While cannabis is still outlawed in Iowa, penalties for possession of marijuana are relatively relaxed compared to many other states. The state has yet to pass comprehensive medical marijuana laws or decriminalize recreational use, but Iowa did pass a “CBD only” law in 2014.
Recreational Marijuana in Iowa
Possession of any amount of recreational marijuana in Iowa is a misdemeanor. First time offenders can be jailed for 6 months and forced to pay a maximum fine of $1,000. Second and third possession offenses are also charged as misdemeanors, with incarceration of 1 years and 2 years and maximum fine of $1875 and $6250, respectively. Possession penalties are also levied on individuals who are found with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a public park, elementary school, secondary school, or a school bus.
Offenders who are found to be chronic marijuana abusers may be sent for rehabilitation. If they successfully complete the program, the court can place them on probation.
Sale and distribution of any quantity of marijuana is a felony punishable by jail terms ranging from 5 years to 10 years and fines ranging from $7500 to $100,000. The state of Iowa has minimum mandatory sentences of up to 10 years for individuals who distribute marijuana to minors.
Medical Marijuana in Iowa
Medical use of marijuana is currently illegal in Iowa, punishable by the same penalties as recreational marijuana.
In 2014, the state did pass Senate File 2360, which permits patients of intractable epilepsy the use of “limited amounts of Cannabidiol oil,” containing up to 3% THC. Patients are required to get a recommendation from a neurologist, and must obtain the oil from outside the state. However, it remains illegal to manufacture or distribute cannabis oil in the state and federal law prohibits its transportation across state lines, which makes it essentially impossible for Iowans to legally obtain the product.
In April 2017, the Iowa Legislature approved a measure that expands the current program so that it’s available for more conditions. Gov. Terry Branstad is expected to sign the bill into law, which would allow low-THC cannabis for patients diagnosed with epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, untreatable pain, and any terminal illness. Iowa’s current limited medical cannabis laws are set to expire in July 2017.
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Indiana
While medical marijuana and cannabis oil remains illegal in Iowa, patients can still legally purchase and consume CBD oil that is derived from hemp. CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Iowa
Cultivation of marijuana in Iowa is a felony punishable with up to 25 years imprisonment and up to $1000,000 in fines. Soliciting a minor to cultivate marijuana can lead to a minimum mandatory sentence of up to 10 years. The state also has not approved the cultivation of industrial hemp for research or commercial purposes.
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