Growing High-CBD Hemp in Iowa

What You Need to Know About Growing CBD Seeds in Iowa

cbd seed iowa

Hemp farming is hot in Iowa and across the nation. If you are considering growing an industrial hemp/CBD seed crop in Iowa, there are various things you’ll need to be aware of:

  1. Hemp can be turned into a wide variety of products, but selling it for CBD oil and other CBD products will provide the best return on your investment.
  2. To ensure that your hemp plants grow with as much CBD as possible, choose seeds and clones with proven genetics.
  3. A higher CBD content will fetch a higher price, but along with CBD the industrial hemp plant also contains THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that creates the “high.” Therefore, THC must be extremely low, too low to create a high.
  4. According to current USDA regulations, the permissible amount of THC in industrial hemp is only 0.3% per dry weight. What does this mean for you, as a hemp grower?
  5. Your crop will be tested to ensure those levels, per Iowa guidelines. If it’s found to have an “illegal” amount of THC, you might not be able to sell it, and it might even have to be destroyed.
  6. To avoid this type of disaster, we always recommend that a prospective hemp farmer get as much education as possible on how to successfully grow a successful CBD crop. Start educating yourself before applying for a license and definitely before starting to plant!
  7. Do yourself a huge favor and try to find a buyer for your crop before planting and harvesting. There have been instances where farmers harvested their crop, only to find no CBD producers to purchase it. Producers are growing in numbers each year, but best to be prudent.

CBD Seed Co. is honored to be the trusted CBD seed company serving Iowa.

Where to Get Licensed to Grow CBD In Iowa

Farmers interested in growing hemp commercially will need to apply for licensing from the Iowa Hemp Program. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responsible for regulating the program. Applicants are required to use official fingerprint cards provided by the IDALS in order to pass their background check. Since regulations are often in flux, it’s best to check this website regularly for updates.

Leading CBD Seed Genetics for Iowa

CBD Seed Co. has spent over five years in research and development in order to breed high-producing CBD seeds. Our genetics feature options that are ideal for the humid, continental climate with hot summers. We value compliance and always have our seeds independent, third-party lab tested for cannabinoid content, no pesticide exposure, and quality. Learn more about our current available hemp varieties:

High CBD Hemp Seeds

cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

BaOX Feminized Seed

Field tested from California to Michigan and down to Florida, Our BaOX feminized seed Is a no bralner for the large scale farmer looking to use mechanization from start to finish.

Cherry HD Feminized Seed

Cherry extracts very well but unfortunately also grows very slow. We set out to change this! We experimented with many different breeding combinations to increase vigor, size and strength without sacrificing terpene or cannabinoid content, the result of these trials is what we call Cherry HD. Cherry HD is a early finishing, bigger plant capable of competing with the weeds and creating a quick canopy. She has a sweet smell with a hint of funk.

• Strong field ready structure
• Heavy resin and terpenes
• Ideal for biomass or flower
• 2-3%CBC
• Early finisher, finishes mid to late September depending on geography

cbd seed iowa

High CBD Hemp Clones

Baox High CBD Hemp Clones

This vigorously growing satlva dominant plant will fill In up to S’ spacing and will quickly create canopy to crowd out weeds with tighter spacing (we recommend 30″ x 24″). A true veteran of the hemp world BaOX has strong stalks and stems suited for even the windiest environments with close Inter-nodal spacing making her an excellent candidate for biomass.

• Quick to create canopy
• Excellent vigor and plant strength
• 26:1 CBD to THC ratio
• Excellent uniformity
• Ideal for biomass
• High in terpenes B-Myrcene and B-Caryophyllene

cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

Cherry HD Hemp Clones

Cherry is a short squat plant that grows in a very dense tight bush with thick resinous flowers that stretch to the bottom of the plant. Very resinous with nice tight buds making it ideal for either extraction of flower. Cherry grows a little slower than most so performs best when planted a little denser. While she is smaller she makes up for it with Cannabinoid content.

• High terpene content
• Dense flowers
• 29:1 CBD to THC ratio
• Can reach 15% CBD or more.
• Finished flower has an almost red or purple hue
• High in terpene b-caryophyllene, farsenene, humulene, limonene, linalool and myrcene

Spectrum Hemp Clones

Clone only Spectrum is a little slower to flower but once she does she packs on the flower weight quickly, not ideal for climates with a shorter growing window but will reward farmers with large resinous buds suitable for extraction or flower. Strong stems and stalks she is field ready for any weather.

• High terpene content
• Grows large dense resin coated flowers
• Ideal for biomass or flower 27:1 CBD to THC ratio

cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

Spectrum Hemp Clones

Clone only Spectrum is a little slower to flower but once she does she packs on the flower weight quickly, not ideal for climates with a shorter growing window but will reward farmers with large resinous buds suitable for extraction or flower. Strong stems and stalks she is field ready for any weather.

