New law in Iowa bans intoxicating hemp, restricts CBD to those 21 or older

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a bill that bans synthetically produced delta-8 THC and similar lab-made intoxicating hemp compounds that have grown in popularity as substitutes for marijuana products.

The measure, Iowa House File 2605, also restricts the sale and use of naturally derived non-psychoactive CBD to those 21 years of age and older and limits consumable hemp products to less than 4 milligrams of THC per serving and 10 milligrams per package.

The law also prohibits the sale of dried hemp flowers intended to be smoked or otherwise inhaled, and bans alcoholic beverages that contain THC “including any isomers, derivatives, or analogs of THC, whether naturally occurring or synthesized.”

‘Desperately needed’

Lawmakers had said the bill to regulate the consumable hemp industry was “desperately needed,” suggesting lawmakers did not intend to legalize intoxicating hemp products when they passed the Iowa Hemp Act in 2019.

The bill, signed by Reynolds last Friday, also:

  • Creates civil and criminal penalties for businesses that sell consumable hemp without first registering with the state.
  • Allows the state Health and Human Services Department to confiscate non-compliant products from retailers.
  • Forces retailers to attach warning labels to consumable hemp products.

Protecting minors

Reynolds said she signed the law “to protect minors from dangerous and intoxicating products. At the same time, we’ve taken steps to ensure that children who are resistant to medications and suffer from seizures and other medical conditions continue to have access to consumable hemp alternatives for relief.”

In addition to delta-8 THC – the most popular of the intoxicating hemp compounds – among others are THCA, delta-10 THC, THC-O-acetate, HHC, THCP.

States throughout the U.S. are working to get their arms around the runaway market for the products – referred to variously as “diet weed,” “marijuana light,” or “gas station pot” – which are sold in convenience stores, bodegas, CBD shops and other retail outlets in the form of gummies and other edibles.

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