Welcome to the Office of Medical Cannabidiol Website.

Iowa enacted its first Medical Cannabidiol Act on July 1, 2014. On May 12, 2017, Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 524 into law, enacting changes to the previous medical cannabidiol program. The 2017 Medical Cannabidiol Act provides that a person may recommend, possess, use, dispense, deliver, transport, or administer cannabidiol if the recommendation, possession, use, dispensing, delivery, transporting, or administering is in accordance with new chapter 124E of the Iowa Code.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working to identify tasks and develop timelines to implement chapter 124E, as well as the resources needed to accomplish those tasks. 

The first priority for the IDPH in implementing the 2017 Medical Cannabidiol Act was to adopt administrative rules for the new Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards for patients and primary caregivers. Application forms and instructions for Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards can be found on the Applications tab on the left side of this page.

The new law establishes a Medical Cannabidiol Board. It also specified timelines for licensing manufacturers and dispensaries and requires medical cannabidiol dispensaries to begin dispensing to patients in Iowa by December 1, 2018.

Cannabidiol Registration Card Application Statistics

1/30/2015 - 5/11/2017
Type Status Total
Patient Cards Approved 68
Denied 1
Primary Caregiver
Approved 228
Denied 6
Total Cards Approved 326
Denied 7


Cannabidiol Registration Card Application Statistics

Beginning 5/12/2017
Type Status Through 5/17/2018
Patient Cards
Approved 339
Pending   16 
Denied  19
Primary Caregiver
Approved  100
Pending    2
Denied    3
Total Cards
Approved 439

What is the Medical Cannabidiol Act?

Effective May 12, 2017, House File 524 established Iowa Code chapter 124E, the Medical Cannabidiol Act, allowing for use of medical cannabidiol to treat certain debilitating medical conditions.  Those conditions currently are: Cancer (with severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting); multiple sclerosis with severe and persistent muscle spasms; seizures; AIDS or HIV (as defined in section 141A.1); Crohn’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); any terminal illness, with a probable life expectancy of under one year (if the illness or its treatment produces one or more of the following: severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting; cachexia or severe wasting); Parkinson’s disease; and untreatable pain.

Under the 2017 law, medical cannabidiol is any pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica or any other preparation thereof that has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level of no more than three percent. The law allows patients to possess and use (but not to manufacture or sell) medical cannabidiol. The law also allows designated primary caregivers to possess cannabidiol on behalf of certain patients. Patients and primary caregivers are required to have Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards. Certification from the patient’s primary healthcare practitioner regarding the patient’s qualifying debilitating medical condition and designation of primary caregivers, if any are required for the Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card application process.   

The 2017 Medical Cannabidiol Act directs the Iowa Department of Public Health (department), in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Transportation, to administer a process to approve and generate Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards for patients and their primary caregivers. Medical Cannabidiol Registration Cards provide documentation that patients and primary caregivers have met the requirements of the 2017 Medical Cannabidiol Act and are authorized to legally possess medical cannabidiol.

The 2017 law allows use of medical cannabidiol delivered in a form recommended by the Medical Cannabidiol Board,  approved by the Iowa Board of Medicine, and adopted by IDPH pursuant to rule.

The 2017 Medical Cannabidiol Act also requires the department to create a Medical Cannabidiol Board.

IDPH is also required to select and license up to two medical cannabidiol manufacturers to manufacture, possess, cultivate, harvest, transport, package, process, or supply medical cannabidiol in Iowa.  Licensed medical cannabidiol manufacturers must agree to begin supplying medical cannabidiol to licensed dispensaries in Iowa no later than December 1, 2018. IDPH must select and license up to five medical cannabidiol dispensaries to dispense medical cannabidiol in Iowa, and authorizes the department to select and license up to two out-of-state medical cannabidiol dispensaries from a bordering state to sell and dispense medical cannabidiol to Iowa residents who possess a valid Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card.

Administrative Rules

Links to adopted administrative rules for the 2017 Medical Cannabidiol Act will be provided on this website, as they are adopted.

Administrative rules have been adopted for the patient and primary caregiver Medical Cannabidiol Registration Card process. Those administrative rules are available below.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is currently working to develop the rules that govern the implementation of the remainder of the Act. 

HF524 Administrative Rules