• High terpene content
• Grows large dense resin coated flowers
• Ideal for biomass or flower 27:1 CBD to THC ratio

CBG Clones

CBG is a fast growing indica dominant CBG variety suited perfectly for the Smokable flower Market. Fast growing and even faster to flower she makes for quick turnaround time between runs. Heavy resin with large dense flowers make this a win win for grower and customer alike.

• Kush like terpene profile
• Can reach up to 25% CBG
• Best for indoor growing
• Needs 20+ hours daylight in Veg

cbd seed iowa

Iowa Regulations for Growing CBD Clones & Seeds

While hemp can be a lucrative crop for commercial farmers, it does require a comprehensive understanding of both local and federal regulations. Not understanding local regulations can jeopardize your entire crop, making it crucial to stay compliant. Here are some great resources for learning more about the state and federal regulations.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS): Iowa’s hemp program rules have been approved by the USDA. The website includes a lot of great info and a useful FAQ. Please study this information; some of it might be new or unknown to you. If you have any questions, you can contact the hemp program at or call (515) 725-1470.

Here are some of the links you’ll find on their website, which can give you the info you need:

  • Iowa Hemp Act: Updated as of December 2020, the Iowa Hemp Act entails all rules and regulations of the state program. This extensive document is a great resource for understanding licensing, fees, funding, regulations, inspections, tests, and more.
  • Iowa Agriculture and Land Stewardship: This important document details how hemp is regulated in deeper terms of licensing, testing, and regulating. Hemp farmers should read through this document to understand everything that’s expected of them.
  • 2021 Iowa Hemp Grower License InstructionsThe 2021 hemp grower application will be available online at the beginning of the year. Paper applications are not being accepted. Farmers will need to watch for the portal to open for both renewals and new applications. Check the Iowa Hemp Program website frequently for application availability. More information can be found in these instructions.
  • Choosing the Right Hemp Licensing: Here is a convenient flowchart for finding what licensing you need for your intended purposes. Make sure you have all of the proper licensing in order to stay compliant.
  • 2020 Iowa Hemp Year-End ReportIt’s always a good idea to know the local market overview as well as how farmers faired the previous year. This year-end report includes the program summary, changes for 2021, as well as comprehensive statistics regarding local hemp production.
  • Iowa CBD Seed PermitsWhile farmers are not required to purchase their hemp seed from these companies, the IDALS has compiled this list of approved companies to help you narrow down your search. Always work with a company with proven genetics and that values compliance.
  • Iowa Hemp Sampling, Testing, and TimingHemp sampling and testing are required in every state. This document provides the required timeline for these reports. Make sure to follow these instructions in order to ensure you stay compliant. The timelines are outlined for every required report.

National Resources for Hemp Regulations

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA): This federal agency provides leadership and funding for programs that advance agriculture-related sciences. They are a researched-based organization that invests in and supports initiatives to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture, now including industrial hemp and CBD. NIFA applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice.
  • USDA: The United States Department of Agriculture is in charge of creating regulations for the industrial hemp industry and the growing of CBD seeds and clones. Their site is comprehensive and a must-read for hemp growers and processors. While there is a state program here, farmers looking for licensing in other states without a hemp program can often obtain licensing directly from the USDA. This federal resource is crucial to keep up with in addition to state regulations.
  • FDAThe FDA is currently creating a legal framework for hemp-derived CBD products. For farmers cultivating hemp in order to produce CBD, this can be a great resource. Once the FDA has established its regulatory framework for CBD products, this could potentially impact farmers as well as manufacturers. Farmers that are also processors and manufacturers of CBD products can also find its current instructions on how to stay compliant in terms of labeling, marketing, and more.
  • Vote Hemp: This nonprofit is dedicated to educating legislators and policymakers, advocating for progressive hemp laws, and defending standing policies that inhibit commerce. In addition to advocacy, farmers can utilize this resource for its regulatory information. The website provides comprehensive regulation education by state including ways that you can help with advancing policies. From legal cases to regular political updates, farmers can keep up to date with the ever-changing legal framework.
cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

Iowa’s Hemp Biomass Transportation Regulations

Iowa highly regulates the transportation of hemp biomass. You can find the detailed document here. Hemp farmers must carry their license at all times when in possession of hemp. Anyone transporting hemp biomass must carry a COA or a Temporary Harvest and Transportation Permit. Hemp seed transportation also requires COAs. A Hemp Bill of Landing is required for hemp shipments and should include the name and address of the hemp owner, point of origin, point of delivery, kind and quantity of shipment, and the shipment date. Smokable finished hemp products are prohibited in Iowa and cannot be transported.

