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Iowa lawmakers unveil cannabis legalization bill

Democratic lawmakers in the Iowa House of Representatives introduced legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis for adults. If passed into law, the legislation would legalize the possession of cannabis containing up to 500 milligrams of THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, for adults aged 21 and older with valid identification. The bill, which has not yet been formally introduced in the House, also sets the stage for regulated commercial cannabis sales and establishes a tax on licensed cannabis sales.

“We’ve listened to Iowans and heard from people of all parties in all corners of the state who strongly believe it’s time to legalize cannabis. This common-sense bill we’re introducing today isn’t about politics, it’s about people,” said House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst. “Our bill is an opportunity this session to put partisanship aside and work together to get something done that a majority of Iowans want.”

Legislation reduces penalties for cannabis possession
The bill also eliminates criminal penalties for possessing up to a half-ounce of cannabis, reclassifying such possession as a civil penalty. The measure also reduces other possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors and expunges criminal records of nonviolent cannabis possession convictions.

The legislation would allow regulated businesses to produce and distribute cannabis through licensed dispensaries and tasks the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division with regulating the commercial cannabis industry. The bill also requires the division to implement a seed-to-sale tracking system to monitor regulated cannabis products and help prevent diversion to the illicit market.

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