2018 Farm Bill: Industrial hemp gets the green light in Iowa

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – What was once lumped together with potent, illegal drugs, like heroin and LSD, could now potentially be Iowa’s next cash crop.

Hemp experts at The Corner Store Apothecary in Cedar Rapids are excited by what this could mean for the industry, after the 2018 Iowa Farm Bill legalized growing industrial hemp.

Now, Iowa legislators are rushing to outline rules and regulations for it.  Businesses who sell hemp products are waiting to see how, and if, this might affect an already-booming market.

Corner Store Apothecary is on a mission to educate the community about CBD and the difference between that and THC, owner Kimberly Loeffler told KWWL.

“There is a huge misconception between the two.  The marijuana plant has that high THC. The CBD is a cannabidiol, and that comes from the hemp plant which is an industrial plant.”

And that’s what got the green light to be grown in Iowa as a crop. It can be used in products, such as some lotions, which can contain no CBD or THC.  It’s something the Loeffler family wants people to understand.

“Most people aren’t looking to get high.  A lot of our clientele are 50 and above. People who have been taking terrible medications for years and not finding any relief, and having terrible side effects.  They’re looking for a natural option,” said CBD expert and manager, Jordan Loeffler.

State lawmakers are working to determine how new guidelines could affect Iowa’s hemp business.

“It’s going to be a little challenging right now because it still is a grey area between marijuana and hemp. So the farm bill will help with the misconception what hemp is and explain that hemp is a commodity, and it’s not recreational they’re growing it for.”

While they don’t sell medical grade CBD here, the Loefflers invite regulations to the industry.

“I would welcome guidelines to control CBD so that the educations is out there and people are getting the products that they need, and that there aren’t these snake oils out there that give people misconceptions.”

Right now, the industrial hemp grown here isn’t allowed to be used in CBD products. The shop owner tells KWWL that they even lab test what they sell. A third party does the testing for them.

If you’re interested in what’s in the 2018 Farm Bill, click here.

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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