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Iowa Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Medical Program

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    No limitMaximum of 4.5 g THC possession limit every 90 days.

  • Recreational users


State taxes

  • Medical patients


  • Recreational users



  • Cultivation is illegal
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Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Iowa

Once you have registered with Leafwell and been approved by one of our medical marijuana doctors online, apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

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Table of contents

  1. Medical Marijuana Laws in Iowa
  2. What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in Iowa
  3. Can You Grow Cannabis In Iowa?
  4. The Bottom Line

Medical cannabis is legal in Iowa, while recreational cannabis remains illegal.

It may come as a surprise to some, but Iowa has a long, storied history when it comes to legislative attempts at ending cannabis prohibition, dating back to a failed 1970s attempt to decriminalize cannabis. Despite many attempts, however, legalized medical marijuana in Iowa is relatively recent.

The state dipped its toes into medical cannabis in 2014 when CBD with THC content under 3% was made legal for medicinal purposes. Since then, although Iowa’s medical cannabis program is still fairly strict and medical patients are only allowed to access certain cannabis products, state legislators have shown a willingness to let the program change over time.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Iowa

There have been several updates to the state’s medical marijuana program as the system has evolved. For example, patients were previously only allowed to access cannabis products containing less than 3% THC. Now, however, patients are limited to purchasing 4.5 grams of cannabis every 90 days.

To join the Iowa medical marijuana registry, you need to have a qualifying condition and will need to be a permanent resident of the state. Your doctor will need to provide written certification, and you will need to pay the state a $100 application fee, which can be reduced to $25 with proof of disability, Iowa Medicaid enrollment, Social Security Income proof, or other specific exceptions.

Recreational cannabis is illegal and taken seriously by law enforcement. Cannabis possession is a misdemeanor; even a first offense could lead to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

CBD and Delta-8 Laws

Hemp-derived products are legal in Iowa. This means that, as long as the product you are purchasing contains less than 0.3% THC, it is not legally considered cannabis. Still, you should be careful. While CBD has been shown to have various potential health benefits, some products are mislabeled, containing a greater amount of THC than is legal in the state. And while synthetic cannabis products like delta-8 may be permitted, they are not nearly as safe or trustworthy as traditional cannabis.

What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in Iowa

As legality varies from state to state, so do state laws surrounding medical cannabis. Iowa is no exception and carries its own rules and regulations surrounding what types of cannabis medical patients can purchase and what conditions qualify for a medical card.

Patients Are Limited To Certain Kinds of Cannabis

Iowa med card patients are limited in the kind of cannabis products they can purchase. Currently, cardholders can only buy the following forms of cannabis:

Notably, some of the most common forms of cannabis, flower and edibles, are not allowed.

Only Certain Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis

The state remains strict about who can access medical cannabis. Current qualifying conditions include:

Telemedicine Is Allowed

Iowa currently allows telemedicine consultations for individuals looking to get their medical cannabis certification. You can speak with a doctor through Leafwell today to learn more about getting your med card.

Iowa Does Not (Completely) Accept Out-of-State Medical Cards

Iowa does not strictly have medical reciprocity, meaning that if you have a medical card from another state, you can not purchase medical cannabis products from any of Iowa’s five dispensaries.

However, your out-of-state medical card is not entirely useless in Iowa. While you cannot purchase products from a dispensary, you can legally possess or use medical cannabis. In other words, you can’t buy medical marijuana in Iowa, but if you have a med card from a different state, you can use products brought with you (but not flower or edibles).

If you’re an Iowa medical card patient traveling out of state, here are states and regions that accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

*Visitors must complete a visiting patient application with the state program.

States that have recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older but do not accept out-of-state cards include:

Can You Grow Cannabis In Iowa?

Since cannabis flower is not legal for medical patients, you cannot grow cannabis in Iowa.

The Bottom Line

Medical marijuana is legal in Iowa but is strictly regulated, and only certain forms of cannabis are allowed. Recreational cannabis is illegal, and punishments can be severe.

To learn about getting your med card in Iowa, make an appointment with Leafwell today.

Qualify for Cannabis

If you live in a state with a medical program you could qualify for cannabis. Speak to a physician today to qualify and learn how cannabis can help you.