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There have been repeated discussions about medical cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of marijuana, in Iowa, especially since Illinois has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. Multiple business have cropped up across Iowa and have been selling cannabidiol products, which is against state law. Law enforcement has been working hard to explain the law to business and to help them properly dispose of the illegal product.

While there may be law changes in the future, at this time Iowa law is very clear; unless a person is in the medical cannabidiol program, possession of cannabidiol is illegal in Iowa.

Current law allows a person diagnosed with certain conditions to apply for a medical cannabidiol card. If the person is approved for the card, they are allowed to purchase cannabidiol products with up to 3% THC from one of five medical cannabidiol dispensaries around the state. Any products purchased outside of these facilities is illegal to possess for anyone in the state.

The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board has approved the following conditions for a medical cannabidiol 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

• Crohn’s disease

• Untreatable pain — any pain whose cause cannot be removed and, according to generally accepted medical practice, the full range of pain management modalities appropriate for the patient has been used without adequate result or with intolerable side effects.

• Multiple Sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms

• AIDS or HIV (as defined in Iowa Code, section 141A.1)

• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

• Parkinson’s disease

• Any terminal illness with a probable life expectancy of under one year – 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

• Ulcerative colitis

• Severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behavior

• Corticobasal Degeneration

The board continually reviews petitions to add additional conditions. Those interested in adding a condition can find additional information on the Medical Cannabidiol Board Website.

Illinois, Minnesota and other states have very different medical cannabidiol or medical marijuana programs and products purchased in these states are not legal to possess in Iowa.

Future laws may change how Iowa’s cannabidiol program works, but unless these changes are made, CBD products can only be purchased from approved dispensaries by people with Iowa medical cannabidiol cards.

Governor Recommends Sales Tax Increase for Water Quality and Outdoor Recreation

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Iowa Governor Reynolds presented her “Condition of the State” speech to a joint session of the Iowa General Assembly in the House Chamber. One of the highlights of that speech, was her recommendation that the state sales tax rate be raised by one-penny, with a portion of the proceeds (3/8ths) targeted to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. This 3/8ths of a penny is expected to bring in about $170 million in revenue.

The Trust Fund was established by a constitutional amendment approved by Iowa voters in the 2010 general election. Notably, the amendment provided no funding. Governor noted in her speech that her intent was not to increase overall state revenues and taxation. As a result, she said there should be commensurate reduction of other taxes sufficient to offset the increase in sales tax collection.

Governor Reynolds indicated that times and needs have changed since the 2010 election and that the statutory distribution formula of the trust fund enacted in 2010 (Iowa Code 461.31) should be modified to increase the proportion of outlays from the fund to support water quality efforts. In preliminary supporting materials released after her speech, the Governor appears to reconfigure the trust fund allocation formula to provide more funds for water quality and soil conservation.

The governor’s budget speech noted that implementation of the trust fund with her proposed revised allocation formula would in future whole years starting in Fiscal Year 2022 provide an estimated $100-million going towards water quality efforts. That would be a net increase of 31% of current cumulative state funding for this purpose.

The recreation portion of her recommendation would allocate $52-million in FY 2022, which would be an increase of 14.6% above existing levels.

REAP would be funded at the $17 million level, which is also higher than it has been in recent years.

State Rep. Sandy Salmon is a Janesville Republican who represents House District 63, which includes all of Bremer County and the northern part of Black Hawk County outside of Waterloo and Cedar Falls. She can be reached at or 319-987-3021.