Cannabis in Iowa

Iowa Cannabis Laws

Is Weed Legal in Iowa?

As of July 1, 2020, Iowa has legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. What once was a CBD program that allowed the use of cannabinoids with less than 3% THC has been reversed to a restriction of 4.5 grams of marijuana for each patient every 90 days. Although this amount of cannabis is relatively small, Bill HF 2589 is a landmark case for cannabis in the state of Iowa. While recreational weed is still illegal, the hopes for more lenient legislation concerning cannabis use looks promising. 

Buying Marijuana in Iowa

Buying marijuana in Iowa is fairly easy. Although legally medical patients can purchase up to 4.5 grams every 90 days, under qualifying conditions patients can be prescribed a higher dosage. After following the proper procedures to gain an MMJ card, patients can simply visit their local dispensary and receive their proper medication.

Buying Marijuana at a Retail Location 

Buying marijuana at a retail location in Iowa is comparatively restrictive to states that have recreational weed legalized, but thankfully the process is straightforward. To be able to receive your cannabis prescription, you first must be 18+ years old, have an MMJ card, and an Iowa state-issued form of identification. Second, depending on the dispensary you visit, you may have to fill out a patient intake form that communicates your illness, prescription, and marijuana preferences. Some dispensaries require you to call in advance so that a meeting can be taken place before your first visit to the dispensary to help facilitate an easy and quick process for the consumer. 

Using a Marijuana Delivery Service

In the infantile stage of the legalization of medical marijuana in the state of Iowa, delivery services have not been established. Even though legislation has not outright prohibited the delivery of medical cannabis, businesses have not deemed marijuana delivery as a viable market to penetrate. However, if you are not able to visit a dispensary, you may designate a primary caregiver who will be able to transport and aid in administering your prescription on your behalf. 

Store Hours

Of the five licensed dispensaries in the state of Iowa, each store is open typically between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM. Depending on the day, these hours may differ. Before you leave for your visit, please be sure to visit the dispensary’s website to confirm the store’s operating hours. 

Purchasing Restrictions

Medical marijuana legislation within Iowa dictates that a patient shall buy no more than just 4.5 grams of cannabis within 90 days. However, if posed with a terminal illness, patients may be prescribed a larger dose to help mitigate pain and symptoms. 

Available Products

Medical marijuana patients are given a plethora amount of options for ways to intake cannabis for your individual needs. While patients cannot purchase actual flower, other legal forms of cannabis are:

  • Oral methods - tablets, capsules, liquids and tinctures
  • Topical forms - gels, ointments, creams, lotions, and transdermal patches
  • Nebulized marijuana
  • Vaporization 

Taxes on Marijuana in Iowa

Taxes on Recreational Marijuana in Iowa

There are no taxes on recreational weed in Iowa because recreational weed is not legal yet in the state. Please check back to Where’s Weed when the state’s laws change for an updated overview of your marijuana inquiries. 

Taxes on Medical Marijuana in Iowa

While marijuana cannot be taxed under federal law, Iowa does has a procedure in place to tax marijuana consumers. Known as a “tax stamp”, consumers have to pay a $3.5 / gram stamp to be placed on the marijuana container. If inspected, and a stamp is not placed on the container, you are required to pay a fee in the amount of 200% of the tax assessed. 


Possession of marijuana without a prescription or in possession of more than one’s prescription is treated as a misdemeanor. First-time offenders could either spend 6 months in jail or pay a maximum $1,000 fine. For a second offense, the person will be sentenced to 12 months in jail and may have to pay close to $2,000. Please keep in mind for those accepted into the medical marijuana program that one may only purchase up to 4.5 grams of marijuana in their possession every 90 days unless given a higher dose prescription.  

Using Marijuana in Iowa

Iowa is undergoing an exploratory phase of cannabis within the state. Slowly expanding the use of marijuana, Iowa remains very conservative in practice. Patients who are allowed to use marijuana may only consume in the comfort of their homes. Please refrain from consuming in public places, and certainly refrain from practicing marijuana treatment from federal land. 

