Throughout 2022, Iowa's medical marijuana program saw a significant increase in patient and caregiver involvement, resulting in sales reaching $10 million at the end of the year. In 2022, roughly 15,000 patients were enrolled in the program by November – a significant jump from the approximately 7,800 patients enrolled in December 2021. Furthermore, the number of caregiver cards granted climbed from 2,300 in December 2021 to over 3,000 by November 2022, showing increasing participation of designated caregivers in the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Program (MCP).
Since the formal launch of Iowa’s MCP in November 2018, almost 32,000 medical cannabidiol cards have been issued, including new patients and those renewing their medical cannabis cards. This number reflects the rising demand for marijuana in Iowa. Note that only medical cannabis is legal in Iowa; recreational cannabis is illegal.
Iowa's MCP had a significant increase in sales, with total sales across the licensed retailers reaching approximately $10.2 million in 2022, a major increase over the previous year. In August 2022, the program reached a significant milestone when monthly sales crossed $1 million for the first time. This upward trend continued for the rest of the year. In comparison, dispensary sales in December 2021 was approximately $587,000, demonstrating the significant rise in demand for marijuana in Iowa.
Since allowing a larger population of Iowans access to medicinal marijuana products four years ago, the program has routinely produced record-breaking sales year after year. State authorities estimated overall sales of $6.2 million in 2021, a considerable increase from the $3.5 million reported in calendar year 2020. Notably, sales topped $2 million in 2019, the program's first full calendar year, demonstrating the program's gradual and strong growth.
As of December 2022, Bud and Mary’s, one of the state's top-rated medical cannabis retailers, recorded about 50 transactions per day in its Sioux City location and approximately 300 transactions daily in its Windsor Heights location. Due to increasing demand for medical marijuana, the business began work on a $10 million expansion of its production operations in 2022, with the new facility scheduled to triple the company's production.
Iowa's MCP only allows for the sale of orals, topicals, oil vaporizers, nebulizers, and suppository products. Vape products were the most popular medical cannabis product forms sold at licensed dispensaries in 2022, accounting for 66% of sales. High THC products also made up the bulk of total sales with 78%, compared to 13.2% for balanced THC and CBD and 8.9% for high CBD products. Note that Iowa's current law stipulates a 4.5 grams limit for THC products per 90-day period.
The state imposes a drug stamp tax on dealers possessing marijuana, as identified below:
The drug stamp tax is distributed to the State General Fund, and the tax payment is required upon possession of cannabis. The drug tax stamp must be permanently affixed to the substance as proof the tax was paid. There is also a 6% state sales tax on medical cannabis. Revenue from the tax is distributed to the State General Fund.
In an effort to reduce the cost burden of medical cannabidiol products on patients, the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board recommended to the state General Assembly in December 2022 that medical cannabidiol products be exempt from sales tax, as is the case for traditional prescribed medications.
The Iowa Department of Revenue collects tax on cannabis in the state. The Department has several divisions, including the Tax Management Division, responsible for all tax processing facets. The Tax Management Division comprises three operating units: compliance services, collection services, and revenue operations. To contact the Iowa Department of Revenue, call (515) 281-3114 or (800) 367-3388 or visit:
Hoover State Office Building - 1st Floor
1305 E. Walnut
Des Moines, IA 50319