Consumable Hemp

The Consumable Hemp Regulatory Program was created by the Iowa General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session. DIA is responsible for the regulation of consumable hemp products, including registration. Registration is open, however, sales may not commence until DIA approves the manufacturer or retailer application.

Relevant Iowa Code and Administrative Rules

What is consumable hemp?

Consumable hemp is a product introduced into the human body by ingestion or absorption. Consumable hemp products can be liquid or solid. A hemp product is considered to be a consumable hemp product if it is any of the following:

  • Designed by the processor, including the manufacturer, to be introduced into the human body;
  • Advertised as an item to be introduced into the human body; or
  • Distributed, exported, or imported for sale or distribution to be introduced into the human body.

Types of consumable hemp products include, but are not limited to:

  • A noncombustible form of hemp that may be digested, such as food; internally absorbed, such as chew or snuff; or absorbed through the skin, such as a topical application (oils and lotions);
  • Hemp processed or otherwise manufactured, marketed, sold, or distributed as food, a food additive, a dietary supplement, or a drug.
     
Consumable hemp products do not include those intended to be introduced into the human body by any method of inhalation, which are prohibited under Iowa Code 204.14A.


Other hemp products

DIA only handles registration for hemp products for human consumption. If you have an inquiry about any of the following, please visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) website.

  • Growing hemp;
  • Applying for a hemp license or seed permit; or
  • Hemp in animal feed or pet food.

You may also contact IDALS at hemp@iowaagriculture.gov or 515.725.1470

Registration

There are two types of consumable hemp registrations. Both cost $475 per year and are only available online. Any individual or entity wishing to sell or manufacture consumable hemp products of any kind in Iowa must register with DIA before doing so. This includes individuals or entities located outside of Iowa who sell consumable hemp products to purchasers in Iowa.

  • Consumable hemp manufacturers. Along with the registration form and payment, manufacturers of consumable hemp must submit a complete list of all consumable hemp products the manufacturer intends to produce, process, pack, hold, distribute, or sell, along with information about consumable hemp product ingredient suppliers and manufacturers.
  • Consumable hemp retailers. Along with the registration form and payment, retailers of consumable hemp products must submit a complete list of all consumable hemp products the retailer intends to sell, along with information about the consumable hemp product suppliers and manufacturers. 

Registrations can only be obtained and renewed annually through DIA's online registration system, along with the $475 annual registration fee, at least 30 days prior to expiration. Registrations can be renewed as soon as 60 days prior to their expiration date.

Registrations that have not been renewed and that are more than 60 days past expiration will be revoked without notice. After 60 days, the consumable hemp manufacturer or retailer must complete a new consumable hemp registration, and may not sell any consumable hemp products prior to the new application's approval.

Registrations are issued by location, and are not transferrable to new location or a new operator at the same location.

Individuals, businesses, or other entities may not sell consumable hemp products in Iowa before an approved consumable hemp registration has been approved. 

Learn How to Register

New Users

Watch this video if you DON'T currently have a food license in Iowa.

Existing Users

Watch this video if you DO currently have a food license in Iowa.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q1: Can consumable hemp products be sold from a retailer's home?

A: It depends. Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 32 states that the sale of consumable hemp products may not take place in a private residence, except in a portion of the residence separate from the living space that is designated for the production or sale of the consumable hemp products, that meets all the applicable local and state regulations. An example of this would be a commercial kitchen that was built on to a residence for a catering operation. Other examples include:

  • An outbuilding on a retailer's property being converted into a processing, storage or retail sales area,
  • A garage converted into a production or storage area; or
  • A basement or other room in a residence being converted into a production or storage area.

Consumable hemp registration and other potential licensing requirements would apply.

Q2: Can consumable hemp products be sold at a stand at a farmer’s market?

A: A consumable hemp product may be sold at a stand at a farmers market, provided:

  • The farmers market is listed on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s farmers market directory;
  • The individual selling the consumable hemp maintains a valid consumable hemp establishment registration at any location where consumable hemp is stored;
  • The consumable hemp establishment registration is posted in plain sight at the farmers market stand; and
  • All consumable hemp products sold are listed and maintained up to date with the department.  