Areas in Iowa that DO NOT allow the use of marijuana:

● Federal funded buildings (hospitals, care centers)

● Parks

● Public spaces

● Automobiles

● Lakes

Areas in Iowa that DO allow the use of marijuana:

● The privacy of your home

Smoking on Federal Lands

Smoking on federal land is absolutely prohibited. Regardless of the state, smoking weed on federal land is a crime because weed has not yet been legalized nationally. Please refrain from any such activities on federal lands or you will be subject to at least one year of incarceration and a $1000 fine for just possession alone!

Medical Marijuana in Iowa

On June 29, 2020 Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds approved House File 2589. This Act was an update to the existing legislation regarding the medical cannabidiol act and marijuana. These amendments allowed greater quantities of marijuana to be possessed (4.5 grams), however, the amendment also limited the number of qualifying conditions to be enrolled in the medical marijuana program. 

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

1. Download and print the Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form from the state’s official website.

2. Visit your doctor or another licensed physician in Iowa. Ask them to fill out and submit the form on your behalf. During the consultation, the physician will ask questions about your condition. Make sure you have your medical records in order.

3. Once you receive certification, you need to fill out the patient registration form here.

4. If approved (you will be notified via email), go to an Iowa Driver License station (DMV) to get your ID card printed out.

Out of State Medical Cards Iowa

Iowa largely does not accept out of state medical marijuana cards. However, other states may accept Iowa medical cards. Please sure to refer to our other state legal overviews for a better idea of whether your card may be accepted. Lastly, do not be afraid to contact the dispensary you are planning to visit and ask if your card may be accepted.

How to Transport Marijuana in Iowa

Transporting Marijuana in Iowa

It is perfectly legal to have up to 4.5 grams of marijuana within your possession as long as you have your medical card with you and proper forms to prove that your cannabis is legally prescribed to you. When traveling in a car, be sure to have the marijuana in a sealed container out of reach of the driver. Please also be sure to not cross state borders with marijuana in your possession or else you will commit a federal crime.

Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana 

There is no legal limit that is safe to drive high in the state of Alabama. In fact, any sign of impairment will warrant a drug inspecting officer to be notified and sent to investigate one’s driving condition. Driving under the influence of marijuana is always a bad idea and can result in massive legal problems similar to a DUI. 

Driving Across State Lines with Marijuana

Despite legalization efforts in certain states, driving across state lines puts you into federal jurisdiction. Due to marijuana being federally illegal, that would make the transportation of cannabis across state lines a rather criminal offense. 

Growing Marijuana in Iowa

While farmers can apply for approval to grow hemp in Iowa, only medical marijuana patients may apply to grow marijuana in Iowa. Others caught growing cannabis of any amount is considered a felony. Please refrain from growing your own cannabis at home at this time.


Frequently asked questions about cannabis in Iowa

Is marijuana legal in Iowa?
Where can I buy marijuana in Iowa?
How much marijuana can I buy in Iowa?
Can I get weed delivered to me in Iowa?
How much marijuana can I possess in Iowa?
What are the marijuana laws in Des Moines?
How do I get a medical marijuana card in Iowa?
Can I drive with marijuana in my car in Iowa?
Are out of state medical cards accepted in Iowa?
Is it legal to smoke weed in Iowa?
Can the passenger of a vehicle smoke marijuana in Iowa?
Can I drive while high in Marijuana?
Is there a legal limit for marijuana impairment while driving in Iowa?
Can I smoke marijuana in my hotel room in Iowa?
Can I smoke marijuana in my Airbnb?
Can I smoke marijuana at the lake in Iowa?
Are there legal businesses where I can smoke marijuana in Iowa?
Can I take home the marijuana I bought in Iowa?
Can I grow marijuana in Iowa?