical cannabidiol registration card after an exam and consultation by a registered health care practitioner.  The manufacturing and dispensing of medical CBD is regulated by the Iowa Department of Public Health.  The manufacture of medical CBD is limited to the two licensees approved in Iowa: MedPharm and Iowa Relief.  Subsequently, only the five licensees that have been granted licenses for the dispensing of medical CBD may do so with the protection from prosecution afforded in Iowa Code Chapter 124E.  Those facilities are in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Des Moines/Windsor Heights, Waterloo, and Davenport.

Currently, only sales of medical CBD following the procedures outlined above and located within Iowa Code Chapter 124E are considered legal sales under Iowa’s governing laws and regulations.  The Department of Public Health’s authority under Iowa Code Chapter 124E does not extend to other CBD products that may currently be available to retailers for resale to the public.  This means that Iowan’s who sell, possess, distribute, or use CBD related products outside the scope of authority granted to the Iowa Department of Public Health are not protected by the law from criminal prosecution.  Agencies with enforcement authority covering CBD products outside the scope of Iowa’s law include the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, county attorneys, and local law enforcement.

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