Q3: Can consumable hemp products be sold online to consumers?

A: Yes, consumable hemp products may be sold online with a consumable hemp retailer registration.  

Q4: Can consumable hemp products be sold at private parties?

A: No, the sale of consumable hemp products at private parties is prohibited. 

Q5: Can consumable hemp products be sold via a mobile food unit? 

A: Yes, consumable hemp products may be sold by a licensed mobile food unit with a consumable hemp retailer registration.

Q6: Can consumable hemp products be sold at a flea market?

A: No, consumable hemp can not be sold from a temporary booth or stand except at a farmers market under certain conditions.

Q7: Can consumable hemp products be sold from a temporary booth?

A: No, the sale of consumable hemp products at temporary booths, roadside stands, etc., is prohibited. 

If the temporary booth is located at a farmer’s market that is on the Iowa Department of Agriculture Land and Stewardship’s farmer’s market directory, consumable hemp products may be sold with a valid consumable hemp registration.

Q8: Can consumable hemp products be sold from a retailer's farm?

A: Yes, consumable hemp products may be sold from a retailer's farm, provided the retailer is a registered as a consumable hemp establishment, and the activity is to take place in an area separate from living space, that is designated for the sale or production of consumable hemp products. 

If a retailer is manufacturing or warehousing the consumable hemp product on their farm, for intended use in human food (which includes dietary supplements and tinctures), or a human food ingredient, the retailer must also apply for a food processing license with the State of Iowa, and meet the requirements for a food processing plant as listed in Iowa Code Title IV, Chapter 137F.

Q9: How does a consumable hemp establishment obtain a certificate of analysis (COA)? 

A: A COA will be issued by an accredited laboratory once analysis of the consumable hemp product has been completed. 

  • A consumable hemp retailer may request a copy of their consumable hemp manufacturer’s COA. 
  • A consumable hemp manufacturer will be issued a COA by the accredited laboratory upon completion of their analyses.

Q10: Can a retailer sell consumable hemp products that have been manufactured outside of Iowa? 

A: Yes, consumable hemp products that have been manufactured outside of Iowa but elsewhere in the United States may be sold by registered consumbable hemp retailers in Iowa. Retailers are required to supply documentation identifying the jurisdiction where the consumable hemp was manufactured to verify the jurisdiction has an approved State hemp plan.

Documentation options include the following:

  • Information about the consumable hemp product suppliers and manufacturers; 
  • A certificate of free sale, or other information identifying the jurisdiction of origin where the product was manufactured; 
  • Documentation identifying the brand name;
  • A certificate of analysis (COA) from an independent accredited laboratory, showing:
    • The presence or concentrations of cannabinoids and showing the batch is below 0.3% THC level;
    • That the product is from a batch analyzed for the presence of harmful pathogens, pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, toxicants, and that these levels do not exceed testing limits; and
  • The manufacturer's registration document from the State of Iowa showing the manufacturer is registered as a consumable hemp manufacturer.

Q11: Can a retailer sell consumable hemp products in Iowa that have been manufactured outside the United States? 

A: No, consumable hemp retailers may not sell consumable hemp products that have been manufactured outside of the U.S. Approved hemp sources are those from within Iowa, or a state that has a hemp plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA does not approve hemp plans from outside of the United States.

Q12: Can a hemp grower also be a consumable hemp manufacturer? 

A: Yes, a licensed hemp grower can also be a consumable hemp manufacturer if:

  • The hemp grower registers as a consumable hemp manufacturer; and
  • The hemp grower applies for a food processing license if the production of consumable hemp products is for human food (which includes dietary supplements and tinctures), or for a human food ingredient.

Q13: Can an Iowa hemp grower send raw hemp to processors in other states and bring back crude hemp oil to add as an ingredient in consumable hemp products?

