Iowa House & Senate Threaten Iowa’s Hemp Industry

Senate File 2352 & House File 2605, proposed amendments to the Iowa Hemp Act, pose a severe threat to the hemp industry in Iowa. This bill, if enacted, would introduce stringent regulations, penalties, and restrictions that could have devastating consequences for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers involved in the hemp market.

 

Summary of SF 2352 & HF 2605:

 Tightened THC Standards: If SF 2352 & HF 2605 are enacted, consumable hemp products must adhere to updated THC concentration standards, raising concerns about the availability of popular products that may exceed the new limits. The new law would restrict products to 2 mg THC per serving and 10 mg THC per container.

Stringent Regulations:  With the implementation of stricter rules under SF 2352 & HF 2605, hemp manufacturers will face increased compliance costs and potential delays in bringing products to market, hindering the growth of the industry.

 

Inhalation Prohibitions: SF 2352 & HF 2605 ban the possession, use, manufacturing, marketing, transportation, delivery, or distribution of consumable hemp products designed for inhalation, punishable as serious misdemeanors.

 

Retail Registration and Penalties: Retailers face substantial fines, up to $10,000 per day, for failing to register with the HHS. The bill introduces misdemeanors for unregistered retail sales and false advertising of consumable hemp products. This could force small businesses to shut down & reduce competition in the market.

 

Age Restrictions: Individuals under 21 face penalties for possessing, purchasing, or attempting to purchase consumable hemp products. This includes all hemp products, even products without THC in it. The bill introduces scheduled violations with fines and community service hours for what may be perceived as minor infractions.

 

Minor Charges: For a first violation, there is a scheduled fine of $70; for a second violation, a scheduled fine of $135; and for a third or subsequent violation, a scheduled fine of $325. These scheduled violations are not subject to the Crime Services Surcharge or court costs otherwise added to scheduled violations. Any fines paid for these violations are retained by the city or county that enforced the violation.

 

Product Confiscation: The authority granted to the HHS to confiscate and dispose of hemp products could lead to increased costs for registered entities. Manufacturers may face financial strain, impacting their ability to remain competitive.

 

Alcohol Industry Restrictions: SF 2352 & HF 2605 extend its reach to the alcohol industry, prohibiting the sale, manufacture, and import of alcoholic beverages containing THC.

 

Adult Charges: A simple misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for up to 30 days in jail and a fine of at least $105 but no more than $855. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for up to one year and a fine of at least $430 but no more than $2,560. An aggravated misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for up to two years and a fine of at least $865 but no more than $8,540.

 

 

Potential Devastating Impacts:

 Legal Consequences: The bill’s expansion of criminal offenses could lead to a surge in simple, serious, and aggravated misdemeanors, impacting Iowa’s correctional system. This will likely lead to overcrowding, stretching resources and diverting attention from more serious offenses.

Financial Strain on Businesses: The imposition of hefty fines for non-registration and potential loss of revenue from consumable hemp product sales may force small retailers out of business, reducing competition and stifling economic growth. Soon there will be limited products available to sell retail. 

 

Revenue Loss for the State: The fiscal impact remains uncertain, with potential decreases in registration revenue for the HHS and an unknown impact on scheduled violation revenue for cities and counties.

Consumer Access Restrictions: Stricter regulations and penalties may limit consumer access to hemp products, reducing choices for those seeking alternatives or medicinal benefits, and potentially driving individuals to unregulated sources and undermining the bill’s intended goals of consumer protection.

 

SF 2352 & HF 2605 threaten the very fabric of Iowa’s hemp industry, introducing regulations and penalties that may cripple businesses and limit consumer access. Stakeholders in the hemp community must be vigilant and advocate for a more balanced regulatory framework to safeguard the industry’s future in the state.

 

Sign this petition to show Iowa lawmakers that we care about this issue & share it with everyone you know.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/781/138/945/stop-iowa-legislators-from-banning-your-favorite-legal-hemp-amp-thc-products/?z00m=33317112&redirectID=3390446257

 

Contact the legislators who wrote the bill.

dan.dawson@legis.iowa.gov, steven.holt@legis.iowa.gov

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