Regions of Iowa Where CBD Is Grown

Iowa is one of the nation’s main agricultural states, with soil and a climate that is suitable for industrial hemp. Many in the hemp industry believe that states where corn fairs well are ideal for hemp cultivation. Some of the state’s main agricultural products include corn, soybeans, oats and hay, red clover, flaxseed, rye, and wheat.

Top agricultural counties, based on the number of farms, include:

  • Pottawattamie County
  • Clayton County
  • Clinton County
  • Fayette County
  • Jasper County
  • And many more.

Fact is, if there is farming in an area, there can be hemp farming in that area.

cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

Iowa Agricultural Regions for Cultivating CBD Hemp

Iowa offers distinct agricultural regions that are ideal for growing hemp:

  • Northwest
  • West Central
  • Southwest
  • North Central
  • Central
  • South Central
  • Northeast
  • East Central
  • Southeast

When purchasing CBD seed, it’s important to discuss your specific agricultural district due to varying climate and topography. Make sure to find strains well-suited for your region.

Iowa Hemp & CBD Seed News

Farmers should stay in touch with all local hemp industry news. Since regulations are constantly changing and the market is still developing, having a good understanding of what’s going on currently is important. An easy, convenient way of obtaining all the information you need is with Google Alerts. You can sign up for your desired search terms and you’ll receive an email with any news alerts. Try terms like “hemp farming Iowa” or “CBD market Iowa”. Here are some important news articles from over the last year:

November 25, 2020: Some of Iowa’s first legal hemp crips set on fire because THC exceeds federal limits

This article includes important information from the 2020 hemp season in Iowa. Unfortunately, some crops went hot meaning that the THC threshold was above the legal limit. In order to avoid your crops going hot, it’s important to invest in compliant CBD seed and to test regularly.

March 23, 2020: Iowa hemp production plan approved by USDA

This Hemp Industry Daily article reports, “Iowa is one of 12 states and 14 American Indian tribes that have received USDA approval for their hemp production plans under the interim final rules for domestic hemp production, which were implemented in October.”

January 2, 2020: What’s required to grow hemp in Iowa? Ag agency releases proposed rules for comment.

In this Des Moines Register article, “Iowa farmers have a chance to comment on the state’s proposed rules for growing hemp — from the cost to get licensed to the testing and harvest requirements.”

May 13, 2019: Iowa Governor Signs Law Enabling Industrial Hemp Production

The Iowa Hemp Act has been passed with overwhelming support. The bill allows farmers to commercially cultivate hemp on up to 40 acres. While this plan has been passed, the IDALS will still need to develop its state hemp plan for approval.

cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

CBD & Hemp Resources for Iowa Farmers

Joining hemp organizations and associations provides first-time farmers a great resource for networking, finding potential processors and buyers, and much more. These organizations can provide the support and local resources you need for getting started. We recommend joining one of these groups, especially if this is your first year of hemp farming.

Iowa-Based Hemp Organizations

  • Iowa Hemp Association (IHA): The IHA is dedicated to the reintroduction and re-emergence of hemp as an agricultural commodity. They offer a free newsletter that you can sign up for with regular local news. Membership includes access to networking events and education.
  • Iowa Hemp Industries Association (IHIA): This organization provides comprehensive educational resources for local farmers. Learn more about all the different applications of hemp available, gain access to networking opportunities, and more. Memberships are available at different levels and provide various benefits.

