Governor Reynolds has now signed into law HF 2581 regulating the possession and sale of hemp products in Iowa.
This provision explicitly legalizes the retail sale of consumable products containing hemp extracts like CBD, CBC and CBG. Since the passage of the 2018 federal Farm Bill, which differentiated between marijuana and hemp containing less than 0.3% THC, GRL has consistently maintained the position that hemp-derived extracts were nevertheless legal to sell and possess in Iowa without a prescription or physician recommendation. The passage of both SF 599 in 2019 and now HF 2581 sure seems to vindicate us. Our so-called contrarian position on hemp extracts is now the mainstream view!
HF 2581 spells the end for spotty enforcement actions by local police and area drug task force agencies, which for more than a year have treated federally legal hemp extracts no differently from marijuana. Regrettably, this resulted in numerous arrests, product and asset seizures and the shutdown of many small entrepreneurial enterprises across the state.
While GRL certainly applauds this signing, the legislation falls woefully short in one very important respect. There appears to be no retroactive application for those currently facing felony charges for the possession and sale of hemp extracts, especially broad spectrum products containing NO detectable THC. In all fairness, the Iowa Attorney General should remedy this defect by recommending the immediate dismissal of all pending criminal charges related to the possession and sale of hemp extracts as well as any civil forfeiture proceedings involving seized assets. There is no justice in continuing to prosecute someone for possessing or selling a legal commodity.
The new law requires those selling hemp extracts to register with the state. That process will first require some rule making by the agency involved, but we don’t anticipate there’ll be too much delay beyond July 1, 2020. There’s also potential issues involving the FDA as far as marketing hemp extract as a dietary supplement is concerned. Nevertheless, Iowans should soon be able to enjoy hemp-derived products without fear of arrest or prosecution.
As always, we’ll continue to bring you the latest developments on hemp and hemp extracts as soon as they unfold.
GRL. We know hemp.