A: Yes, providing the following are in place. 

For the transport to and from other states (in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 204.7):

  • The person is a licensee and carries their hemp license whenever they possess hemp;
  • The person must carry a certificate of analysis (COA) if they are in possession of harvested hemp. If they are transporting harvested hemp into or through Iowa, the person must have a COA or equivalent document issued by the jurisdiction where the hemp was produced;
  • The person must also be in possession of a bill of lading, if the person is in possession of hemp in transit to transfer ownership; and
  • The person must follow the rules and regulations of the state in which the transportation of hemp products is to be taking place.

There are further requirements for the transportation of hemp, that can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website.

For the storing of crude hemp oil, the following must be in place (no longer a raw agricultural commodity):

  • The grower must register as a consumable hemp manufacturer. Documentation of jurisdiction and other applicable documentation applies, to include certificate of analysis for the crude hemp oil; and
  • If the crude hemp oil is to be used as an ingredient in human food applications (which includes dietary supplements and tinctures), the grower must also apply for a food processing/warehouse license for the storage of crude hemp oil.

Q14: Can a restaurant or bar add consumable hemp to food or beverages?

A: A food service establishment that is utilizing a consumable hemp product from an approved hemp source as a food ingredient used for immediate consumption by the consumer may add consumable hemp products to food or beverages. Packaging and labeling requirements apply.

Q15: Can a retail store buy bulk consumable hemp products and repackage them for sale or distribution?

A: No, a consumable hemp retailer may not manufacture, process, package, repackage, relabel, mix, blend, or otherwise manipulate a consumable hemp product.

Q16: Can a retail store add consumable hemp to products to sell to the consumer?

A: A consumable hemp retailer is not approved to manufacture, process, package, repackage, relabel, mix, blend, or otherwise manipulate a consumable hemp product.

The only exception would be if the retail store is also a food service establishment adding a consumable hemp product as a food ingredient for immediate consumption by the consumer. An example would be a dually licensed (both retail and food service) retail bakery with a coffee bar, that prepares a coffee beverage for immediate consumption by the consumer.

Q17: How can someone tell if a consumable hemp supplier is registered in Iowa?

A: All consumable hemp establishments are required to register in the State of Iowa, and are issued a registration document. A copy of the registration document should be available upon request, or an image posted online. DIA has also posted a PDF of registered consumable hemp establishments at the top of the consumable hemp page.

Q18: Is a food processing license required to manufacture a consumable hemp product?

A: If an establishment is manufacturing, processing, or otherwise baking, boiling, bottling, canning, cooking, cooling, cutting, distilling, drying or dehydrating raw agricultural commodities to create a distinct commodity (such as drying/dehydrating grapes to produce raisins), evaporating, eviscerating, extracting juice, formulating, freezing, grinding, homogenizing, irradiating, labeling, milling, mixing, packaging (including modified atmosphere packaging), pasteurizing, peeling, rendering, treating to manipulate ripening, trimming, washing, or waxing consumable hemp products as a human food (which includes dietary supplements and tinctures) or a human food ingredient, the establishment must apply for a food processing license with the State of Iowa.

If an establishment is only manufacturing consumable hemp products that are NOT intended as human food, such as lotions, soaps, etc., they are not required to apply for a food processing license; however, they would still be required to register as a consumable hemp manufacturer.

Q19: If a consumable hemp manufacturer prints "not intended for consumption" on the label, do they still need to follow the rules?

A: Statements such as “not intended for consumption” will not exempt an establishment from following the consumable hemp rules and regulations. If an establishment is manufacturing a product that meets the definition of a consumable hemp product, they are required to register as a consumable hemp manufacturer and comply with the rules and regulations set forth in Iowa Administrative Code 481 Chapter 32. Consumable hemp products also include products that are applied to the body topically (e.g., lotions and oils). 

Q20: Can a consumable hemp manufacturer make their products in a commercial rental kitchen?

