Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has issued its first round of hemp licenses and seed permits for the 2020 growing season. To date, 11 hemp licenses and 38 seed permits specific to hemp have been approved since it became legal to possess hemp in Iowa on April 8, 2020. License applications for outdoor hemp crops will be accepted until May 15. There is no deadline to apply for a license for indoor hemp crops.

“The introduction of hemp brings Iowa farmers another cash crop option for the 2020 growing season,” said Secretary Naig. “As with any new market, there are lessons to learn and challenges to overcome, but we continue to hear from farmers who are excited for this new opportunity.”

This commercial hemp production program does not legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for human consumption, extraction or processing in Iowa. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still working to determine if CBD is safe for human consumption. Hemp grain, hemp seed oil and protein powder derived from hemp grain have been cleared by the FDA for human consumption.

Applying For A Hemp License

Detailed instructions on how to apply for a hemp license are available at iowaagriculture.gov/hemp. All individuals associated with the hemp production operation must be listed on the hemp license application and must submit their fingerprints for a background check.

Interested growers can request a fingerprint card at (515) 725-1470 or hemp@iowaagriculture.gov. A license cannot be issued until all applicants associated with the hemp license pass the background check.

Fact Box

Iowa’s Hemp Law

Farmers can now apply for a license to grow hemp in Iowa during the 2020 growing season. Growers are advised to do their research and confirm there is a viable, profitable market for commercial hemp production before they make an investment in seed and equipment. This commercial hemp production program does not legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for human consumption, extraction or processing in Iowa.

Applying For A Permit

To Sell Hemp Seed

Before selling, distributing, advertising, soliciting orders, offering, or exposing hemp seed for sale in Iowa, a retailer must obtain a seed permit from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Seed dealers can apply for a seed permit now. Detailed information about hemp seed testing and labeling requirements are available at iowaagriculture.gov/hemp.

All questions about applying for a hemp license or seed permit should be directed to hemp@iowaagriculture.gov or (515) 725-1470. Additional resources for hemp growers are available at:

iowaagriculture.gov/hemp.