Iowa's industrial hemp program has been approved by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and farmers can start applying April 1 for a state license to grow it.

Instructions on how to apply to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for a hemp license are available at 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 A license cannot be issued until all applicants associated with the hemp license pass the background check.

Also, a public hearing to solicit comments on the new state plan will be held on April 3 via teleconference from 9-10 am. Interested parties can participate by calling 866-685-1580 and entering code 0009990941#.

It is not legal to grow, possess, buy or sell hemp in Iowa until official notice is published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin, which is scheduled to occur on April 8, and a license has been issued by IDALS.

In addition, those who want to be industrial hemp seed dealers must also apply for a permit before selling, distributing, advertising, soliciting orders, offering, or exposing hemp seed for sale in Iowa. A retailer must obtain a seed permit from IDALS. Seed dealers can apply for a seed permit now. Detailed information about hemp seed testing and labeling requirements are available at

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

This commercial hemp production program does not legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for human consumption, extraction or processing 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.