Is CBD Oil Legal in Iowa?
Regarding legal CBD oil, Iowa is pretty much in line with most other U.S. states. The lowdown is: you can now legally possess cannabidiol (CBD) oil if you qualify for the Iowan Medical Marijuana Program. Read on to learn more about the law and how you can register for the program. Also, learn where to buy CBD oil in Iowa. 
CBD oil is a compound found in the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, of which hemp is a variety. It is lauded for its numerous health benefits and good safety profile.
CBD is not psychotropic, meaning that it doesn't cause the “high” marijuana is known for. That's the work of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabis compound.
Across the world, including the U.S., more and more users turn to CBD for alleviation and treatment of a long list of health conditions. After many years of lobbying, Iowans can now use and possess it legally as well.
But Is CBD Oil Legal in Iowa?
Yes, it is, if you qualify for the Medical Marijuana Program.
In 2014, a state law was passed that legalized CBD—with 3% THC—for epilepsy patients. It was still illegal to manufacture, distribute, and even import CBD into Iowa, though, creating confusion.
In 2017, the law was amended to include an expanded number of medical conditions suitable for CBD use. It also made more provision for the cultivation of hemp (from which the oil is extracted) as well as CBD oil manufacturing and dispensing.
The Medical Marijuana Program is still in its implementation phase, with many Iowans feeling that it still needs much improvement. It is a work in progress, though, and at least the people who need it most now have legal access.
What Does Registration in the Medical Marijuana Program entail?
To legally possess CBD oil, you need to have a positive diagnosis—made by an Iowa registered physician—for one or more of the following medical conditions (verbatim from the Iowa Department of Public Health [DoH] website):
- Cancer—with severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting
- Crohn’s disease
- Untreatable pain
- 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. 
At the time of writing, a petition was underfoot to add more qualifying conditions.
Your diagnosing doctor needs to give you or your caregiver a completed and signed Healthcare Practitioner Certification form, which you will need for registration in the program. They should also give you information about the therapeutic use of medical cannabidiol.
You will furthermore need a photo ID, proof of Iowa residency, and $100 for an annual card. If you're in one of the eligible programs listed on the DoH website, you could qualify for a reduced fee.
At the time of writing, online registration was not an option yet. However, all the required forms are available for download on the DoH website.
Regarding CBD oil, Iowa is slowly gearing up to make access easier.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Iowa
There are a limited number of licensed dispensaries in Iowa. These are located in Sioux City, Waterloo, Davenport, Windsor Heights, and Council Bluffs. The shops were planned by MedPharm Iowa in Windsor Heights and Sioux City; Have a Heart Compassion Care in Council Bluffs and Davenport; and Iowa Cannabis Company in Waterloo. The remaining two are in Washington state. 
Yet where can you get your CBD products, if you're not close to a dispensary?
CBD oil products are also available in numerous less-than-clandestine shops across the state. However, Sarah Reisetter, Deputy Director of Iowa DoH, was clear about these in a recent statement: "Our position is that any CBD product is illegal in the state of Iowa if it is not produced under the program being implemented by the department at this time."
This means that county attorneys could seize the merchandise if they choose to. 
However, by federal law, CBD is not considered marijuana any longer, since the Department of Justice, Diversion Control Division recently amended its definition of this Class I drug. 
Some Iowan shop owners grab this legal loophole and make sure that their products comply with the new drug code. They cleverly rely on educating the public and their local law enforcement to escape prosecution.
According to KCRG-TV9, the Department of Health is leaving it up to local law enforcement to decide. 
However, be vigilant in your search for a good oil, as the over-the-counter products are not regulated yet.
RELATED: How to Choose a High-Quality CBD Oil
In What Forms Can I Take the CBD Oil?
The Iowa Act states that you are allowed to take CBD oil in one of the following forms:
- Oral forms—tablets, capsules, liquids, tinctures, and sublingual forms
- Topical forms—gels, ointments, creams, lotions, and transdermal patches
- Nebulizable inhaled forms
- Suppositories—rectal and vaginal 
How Has CBD Oil Helped Iowans?
CBD oil has helped many Iowans in various ways, but the most recent feel-good story comes from a pretty Sioux City resident, Madison Boehme.
Twenty-year-old Madison was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis. This rare and debilitating disease caused her body to attack her brain tissue, resulting in symptoms that included personality changes, seizures, weakness, and even brain damage.
Speaking to a local newspaper, Siouxland Proud, Madison said: "Burning like my brain is almost being fried is how I would describe it." The pain was so severe, she had to drop out of school.
For two years, she took many prescription pain pills that brought little relief. Then she discovered another remedy: "Those pain meds would not touch my pain, and CBD is the only thing that has helped my pain".
She describes CBD oil as one of the best things she's done for her disease so far. 
For more of its residents to benefit from CBD oil, Iowa is slowly but surely moving to more permissive legislation and well-regulated dispensing. This is good news for many.