There are likely to be new limits on how much THC from hemp may be legally added to food or drinks sold in Iowa.

A bill that’s passed the Iowa House and Senate closes what bill backers say are loopholes in a 2020 law that made it legal to produce, sell and consume hemp in Iowa. Senator Dan Dawson, a Republican from Council Bluffs, said the bill lays out “desperately needed” regulations to prevent highly-intoxicating products from being sold “to not only protect the industry, but also to protect the consumers who might indulge in these products.”

The bill also bars businesses from selling hemp-infused “consumables” like drinks and gummies to anyone under the age of 21. Dawson said some hemp-infused consumables being sold in Iowa with really high levels of THC seem to be competing with state licensed medical marijuana businesses. “That program starts at a 4.5 milligram THC usage,” Dawson said. “The Iowa Hemp Act, or the program that we’re talking about here today, needs to be at a miligram usage that’s less than our Medical Cannibadiol program, otherwise the lines are blurred.”

Senator Tom Shipley, a Republican from Nodaway, said four years ago when he worked on the law that made it legal to sell hemp in Iowa, he had an inkling people with “nefarious motives” would exploit it. “Some people could find an angle to around things and do things that are not good for Iowans,” Shipley said.

The House approved the bill with new regulations for hemp-infused products last month. The Senate approved the bill today and sent it to the governor.

Radio Iowa