A: Yes. Please note that consumable hemp registrations are issued to a physical location. If a consumable hemp establishment opts to manufacture their product in a commercial rental kitchen, in addition to registering as a consumable hemp manufacturer:

  • If a consumable hemp establishment is making consumable hemp products that are intended for use as a human food ingredient, or human food (which includes dietary supplements and tinctures), they must also obtain a food processing license with the State of Iowa, and comply with all applicable regulations.
  • If a consumable hemp establishment is manufacturing consumable hemp products in a rented space, but storing the finished product in a separate space, the storage space will also need to be registered as a consumable hemp establishment.
  • Additionally, in the case of the storage of consumable hemp products intended for use as or in human food, a food processing/warehouse license with the State of Iowa would be required.

Operating in a commercial rental kitchen will also present other challenges, due to the nature of the operation, the sharing of space, and the sharing of equipment. 

Q21: Are consumable hemp establishments limited to selling their products based on the age of the customer?

A: Currently there are no age restrictions that have been adopted into Iowa law.

Q22: What if an establishment is selling consumable hemp products, but they don’t have a registration?

A: Complaints regarding unregistered hemp establishments may be submitted to DIA via the department's online complaint form.

Q23: Does a business need to register as a consumable hemp establishment if they are storing raw hemp on a farm?

A: Raw hemp is considered a raw agricultural commodity. If a business is solely engaged in the holding of raw, unprocessed hemp, a business is not required to register as a consumable hemp establishment, or obtain a food processing/warehouse license with the State of Iowa.

Q24: What if a business is warehousing consumable hemp products at the owner's home, or another location? Does the business need to register as a consumable hemp retailer or a consumable hemp manufacturer?

A: The type of registration needed would depend on the intended distribution. If the business is warehousing consumable hemp products at home or another location, and is ONLY selling direct to consumer, then a consumable hemp retailer registration is all that is required.  

If a business is warehousing consumable hemp products at home or another location, and the consumable hemp products are then being sold to retailers or sent to distribution centers for further distribution on the wholesale market, then the business would need to register as a consumable hemp manufacturer.

Q25: Is a consumable hemp establishment allowed to deliver their consumable hemp product(s) to a consumer directly?

A: A consumable hemp retailer is allowed to deliver their consumable hemp products in person. The retailer should keep documentation with them as they deliver the product:

  • Any documentation that identifies where the consumable hemp product was manufactured (including a certificate of free sale);
  • The manufacturer’s contact information (name, address, and phone number);
  • A certificate of analysis (COA) showing the consumable hemp product is below 0.3% THC; and
  • Any other applicable information.  

A copy of this information must also be provided to the retail customer.

Q26: Is a consumable hemp retailer allowed to utilize the USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or a third-party delivery service to deliver consumable hemp products to its customers? If so, what paperwork is required?

A: Yes. It is allowable for a consumable hemp retailer to use the U.S. Postal Service or another service to deliver its consumable hemp products to customers. Information that should be included in the shipment would be:

  • Any documentation that identifies where the consumable hemp product was manufactured (including a certificate of free sale);
  • The manufacturer’s contact information (name, address, and phone number);
  • A certificate of analysis (COA) showing the consumable hemp product is below 0.3% THC; and
  • Any other applicable information.  

For traceability purposes, the retailer should document what delivery service was used, the tracking number, and verification that the consumer received the consumable hemp product.

Q27: Can consumable hemp products be sold at a concession stand?

A: Yes. If the concession stand is licensed or operated as a permanent establishment, consumable hemp products may be sold if the business also registers as a consumable hemp retailer (e.g., concession stands at ball fields, the Iowa State Fair, etc.).

If the concession stand is a temporary booth or structure, consumable hemp products may not be sold at the concession stand.

Q28: Can a nonprofit organization put CBD oil in a beverage for distribution? Are nonprofits required to register as a consumable hemp establishment? If they are allowed to register as a consumable hemp establishment, do they need a food license if they meet the exemptions for nonprofit organizations in Iowa Administrative Code 481, Chapter 30?