National Hemp Resources

  • Hempstead Project Heart: Hempstead is an educational, environmental, and economic advocate for industrial hemp. This organization strives to raise awareness of industrial hemp for tribes and local communities. By focusing on raising awareness on the benefits of hemp, Hempstead hopes to help redevelop successful hemp economies and connecting tribal, urban, and rural communities. Farmers can find more general information regarding hemp if they’re interested in learning more about the industry and finished product opportunities.
  • National Hemp Association: Membership is available for entrepreneurs, farmers, professors, researchers, manufacturers, investors, organizations, and businesses involved in the hemp industry. This is an excellent resource for beginner farmers and experienced farmers alike looking to joining an extensive network. Since this association serves farmers, processors, businesses, manufacturers, and researchers, you can connect with different individuals from various sectors of the industry. While local organizations are always important, having a national network can help you expand your business and find potential biomass buyers. From member directories to state-specific resources, this is a wonderful starting point.
  • Hemp Industries Association: Hemp Industries Association has worked as a hemp advocacy group for almost 30 years. The organization has fought to legalize and establish hemp as a federal commodity through legal action, advocacy, and education. They offer a great trade association for hemp farmers with reasonable membership pricing. Membership benefits include incredible networking benefits with other individuals in the industry as well as lawmakers. With significant educational resources and highly transparent access to other members, hemp farmers can create connections and find invaluable information.
  • US Hemp Roundtable: This coalition of leading hemp companies and organizations is committed to safe hemp and CBD products. The US Hemp Roundtable works with political officials for passing legislation that supports both hemp farmers and consumers. This organization also provides education and advocacy to help create a viable path for safe, legal hemp-derived products. Gain access to complimentary state action, industry updates, and federal resources when you sign up for their newsletter.
  • US Hemp Authority: Achieve better credibility, compliance, and more by getting certified through the US Hemp Authority. If you’re only interested in growing hemp then selling your biomass to a buyer or processor, this certification is not for you. This resource is for Iowa farmers that plan on producing CBD in-house or would like to sell hemp-derived products. For farms interested in branding themselves and selling directly to consumers, having a US Hemp Authority certification can provide better trust for your customers. Since the CBD industry is currently unregulated, this certification provides assurances that your growing and manufacturing standards are high.
  • US Hemp Growers Association: Gain access to hemp research and incredible resources that help farmers stay up to date on regulatory developments, certified CBD seed, and more. This farmer-specific national organization is great for connecting with other licensed growers and certified crop advisors. They offer a free six-month trial membership and have various membership levels to choose from. With comprehensive educational resources, this can be a great jumping-off point for novice hemp farmers. US Hemp Growers Association also provides extensive industry and regulatory resources in addition to events you can attend.
  • American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp: The trade association is a great place for both marijuana and hemp industry professionals. Their mission is to professionalize industry representation. Unlike the other hemp-specific associations, this one provides support for both cannabis industries. This can provide a wonderful networking opportunity for fellow individuals in the hemp industry as well as the marijuana industry. By focusing on advocacy and education, ATACH hopes to make cannabis mainstream and provide professional industry representation.

Hemp Biomass Selling Tips for Iowa Farmers

  • Hire a hemp broker: There are licensed hemp brokers that can help you negotiate the best price for your hemp biomass. You’ll want to look for an experienced individual with many connections in the industry and a great track record.
  • Presell your biomass: This is an ideal option since the window for selling your harvested biomass is short. Having a buyer lined up can help alleviate stress post-harvest while giving you the competitive advantage of growing specific strains that potential buyers are looking for.
  • Sell directly to buyers: If you have the connections, it may be a good idea to cut out the middle man. Selling directly to buyers can help you maximize your profits but it will require more work.
  • Profit-sharing agreements: For farmers interested in joining the hemp industry but don’t have the upfront finances, profit-sharing agreements may be a good option for you. Profit-sharing works by finding a buyer willing to pay for all upfront costs and recoups these expenses after harvest.
  • Hemp future contracts: This type of agreement is signed before you start your season with a set price arranged for your biomass. While the price provided in future contracts is usually less than the price available with the open market, this is a good option for better stability and minimizing fluctuation risks.
  • Networking: Joining a hemp association or attending a hemp trade show can offer networking opportunities for connecting with potential buyers. The more places you can find to network, the more opportunities you’ll find.
cbd seed iowa
cbd seed iowa

Iowa Hemp Farming & CBD Seed FAQ

Smokable hemp is prohibited in Iowa. Farmers are not allowed to produce, possess, transport, or distribute harvested hemp that’s intended for this purpose. Anything meant to be administered through inhalation is prohibited by local law.

Currently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is only one recognized fingerprint service that’s still operational in Central Iowa. Contact this location here to make an appointment. Law enforcement agencies generally offer these fingerprinting services but have paused their services during the pandemic.

The IDALS charges a base fee of $1000 to inspect and test. Farmers can request additional testing which results in a supplemental fee.

No, herbicides are prohibited at this time. They cannot be applied to any areas where you intend to grow hemp. This may change as the EPA releases approvals of pesticides.

Yes, crop insurance is currently available on a limited basis from the USDA Risk Management Agency. Insurance coverage is forecasted to expand once the data required to make decisions is available.

Iowa CBD Hemp Farming Resources

Read more about local cultivation needs, market updates, and more for your hemp farm:

October 30, 2020
cbd seed iowa

Growing CBD Seed In Iowa: How to Start a Hemp Farm

Farmers interested in joining the hemp industry can now legally cultivate this new cash crop under the Iowa hemp regulatory program. Unlike other crops, however, hemp […]

Work With Iowa’s Trusted CBD Seed Company

CBD Seed Co. is honored to work with local farmers throughout the Iowa area. Our team has been researching and developing our proprietary strains for over five years, offering high CBD-producing genetics that are durable and resilient. We’re always available to provide the resources and support that you need. For more information regarding our strains, please contact us!

cbd seed iowa