Consent Searches to Verify Medical Cannabidiol Registration Status

The Iowa Department of Public Health began issuing digital medical cannabidiol registration cards for qualified patients and caregivers.  They come complete with a QR code that may be scanned by law enforcement to verify the person’s status. 

The Department advises that “law enforcement representatives may request to temporarily handle your mobile device to verify your registration card.”

The drug crime lawyers at GRL recommend that you consent to a request by a peace officer to briefly handle your phone to scan the QR code verifying your status as a person who can possess medical cannabidiol.  That will likely end the encounter with police as quickly as possible.

However, your consent should be specifically limited to only a scan of the QR code.  Be sure to tell the officer that you do not consent to any other search beyond that scan. 

Otherwise, handing over your phone could be construed as your consent to a full search.  That means text messages, emails, call history, etc., can be read by police.  Normally, they can only do that with a search warrant.

Keep your personal information private!  Speak up to limit the scope of your consent.