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Iowa Hemp Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

Iowa Hemp Bill Awaits Governor's Signature
Iowa Hemp Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

DES MOINES, Iowa — Ailing Iowans may be just one stroke of a pen from extra relief.

“This is a huge step in the direction of being able to reopen the market in the state of Iowa,” said Republican State Sen. Brad Zaun.

The bipartisan hemp bill on the governor’s desk simplifies how consumable hemp, particularly CBD oils, can be sold in Iowa. “This bill was trying to communicate to our Attorney General and County Attorneys what could be sold and what cannot be sold,” Zaun said.

The CBD sold must be from hemp produced in Iowa. If not, it must follow guidelines under the Iowa Hemp Act or Federal Hemp Law and contain no more than 0.3% of THC. Zaun said, “The biggest thing is it can’t be smoked through vape or by burning it. That was really the big clarity.”

Retailers have complained of current laws being too vague. In December, Lacie Navin, owner of Your CBD Store in Ankeny, was arrested for what the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said was illegal sale of CBD and currently faces felony charges. “From what I’ve heard, there have been some honest mistakes that happened. We will leave that up to the County Attorney to decide that,” Zaun said of businesses that were shut down.

Sellers need to be registered with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) along with the consumable products. Selling smokable products could result in a simple misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a fine of nearly $2,000. “Shops that sell this stuff that is not inspected can have horrible consequences on Iowans’ lives,” said Zaun.

The bill could also change the look of harvest season. Farmers will be allowed crop sites for hemp as long as the DIA has unrestricted access and farmers must receive permission before changing a crop site’s location. Zaun said, “The big news is a lot of people get their relief from pain from CBD products.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds has 30 days to sign the bill into law.