Iowa Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS IOWA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
The state of Iowa legalized medical cannabis in the forms of THC oil of 3% or less concentration and cannabidiol (CBD) . Licensed medical dispensaries are allowed to sell these products to patients with qualifying health conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDs, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic illnesses.
WHAT ARE IOWA'S CANNABIS LAWS?
In 2014, Iowa lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2360, which allowed the possession or use of CBD for the treatment of epilepsy if a patient has a written recommendation by a neurologist. Patients were required to purchase their CBD products from out-of-state.
Later in 2017, Governor Branstad signed into law an expanded Medical Cannabidiol Act, which expanded Senate Bill 2360 to include more health conditions that could benefit from CBD treatment like cancer and multiple sclerosis. This law also allowed in-state manufacturing, distributing, and dispensing which made CBD more accessible to patients who could now purchase their medical products from licensed dispensaries closer to home.
WHAT IS IOWA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) opened applications for in-state CBD business and operational licenses starting in 2017. By November of that year, the first license was awarded to MedPharm, along with five more licenses awarded to other businesses the following year.
In Iowa, IDPH announced a new Request for Proposal for two dispensaries. The letters of Intent to Apply will be due by June 29, 2020, by 4pm local time in Iowa. Applications for the two licenses and the application fee will be due on July 27, 2020 with the final notice of license award status taking place on September 7, 2020.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN IOWA?
Iowa has a conservative past when it comes to cannabis. Recreational and medical cannabis is still widely illegal in the state of Iowa, with the exception of CBD products containing less than 3.% of THC, with patients restricted to 4.5 g of THC in a 90-day period.
The state has made attempts at decriminalization laws but ultimately all failed amongst lawmakers. In 2014, Iowa lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2360 that allowed patients with disorders that cause seizures, like epilepsy, to seek out CBD treatment with recommendation from their licensed neurologist. At that point, patients were only allowed to purchase such products from out-of-state dispensaries. Parents of children suffering from seizures criticized the law, stating this made it difficult for them to access CBD treatment.
To amend the flaws of Senate Bill 2360, Governor Branstad signed into law an expanded Medical Cannabidiol Act in 2017 which expanded the list of qualifying medical conditions and allowed for CBD businesses to obtain in-state licenses. Originally, CBD products must’ve contained 3% or less THC in order to legally be sold in Iowa dispensaries, however as of 2019, The IDPH raised the legal THC levels to 4.5 mg.
DOES IOWA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE IOWA CANNABIS MARKET?
Though recreational and medical cannabis are not yet legal in Iowa, the medical CBD market is growing rapidly and new cultivation, manufacturing, distributing, and dispensing licenses might become available in the near future. Point7 has the resources and knowledge needed to ensure an applicant is prepared and stands out to application reviewers. Email today to schedule a call with a dedicated Point7 team member.