Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014 Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act (IMCA, SF 2360) Quick Facts Part 2

This fact sheet was prepared by the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy ( for informational purposes only. ODCP does not dispense legal advice. Please seek legal counsel as warranted.

·         The IMCA passed by the Legislature in April 2014 and signed into law by Governor Branstad May 30, 2014, is effective July 1, 2014. The Iowa Department of Public Health is currently developing administrative rules and an implementation plan for SF 2360.

·         CBD, or cannabidiol, is defined in the IMCA as “a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica or any other preparation thereof that is essentially free from plant material, and has a tetrahydrocannabinol level of no more than three percent.” (Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is a psychoactive compound in cannabis.)

·         CBD may be used by patients with “intractable epilepsy,” defined in the IMCA as “an epileptic seizure disorder for which standard medical treatment does not prevent or significantly ameliorate recurring, uncontrolled seizures or for which standard medical treatment results in harmful side effects.”

·         For a patient or primary caregiver to legally possess or use CBD in Iowa, they must have an Iowa registration card recommended by an Iowa-licensed neurologist, approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health and issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The card must be renewed annually. The IMCA does not recognize cards from other states.

·         An Iowa-licensed neurologist may submit a written form to the Iowa Department of Public Health recommending a CBD registration card for patients with intractable epilepsy who have undergone at least six months of other unsuccessful treatment by a neurologist.

·         “Primary caregivers” of Iowa patients may also qualify for an Iowa CBD registration card. Primary caregiver is defined in the IMCA as “a person, at least eighteen years of age, who has been designated by a patient’s neurologist or a person having custody of a patient, as being necessary to take responsibility for managing the well-being of the patient with respect to the medical use of cannabidiol.”

·         CBD cards issued to patients or primary givers by the Iowa Department of Transportation, at a minimum, must include the following cardholder information: full name, Iowa residence, date of birth, photo, card issuance and expiration dates, and information required by rules.

·         Administration of CBD to registered Iowa patients is limited to oral and transdermal forms (no smoking). CBD used for these purposes is often produced in a solution.

·         Registered Iowa patients or primary caregivers may possess up to 32 ounces per patient (estimated five to six month supply).

·         CBD must come from out-of-state sources. The IMCA does not permit CBD production/cultivation, sales or other distribution in Iowa.

·         Iowa patients, primary caregivers and neurologists who comply with the IMCA are not subject to criminal prosecution for violating Iowa marijuana laws. The possession or use of CBD in compliance with the IMCA is an affirmative and complete defense.

The Iowa Department of Public Health is in the process of implementing the IMCA, and is developing administrative rules to provide additional guidance. The IMCA may be reviewed at: For additional information on the IMCA, please contact: Jill Myers-Geadelmann, Iowa Department of Public Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Bureau by phone at 515-242-6067 or by email at

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