Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Iowa?

Legality of buying Delta 8 THC in Iowa
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Delta 8 THC is federally legal, but not legal in Iowa. Derived from industrial hemp, Delta 8 THC has been legalized at the federal level with the passage of the 2018 US Farm Bill. However, this law does not apply to all states and each state may have its own laws that determine whether or not it can be sold within their borders.

In Iowa, for example, Delta 8 is illegal due to their current legislation. However other psychoactive cannabinoids such as Delta 9 THC is legal, as long as it meets the legal limits.  This contradictory legislation essentially allows an adult residing in the state to buy Delta-9 products while the state is prohibiting the same adult from buying Delta 8 products online. This article will discuss what you need to know about Delta 8 in Iowa where it's currently outlawed.

Is HHC legal in Iowa? Yes, HHC products are legal.  Delta 9?  Yes.  Delta 8?...


No, Delta 8 THC is not legal in the State of Iowa.

In Iowa, ​Delta 8 is not allowed. Federal hemp law comes from the 2018 Farm Bill which was signed into law by the president. In effect, this opened up hemp production across the nation with the .3% limitation being that of the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration (Delta-9 THC) as measured on a dry weight basis. State lawmakers took this a step further by broadening the meaning of tetrahydrocannabinols to include Delta-8 THC.

The production of hemp yields hemp-derived Delta-8 THC which is technically a cannabinoid protected by the 2018 Farm Bill. Due to the pharmacological activity of this hemp-derived cannabinoid, state lawmakers aren't eager to amend their state laws anytime soon as Iowa is one of the few states where Delta-8 THC is illegal.

As the DEA is still figuring out how they define synthetic substances derived from industrial hemp and reliable methods for testing Delta-8 are still being formalized, industrial hemp production in Iowa now has been warned with an extra level of scrutiny to ensuring hemp doesn't meet the same schedule as hallucinogenic substances as according to the legal document on industrial hemp in the state.

Current Iowa Delta-8 Legislation

Iowa law has a restriction on tetrahydrocannabinols derived from industrial hemp with concentrations above 0.3% THCs (including Delta-8-THC).

In Chapter 96 "Hemp" of the ARC 4842C Rule, it states:

“Acceptable hemp THC concentration” means when an official laboratory tests a sample, the laboratory must report the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content concentration on a dry weight basis and the measurement uncertainty. The acceptable hemp THC concentration is for the purpose of compliance when the application of the measurement uncertainty to the reported THC concentration on a dry weight basis produces a distribution or range that includes 0.3 percent or less. For example, if the reported THC concentration on a dry weight basis is 0.35 percent and the measurement uncertainty is +/- 0.06 percent, the measured THC concentration on a dry weight basis for this sample ranges from 0.29 percent to 0.41 percent. Because 0.3 percent is within the distribution or range, the sample is within the acceptable hemp THC concentration for the purpose of compliance. This definition of “acceptable hemp THC concentration” affects neither the statutory definition of hemp, 7 U.S.C. § 1639o(1), in the 2018 Farm Bill nor the definition of “marihuana,” 21 U.S.C. § 802(16), in the CSA.

Above is inline to suit the specific mandate of limiting the .3% Delta-9 THC levels, as prescribed in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, the bill goes further to include other tetrahydrocannabinol, such as:

“THC” means total tetrahydrocannabinol as determined by an official laboratory test postdecarboxylation.

“Postdecarboxylation value,” in the context of testing methodologies for THC concentration in hemp, means a value determined after the process of decarboxylation that determines the total potential delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content derived from the sum of the THC and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) content and reported on a dry weight basis. The postdecarboxylation value of THC can be calculated by using a chromatographic technique using heat, gas chromatography, through which THCA is converted from its acid form to its neutral form, THC. Thus, this test calculates the total potential THC in a given sample. The postdecarboxylation value of THC can also be calculated by using a high-performance liquid chromatograph technique, which keeps the THCA intact and requires a conversion calculation of that THCA to calculate total potential THC in a given sample.

“Certificate of analysis” means the certificate issued by the department following the official preharvest inspection, sampling and testing for total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration if the THC concentration is less than 0.3 percent by dry weight matter. The certificate of analysis shall contain the results of the department’s official laboratory test of the postdecarboxylation value concentration of the officially sampled hemp crop following the preharvest report. The certificate of analysis shall be combined with a certificate of crop inspection.

By the bill including "total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)", this blanket term includes Delta-8 THC, so it remains illegal in the state of Iowa.

Iowa Industrial Hemp Act

After the 2018 Farm Bill became the law of the land, Senate File 2398 (S.F. 2398), enabled the state to formalize its industrial hemp program. The Act was amended and passed by the state senate on April 4, 2018. This Act relates to industrial hemp in order to regulate it as a pilot program and provide marketing opportunities and give authority to Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship the authority for monitoring the program.

Today, Iowa's Hemp Program is live and active providing resources for locals to get involved with the new program. To echo the stance of lawmakers, the program answers the following directly on their webpage:

Q. Are delta-8 hemp products legal in Iowa?

A. Iowa considers delta-8 not legal for possession or manufacture in Iowa.

List of controlled substances

Iowa does not have a specific exception for hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol in their Controlled Substances List. All tetrahydrocannabinols, their derivatives, and isomers are considered controlled substances by Iowa law.

Buying and Shipping Delta 8 in Iowa

Since Delta 8 is illegal in the State of Iowa, residents can not purchase Delta 8 products online with a shipping address located in the state.

Advocacy Groups in Iowa Supporting Delta 8 and Hemp Laws

Iowans are continuously supportive of Delta 8 and pushing progress towards better Hemp Laws. Check out some of the standout organizations in Iowa:

Iowans for Medical Marijuana

Iowa Hemp Association


News stories covering raids or busts on Delta 8 Products and stores in Iowa


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