Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill on May 13 that will soon allow farmers to grow industrial hemp legally in Iowa. In order for the bill to take effect, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has to first establish a state plan and get it signed off by the USDA. Lawmakers estimate the plan to get approved by 2020.
According to a WHOtv report, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig stated his confidence in the future of hemp. “Just like any new product or any niche market, we are really advising growers to have their eyes wide open when they’re getting into this to understand what that marketplace looks like. We believe we can grow it in the state of Iowa. We want to make sure that folks can get paid to grow it as well.” He has also said that this bill will not legalize cannabis or CBD. The new bill would only allow the Department of Agriculture to execute a regulated industrial hemp program that would involve hemp with a THC level of 0.3 percent or lower.
Gov. Reynolds elaborated on the new law in a press release and stated that, “I approve this Senate File to allow Iowa to begin the process of entering a new agricultural marketplace for hemp. But Iowans should be aware that this bill does not legalize the sale or manufacturing of all hemp-derived products, such as cannabidiol (CBD). The retail sale and manufacturing of hemp-derived products is still governed by federal law. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some hemp-derived food ingredients for human and animal consumption, it has not approved CBD. The FDA has also declared that CBD is not a dietary supplement. State law cannot preempt the federal law, and Iowans engaging in the manufacture, sale, or purchase of hemp-derived products should carefully consider the legality of their actions under Iowa and federal law. And Iowans should be aware that nearly all of the provisions of this bill will not go into effect until the federal government approves our state hemp plan.”
She has also said in the press release that the effectiveness of the law in regards to the health and safety of Iowans would determine the future of this legislation.