In May 2014, Governor Terry Branstad signed into law the Medical Cannabidiol Act, allowing possession of CBD oil with a neurologist's recommendation for the treatment of intractable epilepsy in children, to go into effect at the end of January 2015. Observers criticized the new law, noting that it contained no provision for legally obtaining CBD oil, as it remains illegal to produce in Iowa or to transport across state lines. A policy advisor for the Iowa Department of Public Health noted: "There are still some very fundamental barriers to parents getting the oil."
An early 2014 poll by Iowa Poll showed that Iowans favored legalizing medical marijuana 59-31, but opposed recreational marijuana 28-69. Feral hemp, descended from plants once farmed for industrial hemp, grows wild in Iowa and many neighboring states, but is very low in THC content.
Cannabis in Iowa state refers to the drug cannabis in Iowa, United States, where it is illegal for all purposes. Possession of even small amounts is a misdemeanor crime; however, in contrast with some other states, in Iowa even repeated possession arrests, and for any quantity, provided it is personal and not for distribution, remain misdemeanors and not felonies. CBD oil, however, is allowed to be used to treat a limited number of medical conditions.
In the 1970s, Iowa introduced decriminalization legislation which failed. In early 2014, House File 2313 was proposed, which would have reduced the penalty for possession of under 42.5 grams to a fine of $300, and possession of under a kilogram. The bill failed to progress before the expiry of an procedural deadline, so was rejected. The city of Cedar Falls proposed to deprioritize municipal police enforcement of marijuana offenses for possession under an ounce. The resolution was voted down in January 2015 by a majority of the city council, with one member stating: "We are a governing body tasked with making laws, not ignoring laws."
From late 1979 to mid-1981, Iowa's administrative rules allowed for medical use of marijuana through a therapeutic research center. In 1980 research for cancer, Melphalan chemotherapy, and marijuana was conducted at the University of Iowa Hospital. One of the study participants Lynnice Wedewer, Ph.D. is still alive and living in Cedar Rapids, IA. Though her identity has been protected as a federal research study participant, she has battled cancer successfully today 8 times by ingesting concentrated marijuana oil and inhaling marijuana. She is grandfathered into marijuana treatments for life and currently beating her 9th cancer battle, with marijuana as her chemotherapy. All this is documented in her medical records. Lynn is highly allergic to all chemo-therapies. She was in three such studies at the University of Iowa Hospital and marijuana was incorporated into her cancer care plan. (Melphalan, Alkeran, and Leukeran). She has spoken out to legislators in an effort to help others.