Marijuana Laws in Iowa

The Iowa Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis as a Schedule I hallucinogenic drug. Possession, cultivation, and distribution of any amount of marijuana is illegal in this state.

Iowa’s medical CBD law does allow the use of marijuana extracts to treat debilitating, severe conditions caused by epilepsy. However, the extracts must be high in CBD, yet low in THC.

Please note: ILGM is NOT a legal adviser. Information contained in this website is intended as general introductory information only. The information contained on this website is not legal advice. It should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

Possessing Marijuana in Iowa

Possessing any amount of cannabis in the state of Iowa is a punishable offense. Fines and imprisonment terms for possession are as follows:

  • First offense = Up to 6 months in jail and fine up to $1,000
  • Second offense = Up to 1 year in jail and/or fine between $315 to $1,875
  • Third offense is an aggravated misdemeanor = Up to 2 years in jail and/or fine between $625 to $6,250
Possessing marijuana in Iowa
Possessing Marijuana

After multiple offenses, the court may deem the person a chronic marijuana abuser. In this case, the offender may have to go to drug rehab.

Once the rehab program is completed successfully, the court may place this person on probation.

Anyone found guilty of possessing cannabis within 1,000 feet of a public park, school bus, elementary school or secondary school also faces prosecution for possession.

These offenders are also subject to 100 hours of community service.

selling weed in Iowa
Selling Marijuana – Image by

Selling Marijuana in Iowa

In the state of Iowa, possessing large quantities of cannabis with the intent to sell can cause an automatic suspension of the offender’s driver’s license.

According to the Iowa Controlled Substances Act, any amount between 100 to 1,000 kilograms falls under this category.

If any adult over the age of 18 is found guilty of distributing marijuana to a minor under the age of 18, that adult faces a Class B felony conviction.

This conviction comes with penalties of up between $5,000 to $100,000 in fines and up to 25 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.

Any adult found to have made such a sale to a minor within 1,000 feet of a parked school bus, park, elementary school, or secondary school faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

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Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in Iowa

Possessing cannabis with the intent to distribute or sell it is considered distribution, by law.

Delivery or distribution of less than ½ ounce in plant form without compensation is simple possession. This crime is punished as follows:

  • First offense = Fine up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail
  • Subsequent offenses = Punished by the courts more severely with each new offens

Cultivation or distribution of marijuana in any form is a crime in Iowa. The various offenses are punishable as follows:

  • Less than 50 kilograms = Class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $750 to $7,500 in fines
  • 50 to 100 kilograms = Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and between $1,000 to $50,000 in fines
  • 100 to 1,000 kilograms = Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and between $5,000 to $100,000 in fines
  • Over 1,000 kilograms = Class B felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison and up to $1,000,000 in fines
Growing and manufacturing cannabis in Iowa
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana – Image by

Anyone who solicits a minor under the age of 18 to assist with the cultivation or distribution of cannabis is subject to being convicted of a Class C felony. The fines for this crime are up between $1,000 to $50,000, and it carries up to a 10-year prison sentence.

Using Marijuana in Iowa

In the state of Iowa, the marijuana plant and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are classified separately. However, both are considered hallucinogenic substances under the Iowa Controlled Substances Act.

When it comes to criminal justice in this state, THC, plant-form marijuana, and any substance derived from these substances are classified as cannabis.

This includes marijuana concentrates and hashish, which are generally punished as if they are the cannabis plant themselves.

Using Marijuana in IO

There is one exception to this rule. Any person found delivering plant-form marijuana or possessing it with the intent to deliver less than ½ ounce without compensation is considered simple possession in the state of Iowa. However, delivery or possession with intent to deliver hash oil, hashish, or other cannabis derivatives are punishable under the regular distribution laws.

Marijuana paraphernalia is defined as anything that’s knowingly used to smoke, inhale, ingest, test, manufacture, or enhance the drug. Possessing, manufacturing, or distributing cannabis paraphernalia is considered a simple misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or up-to $1,000 in fines.

Promoting, sponsoring, or assisting with the promotion or sponsoring of events and gatherings in Iowa where marijuana will be knowingly distributed, possessed, or used is a serious misdemeanor offense. It’s punishable by an imprisonment term of up to 1 year, and/or a fine between $315 to $1,875.

using medical cannabis in Iowa

The Iowa Controlled Substances Act does allow for the use of medical CBD products in the form of cannabis extracts for those suffering from debilitating, severe epileptic conditions. However, in all cases, these extracts must contain low amounts of THC and high concentrations of CBD.

Breaking Marijuana Laws in Iowa

For first-time marijuana prosecutions in Iowa, the state allows alternative or diversion sentencing and conditional release. With a conditional release, the convicted person may be given probation rather than taking the case to trial. However, once the probation is complete, the defendant’s criminal record may still reflect the deferred jail sentence, versus the probation.

The state of Iowa has a drugged driving law that forbids anyone from driving motor vehicles with a detectable amount of marijuana in their systems. These persons are subject to fines, jail time, and loss of drivers’ licenses.

Breaking marijuana laws in Iowa
Breaking Marijuana Laws – Image by

Any person convicted of a marijuana offense in Iowa is subject to minimum sentencing laws. The judges presiding over such cases are required to sentence defendants to no less than the mandatory minimum for any given crime.

This state also enacted a marijuana tax stamp law. This law requires those who possess cannabis to buy state-issued stamps and affix them to their contraband. Failing to abide by this law can result in criminal prosecutions and fines.

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