A: Yes. If a nonprofit organization wishes to put CBD in beverages intended for immediate consumption, they will be required to register as a consumable hemp establishment. However, as a nonprofit organization operating within the exemptions stated in Iowa Administrative Code 481 Chapter 30, they do not need to apply for a food license. 

Q29: Can colleges sell CBD products?

A: Yes. Iowa’s consumable hemp regulations do not prohibit a college from selling consumable hemp products provided the school is registered as a consumable hemp establishment.

Q30: Is a food establishment license required to sell prepackaged consumable hemp products to consumers on a retail basis if the products do not require refrigeration for safety?

A: No. Iowa’s food regulations exempt establishments that offer prepackaged foods that do not require refrigeration for safety from food regulations. However, the establishment must still register as a consumable hemp retailer.

An establishment that stores prepackaged foods that do not require refrigeration for safety for wholesale distribution are also required to obtain a food processing license and are subject to Iowa food processing regulations. 

Q31: Can consumable hemp manufacturers located outside of the state of Iowa sell, manufacture, and distribute their products to manufacturers in Iowa? Can consumable hemp retailers located outside of Iowa sell their products in Iowa?

A: Consumable hemp manufacturers, distributors, or retailers located outside of Iowa must register as a consumable hemp establishment in Iowa and be in compliance with Iowa's regulations regarding consumable hemp products. If multiple locations will sell or distribute products into Iowa, each location must register.

Q32: Does a consumable hemp establishment need an inspection prior to manufacturing or selling consumable hemp products?

A: Once a registration document has been received by the establishment, an inspection is not needed prior to selling consumable hemp products as a retailer, or a manufacturer of consumable hemp products used solely for topical use.

However, if a consumable hemp establishment is manufacturing or warehousing consumable hemp products to be used as human food (including dietary supplements or tinctures) or a human food ingredient, the manufacturer/warehouser must apply for a food processing license with DIA in addition to registering as a consumable hemp manufacturer, and will be required to have a pre-opening inspection for approval of the food processing license. 

Q33: How long does the registration process take?

A: Once a consumable hemp registration application has been processed, it may take up to 30 days to review prior to approval. Consumable hemp establishments may check the status of their application at any time by logging into the online registration system. If all the requested information is submitted and the information demonstrates compliance with Iowa Code Chapter 204 and Iowa Administrative Code 482 Chapter 32, the application will be approved and a registration document will be sent to the applicant. However, the applicant may not begin selling consumable hemp products prior to being approved by DIA.

If a new food processing plant license is also required for the operation, the consumable hemp registration will be assessed during the pre-operational inspection of the food processing plant.

Q1: What documentation is required to show that a consumable hemp product is from an approved hemp source?

A: The following documentation may be required to verify approved hemp source:

  • Information about the consumable hemp product suppliers and manufacturers;
  • A certificate of free sale, or other information identifying the jurisdiction of origin (where the product was manufactured);
  • Documentation identifying the brand name;
  • A certificate of analysis (COA) from an independent accredited laboratory, showing:
    • The presence or concentrations of cannabinoids and showing the batch is below 0.3% total THC level;
    • That the product is from a batch analyzed for the presence of harmful pathogens, pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, toxicants, and that these levels do not exceed testing limits; and
  • The manufacturer's registration document from the State of Iowa showing the manufacturer is registered as a consumable hemp manufacturer.

Q2: Where can the testing limits for consumable hemp products be found?

A: Testing limits may be found in Iowa Administrative Code 481, Section 32.3(2).

Q3: Can a consumable hemp establishment use its own lab to test its consumable hemp products?

A: No, a consumable hemp establishment may not use a laboratory that the establishment owns, or, if publicly traded, one in which it maintains more than a 10 percent interest.

Q4: Where can a consumable hemp establishment find an accredited laboratory?

A: There are many accredited laboratories available. Industry resources and information is available online to assist an establishment in finding an accredited laboratory able to provide the required testing.

Q5: What needs to be on a consumable hemp product label?

