Do Marijuana Seeds Still Provide PC to Search?

There was a time when the observation of marijuana seeds on the floorboard of a vehicle provided probable cause to search.


Because the definition of “marijuana” under Iowa law includes cannabis seeds.

However, with the passage of the Iowa Hemp Act, Iowa Code chapter 204, that may no longer be the case.

“Hemp” in Iowa is any part of the cannabis plant with a delta-9 THC concentration of up to 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.  The definition of hemp also includes seeds.  Hemp is legal to possess in the state of Iowa.

Both marijuana and hemp seeds contain nominal THC levels that would not exceed the legal threshold for delta-9 THC.  This is important because marijuana seeds produce plants that will far exceed the threshold for THC in hemp.

So, while it used to be the case that marijuana seeds were a controlled substance, it’s more likely now that these seeds are no longer controlled because they meet the definition of hemp.

And that means PC to search based on the plain view observation of a cannabis seed is now in doubt.

The drug crime lawyers at GRL defend traffic stops involving all forms of cannabis.  We pride ourselves in developing innovative approaches to defending the constitutional rights of Iowans to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

GRL Law.  We know hemp.