In 2019, the Iowa General Assembly passed Senate File 599, which wrote the Iowa Hemp Act and its coordinating amendments into law. Following on the heels of similar federal legislation, the Iowa Hemp Act opened the door for Iowa farmers to begin growing hemp for industrial uses. The law defines “hemp” as Cannabis sativa plants with less than .3% dry-weight concentration of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
The enactment of pro-hemp legislation at the state and federal level has been followed by the popularization of hemp-based products containing the chemical CBD. Unlike THC, CBD in itself is not a controlled substance under Iowa law. However, as many CBD manufacturers warn, CBD products may contain at least trace amounts of THC, as both chemicals are found naturally in hemp. Prior to the enactment of the Iowa Hemp Act, any amount of THC was unlawful to possess and distribute in Iowa, including those trace amounts that may be found in CBD. That remained the case until April 8, 2020, when the Iowa Hemp Act received federal approval and officially took effect. Now, hemp-based products with trace amounts of THC are no longer controlled substances, so long as their THC content is below .3%.
Many public and private employersmay wish to review and update their Drug Free Workplace and drug testing policies in light of these changes to the law. If you need assistance doing so, or with any other issues related to this change in the law, please feel free to contact us.
- Holly Corkery and Nathan Kooker