Iowa Cannabis Laws & Regulations

Iowa weed laws

Nestled in the Midwest, Iowa is bordered by the Missouri River to the west and the Mississippi River to the east. The Hawkeye State’s largest city and the state capital, Des Moines, is home to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and Principal Riverwalk, as well as the Iowa State Fair (which includes a 600-pound cow sculpture made of butter). You can also visit Sioux City in western Iowa, where the Metropolitan area expands into Nebraska and South Dakota (though medical cannabis patients should avoid bringing their medication across state lines). 

Dubbed a “City of Literature” by the United Nations, Iowa City is home to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. While in Iowa City, you can also visit National Historic Landmarks, like the Amana Colonies, which include seven settlements of German Pietists. Close by in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you can see the Brucemore mansion and make a stop at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

Iowa cannabis laws currently permit the use of vaporizable cannabis oil. However, smoking cannabis is not allowed, and patients can’t buy cannabis flower or pre-rolls. The recreational sale or use of cannabis is still illegal under Iowa law. Possession of even one joint can land consumers a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail in Iowa. 

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Is Weed Legal in Iowa?

YES, but only for medicinal purposes in the state of Iowa, for people with an Iowa medical marijuana card.

Weed Legalization in Iowa

Over the years, the state of Iowa and individual cities have attempted to decriminalize possession of cannabis, but none of these attempts were successful. From the late 1970s to 1981, Iowa did permit the use of medical marijuana through a therapeutic research center.

In May of 2014, the Medical Cannabidiol Act was signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad, which legalized CBD oil containing less than 3% THC for epilepsy if recommended by a neurologist. In 2017, the Governor expanded the number of eligible conditions to obtain a medical marijuana card to include cancer, ‘untreatable’ pain, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Chron’s, Parkinson’s, nausea, and cachexia. In 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds approved House File 2589, which expanded the qualifying medical conditions to include chronic pain, PTSD, and autism. The legislation also eliminated the 3% THC limit for products and capped the total allowable purchase amount at 4.5 grams THC every 90 days.

Under the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act, the state may have up to two manufacturers and five dispensaries. As of 2022, the consumption of cannabis is legal for medicinal use only in the state of Iowa, and there are over 9000 current medical marijuana patients in the state.

In 2021, SB 407 was introduced into the Iowa Senate, which would have reduced cannabis penalties, but it died in committee. In February of 2022, HF2307 was introduced, which would have permitted patients to buy and consume smokable cannabis flower, but it never moved beyond introduction. And a group of Democrat senators in Iowa recently proposed a joint resolution to allow voters to decide whether to legalize the sale and use of recreational cannabis, but it isn't progressing past committee.

Cannabis Tax in Iowa

Iowa medical marijuana patients are not subject to any sales tax on cannabis purchases. If Iowa were to create recreational cannabis laws, the state would likely enact excise taxes on those purchases.

Is Cannabis Delivery Available in Iowa?

NO, marijuana delivery is not available for either medicinal or recreational purposes in the state of Iowa. 

Where Can You Legally Use Weed in Iowa?

Cannabis can be legally used in the following areas in Iowa:

🗹 Private properties such as residences

Cannabis CANNOT be consumed in:

X Public spaces

X Motorized vehicles in motion, for both driver and passengers

What are the Restrictions on Cannabis Possession in Iowa?

Individuals 18 and over with an Iowa medical cannabis card may purchase up to:

  • 4.5g (4500mg) of total THC per 90-day period unless certified by their practitioner for more. 

Home cultivation of cannabis plants by individuals other than licensed manufacturers is illegal in Iowa.

During vehicular transportation:

  • Cannabis may either be in a sealed container, or
  • Stored in the trunk of the vehicle
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Have Questions About Getting a Med Card in Iowa?

Learn more about medical cannabis in Iowa with our extensive set of patient resources:

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We are a team of cannabis and technology professionals focused on connecting you with state-licensed doctors. We believe all people deserve access to medical cannabis if they think it might improve their quality of life. Since our founding in 2015, we’ve held ourselves and our partners to the highest standards to ensure every patient we serve is able to access reliable cannabis information, trustworthy medical practitioners, and proactive updates on the cannabis healthcare ecosystem and legislation that may affect their experience as a medical cannabis patient.

Whether you’re a cannabis connoisseur or thinking of becoming a first-time medical marijuana patient, our network of doctors will listen to your needs and give you an honest opinion about whether they think cannabis can help.

Billed only if approved.