Delta-8 THC Is De Facto Banned in Iowa

Delta-8 THC is technically legal in Iowa, but most products are banned.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson is the senior editor at CBD Oracle, and has been covering science, vaping and cannabis for over 10 years. He has a MS in Theoretical Physics from Uppsala...

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Fact checked byNeil Willner

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Neil Willner

Neil M. Willner is an experienced cannabis attorney at Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC and co-chair of the firm's Cannabis Group. He focuses his practice on the cannabis industry and...

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Delta-8 THC is so restricted in Iowa that most products can’t be legally sold. State law applies the 0.3% THC limit to all THCs, which means that delta-8 products made with the 2018 Farm Bill in mind generally aren’t allowed in the state.

The law does allow some alternatives, like hemp delta-9 THC, but other limitations on inhalable products may affect these too. 

Here’s what you need to know about Iowa hemp law.   

Delta-8 THC is severely restricted in Iowa, and most commercial products cannot be sold legally.

The Iowa Hemp Act uses the same definition of hemp as the 2018 Farm Bill (204.2(9)/page 2), but for hemp products (204.2(11)(b)(1)/page 2), the 0.3% limit is applied to all THCs, not just delta-9. This means that for a product to be sold in Iowa, the combined THC – i.e. all isomers combined – cannot exceed 0.3% by dry weight. 

While the vast majority of commercial delta-8 THC products would definitely not fall within this limit, just like there are hemp delta-9 THC products that have substantial doses but remain under 0.3%, it’s also possible that some delta-8 products would meet this threshold. However, in practice, most products are banned because they are intended to meet federal rules, not those in Iowa. 

Additionally, the Hemp Act forbids possession or sale of hemp products intended for inhalation, like vapes or pre-rolls (section 204.14A/page 10).

RELATED: Where Is Delta-8 THC Legal? A State-by-State Map

Can You Buy Delta-8 THC in Iowa? 

Because there are very few – if any – delta-8 THC products that would meet the standards of the Iowa Hemp Act, you can’t buy them in the state.   

Delta-8 THC products are generally made so that the delta9 is below 0.3%, but with higher concentrations of delta-8, because this isn’t limited based on the federal definition. So while it’s technically possible that there would be a delta-8 THC product that had less than 0.3% of combined THC, it’s not likely that any widely-available products are within this limit.

Delta-8 Alternatives You Can Legally Buy in Iowa 

Hemp delta-9 THC products are generally legal in Iowa, and these are the best alternative to delta-8 you can get legally.

Hemp delta-9 THC products aren’t affected by the slight differences in the Iowa Hemp Act because they are intended to remain under 0.3% total THC. Instead, they simply apply this limit to higher-weight products. For example, a 10 g piece of chocolate can contain 10 g × 0.3% = 30 mg of delta-9 THC. 

Are There Age Restrictions on Delta-8 THC Products? 

There are no legal age restrictions on hemp products in Iowa, although most stores institute their own policies against selling THC products to minors. Delta-8 THC products effectively cannot be sold anyway, but for other products, neither the Iowa Hemp Act nor the Administrative Code includes age restrictions.

Can You Travel to Iowa With Delta-8? 

It’s unlikely that any commercially available delta-8 THC product can be legally sold or possessed in Iowa, so you can’t travel to the state with delta-8. 

The Iowa Hemp Act exempts “hemp products” complying with its regulations from the controlled substances list (section 204.7(7)(c)/page 6), but the definition of hemp products excludes most delta-8 THC products. This means that they are considered controlled substances and so you cannot bring them into the state.

Closing Thoughts: The Future for Delta-8 THC in Iowa 

Although there are still issues with Iowa’s hemp law – the lack of age restrictions, for one – there are currently no bills pending relevant to delta-8 THC, and nothing substantial relating to hemp. 

Senate File 265, for example, attempted to authorize the Department of Inspections and Appeals to get information about hemp manufacturers and sellers’ places of business, but this stalled in a committee in February 2023 and has had no further action since then. Other bills tangentially related to hemp also stalled, and so there is nothing major ongoing at time of writing. 

It’s likely that the next major changes for Iowa’s hemp law will come from the 2023 Farm Bill, and these probably won’t change the situation for delta-8 THC in the state.