Farmers and the public can now read the proposed administrative rules that will regulate the planting, growing and harvesting of industrial hemp in Iowa. Comments will be accepted through the close of business January 22, according to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.
A public hearing will also be held January 22, 11 a.m.-12 noon, at the Wallace Building in Des Moines, second floor conference room. To read Iowa’s proposed hemp regulatory administrative rules in their entirety, visit this link. To read the Iowa Hemp Act, visit https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/2020/204.pdf.
The rule was filed under emergency procedures and is effective retroactive to December 11 when the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship submitted its plan to the USDA for approval. This is because the rule and plan must also conform with the new USDA industrial hemp rule. The USDA has 60 days to review Iowa's proposed rule and provide feedback.
If the USDA should approve the Iowa rule and plan sooner, the emergency rule process would allow Iowa to begin accepting applications. At the same time, IDALS also wants to hear form the public on the rule. Therefore, until the USDA approves the proposed rule and state plan, IDALS reminds Iowans that it is not yet legal to grow, possess, buy or sell industrial hemp in Iowa.
In addition, the Iowa industrial hemp production program does not legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for human consumption in Iowa. The Federal Drug Administration 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.
Once industrial hemp production has been legalized by the USDA and the state plan and online licensing stem is operational, IDALS will start accepting production license applications from farmers. Farmers can grow up to 40 acres per year. Interested growers should continue to monitor iowaagriculture.gov/hemp for updates.