Governor Reynolds signed the Iowa Hemp Act into law May 13, 2019. Nearly a year later, applications are now being accepted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) for growing outdoor hemp crops. Applications were released following the USDA’s March 20, 2020 approval of Iowa’s industrial hemp plan. Iowa is now one of 12 states with USDA-approved hemp programs.
IDALS provides four applications: Single Licensee, Multiple Licensees, Association Licensee, and University Licensee. Each application requires all “individuals associated with the hemp license” to be listed on the license application, fingerprinted and to submit to background checks. Licenses will not be issued by IDALS until such individuals pass the requisite background checks. Additionally, the application form must include, among other things:
- Name, address, phone number and email of the applicant(s);
- Business name and address;
- Legal description of the parcel where hemp will be grown;
- Geospatial location of the crop site;
- A map of the crop site;
- Name of the hemp variety/varieties to be planted; and
- How the licensee will destroy the crop if the THC concentration exceeds set limits.
The application must also include a license fee based on the number of acres (up to a maximum of 40) to be cultivated in addition to a base inspection fee of $1,000 per license. A public hearing for comments on the state plan will be held by teleconference on April 3rd. Growing hemp in Iowa will remain illegal until official notice is published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin.
Applications for an Iowa Hemp License can be accessed from the IDALS website. The deadline for submission of the application for the 2020 growing season is May 15, 2020. In future years, the application deadline will be April 15 for that year’s growing season.
If you are interested in submitting an application or growing, processing, or selling hemp and have questions regarding regulatory compliance or business issues, please contact Joe Leo or Chris Sackett.