Iowa Marijuana Laws

Current Legality State
Medical Program Only
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Iowa State Information Page

  • Medical Program only
  • Not decriminalized- legislation pending in some cities, including Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and Sioux City.
  • Possession is not allowed for recreational marijuana; possession of a 90-day supply or 4.5 grams from medical cannabis dispensaries is legal for Iowa patients.
  • Cultivation is illegal for recreational marijuana and for Iowa Medical patients
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Medical cannabis is legal in Iowa per a new law called the Medical Cannabidiol Act, and there is a complete medical program established by the Iowa department of public health. Recreational cannabis, however, is still illegal per the state’s law enforcement.

While marijuana has yet to be decriminalized statewide, the Iowa legislature is pending to decriminalize small possessions and fully allow adults to consume cannabis recreationally.

State Laws and Offenses

Here’s a list of penalties for possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana, concentrate, or paraphernalia in Iowa.

  • Marijuana is a Schedule I hallucinogen substance in the state of Iowa 
  • Federally, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • Possession of any amount is a misdemeanor and could result in up to six months of jail time by law enforcement and a 1,000 USD to 6,250 USD fine.
  • Cultivating any amount is a Felony, and penalties range from five to twenty-five years of incarceration and a 7,500 USD to 1,000,000 USD fine. 
  • Intent to sell any amount of cannabis is a Felony, and penalties range from five to twenty-five years incarceration and a 7,500 USD to 1,000,000 USD fine. 
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Misdemeanor with a six-month sentence and a 1,000 USD fine

The Iowa Department of Public Health approves the following medical conditions can certify patients for a medical marijuana card:

  • Cancer – if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia, or severe wasting.
  • Seizures or Intractable epilepsy
  • Crohn’s disease  
  • Chronic pain; Untreatable pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • AIDS or HIV
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
  • Ulcerative colitis 
  • Severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
  • Severe, intractable autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
  • Corticobasal Degeneration
  • This medical cannabis list also includes any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year – if the disease or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia, severe wasting, or any other specific underlying condition.


Book An Appointment

You will schedule an appointment to see a medical marijuana doctor in Iowa at a time that is most convenient for you. Provide basic medical history and book your appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor.



Consult with a doctor for a quick evaluation of your ailments, and ask any questions you may have about medical marijuana treatment.



Within 24 hours after the evaluation, the doctor will send your certificate via email for your recommendation for medical marijuana. After receiving that recommendation, you can then apply with the state of Iowa to complete the registration process.

Does Iowa accept out-of-state medical cards?

Out-of-state patients are not currently considered for an application with Iowa department registry.

When does my Iowa medical card expire?

Medical cards expire one year from the date the patient completes the registration process with the state.

Iowa marijuana DUI laws

Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, even in medical marijuana states.

  • The first offense can result in a minimum of 48 hours to one-year incarceration, 1250 USD fine, or both; 180 days suspended license; completion of a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program.
  • Penalties get more severe with subsequent offenses.

Iowa marijuana growing laws

Home cultivation is illegal for cannabis in Iowa. Qualifying patients and Iowa caregivers must source medical CBD from state-approved dispensaries.

Iowa public consumption laws

According to Iowa law enforcement, hosting a gathering where marijuana will be sold or used may result in a misdemeanor conviction, up to a year of jail time, and a 1,875 USD fine. Selling to a minor near a park or school is a felony and conviction results in a mandatory sentence of ten years in jail and up to 100,000 USD fine.

Iowa city specific laws

The laws listed here are for the state. Cities, counties, schools, universities, and employers may set their own rules and consequences. Be sure to check how marijuana laws differ in each county or town before you use.

Approximately 78 percent of eligible Iowa voters supported the legalization of marijuana for medical use in their state, and 54 percent approved it for adult use according to a March 2021 Des Moines Register poll.

Iowa’s medical list of qualifying conditions does not include anxiety unless your physician recommends it as debilitating for registered patients.

Marijuana products that can be inhaled are legal per Iowa law and can be found at state-approved dispensaries to effectively treat health conditions for registered patients.

To qualify for a medical cannabis card to legally purchase medical marijuana, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Physician’s certification form stating you have one of the Iowa qualifying conditions from licensed Physicians or Physician assistants.
  • Driver’s license and proof of Iowa residency
  • 100 USD fee—a reduced fee of 25 USD is offered to Social Security Disability beneficiaries, Supplemental Security Income Payment beneficiaries, Medicaid members, and Hawki cardholders
  • Your Iowa medical card will remain valid for one year to purchase 4.5 grams every ninety days. MedPharm Iowa is one of the main dispensaries patients can use. Out-of-state patients are not currently considered for an application with Iowa department registry.

Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline

2014: SB 2360, the Medical Cannabidiol Act was passed, establishing Iowa’s medical marijuana program and allowing doctors to prescribe medical CBD oil with less than three percent THC to Iowa patients with epilepsy.

2017: More qualifying conditions were added by a selected medical cannabidiol board to the medical cannabidiol program, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, and Crohn’s disease

2018: Licensed cultivation of medical CBD began, and medical cannabis dispensaries started to open. One of the top dispensaries is MedPharm Iowa and they perform spot check testing before selling any medical cannabidiol to patients.

2020: Amendments were made by the public health department and signed by Governor Kim Reynolds to add qualifying conditions for registered patients to Iowa’s medical cannabidiol list and update medical possession allowances to 4.5 grams of THC every ninety days for Iowa’s medical cannabidiol program.

2022: SF 406, HF 816 is pending to legalize recreational use for anyone 21 and older however Governor Reynolds has signed new laws requiring voters meet specific qualifications at the ballot according to Ian Richardson at the Hawk Eye, so it could meet some obstacles.

Currently, HF 751, SF 83 is pending to decriminalize small possessions of marijuana. Similar to neighboring South Dakota, Iowa Republicans lawmakers are pushing back on legalization efforts.

Updated 6.14.2022