Iowa now issuing hemp licenses and seed permits

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced Wednesday that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has issued its first round of hemp licenses and seed permits for the 2020 growing season. To date, 11 hemp licenses and 38 seed permits specific to hemp have been approved since it became legal to possess hemp in Iowa on April 8, 2020. License applications for outdoor hemp crops will be accepted until May 15. There is no deadline to apply for a license for indoor hemp crops. 

“The introduction of hemp brings Iowa farmers another cash crop option for the 2020 growing season,” said Secretary Naig. “As with any new market, there are lessons to learn and challenges to overcome, but we continue to hear from farmers who are excited for this new opportunity.” 

A list of licensed hemp growers and seed distributors is posted on the department’s hemp landing page to help connect buyers and sellers in this new market. The approved lists for the 2020 growing season will be updated every Monday.

Applying for a hemp license

Detailed instructions on how to apply for a hemp license are available at All individuals associated with the hemp production operation must be listed on the hemp license application and must submit their fingerprints for a background check. Interested growers can request a fingerprint card at (515) 725-1470 A license cannot be issued until all applicants associated with the hemp license pass the background check. 

Applying for a permit to sell hemp seed

Before selling, distributing, advertising, soliciting orders, offering, or exposing hemp seed for sale in Iowa, a retailer must obtain a seed permit from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Seed dealers can apply for a seed permit now. Detailed information about hemp seed testing and labeling requirements is available at

All questions about applying for a hemp license or seed permit should be directed to or 515/725-1470. Additional resources for hemp growers are available at

This commercial hemp production program does not legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for human consumption, extraction, or processing in Iowa. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still working to determine if CBD is safe for human consumption. Hemp grain, hemp seed oil, and protein powder derived from hemp grain have been cleared by the FDA for human consumption.

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