A: The items that must be on a consumable hemp product label are:

  • A statement that says the product is a consumable hemp product, with the product name, lot number, and expiration date, as well as the name, phone number, and email address of the manufacturer;
  • The amount per milligram of each listed cannabinoid per serving and serving size; and
  • A certificate of analysis stating the batch contained a total THC concentration less than 0.3% 

For consumable hemp products intended for use as human food (which includes dietary supplements and tinctures), the food labeling requirements, as set forth by 21 CFR 101, must be followed (e.g., the list of ingredients and sub-ingredients, etc).

A product label may include a QR code or link to the hemp establishment's website so consumers can access the certificate of analysis and the name, phone number, and email address of the manufacturer.

Q6: Do product labels need to be approved prior to selling, manufacturing, or distributing consumable hemp products?

A: Product labels submitted with an application for a consumable hemp establishment registration will be reviewed during the approval process. In the case of an onsite inspection, the product label(s) will be reviewed during the onsite inspection to verify compliance with the labeling requirements. 

Q7:  What if a certificate of analysis for a consumable hemp product shows the product's THC level is greater than 0.3%?

A: Cannabinoids or other substances with a THC level greater than 0.3% are considered a controlled substance and illegal, and therefore are prohibited from being sold. Proper disposal of the product must be in accordance with local and state regulations. 

For the disposal process, the consumable hemp manufacturer or retailer will need to notify DIA. DIA will contact the local law enforcement (sheriff’s office or city police department), who will work with the manufacturer for the actual destruction. The cost of disposal is the responsibility of the consumable hemp establishment. 

Q8:  What should a consumer in possession of consumable hemp products do if questioned about them?

A: It is recommended the consumer maintain records of the purchase and the label(s) to be able to prove the product is a legal consumable hemp product.

Q1: Is it legal in Iowa to sell consumable hemp products before an establishment's consumable hemp registration has been approved by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals?

A: No. Businesses or other entities may not sell consumable hemp products in Iowa before its registration application for consumable hemp has been approved.  

Consumable hemp products that are found to be in commerce without an approved consumable hemp registration are subject to immediate seizure.

Q2: Is it allowed to sell consumable hemp products door to door or in vending machines?

A: No. Consumable hemp may not be sold door to door or in vending machines.

Q3: Are there certain food items to which consumable hemp products may not be added?

A: Yes. Consumable hemp products may not be added as an ingredient during the manufacturing or processing of alcoholic beverages, meat and poultry products, or dairy products.

Q4: Can consumable hemp products be added to alcoholic beverages in a bar or restaurant?

A: Yes, consumable hemp products may be added to alcoholic beverages in a bar or restaurant, provided they are added to the product as the last step before handing the beverage to the customer. A bar or restaurant would be required to have the same labeling information available to the consumer:

  • The product must be declared as a consumable hemp product, with the name, lot number, expiration date, name, phone number, email address of the manufacturer;
  • The amount per milligram of each listed cannabinoid per serving and serving size; and 
  • The certificate of analysis (COA) stating the batch contained less than 0.3% THC concentration.  

This information may be present on a placard, on the menu, and, for the certificate of analysis (COA) and the name, email address, phone number of the manufacturer, a QR code or link to a website placed on the menu, placard, or other similar location, would be sufficient. 

Retailers may not add consumable hemp products to a large batch of a food item, and hold it for later consumption.

Q5: Is a consumable hemp establishment allowed to advertise claims such as “treats depression,” “helps prevent heart disease,” or other similar claims on its product labels, website, or other marketing materials?

A: No. Claims regarding curing, preventing, treating, diagnosing, or affecting body function or structure are prohibited from being placed on a consumable hemp product label, or any associated marketing materials, websites, brochures. 

Q6: Are smoke or tobacco shops allowed to sell hemp to vape or inhale?

A: No. The sale of inhalable products containing hemp is prohibited in Iowa.


Source URL: https://dia.iowa.gov/consumable-hemp