Legal THC products spreading in Eastern Iowa
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The number of ways to consume legal THC in Iowa is growing. Bars and liquor stores are now offering drinks infused with THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana and hemp.
Michael Williams said he’s a regular at Old Neighborhood Pub in Cedar Rapids. When the bar started carrying drinks infused with THC, he gave them a try.
“My review of it is, in and of itself, [it] is a little on the relaxing side,” said Williams.
That was after he took a sip; before there was some uncertainty about what he was trying.
“I asked quite a few questions, you know, to get an educated understanding of what [the drinks] were,” he added.
In 2019, Governor Reynolds signed into law the Iowa Hemp Act, which was then approved by the USDA in 2020. With that law, hemp plants are no longer controlled substances and products derived from hemp are legal. According to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, hemp plants must have THC levels of 0.3% or less or be destroyed.
In January, Climbing Kites registered as a business in Iowa. The company proclaims it is “Iowa’s first cannabis-infused social beverage.” It also appears to have opened the floodgates.
“We actually got [THC drinks] before we were able to put them on our shelf. But we were able to get our permit, I think it was three weeks ago. We’ve actually had two orders go through already,” said Andrea Van Hoeck, owner of Old Neighborhood Pub.
Jason Wilkerson, owner of Local Craft Cellar, said the products have proven “extremely popular.”
“Collectively, I would say that Climbing Kites brand is outperforming 90% of our craft beer brands,” said Wilkerson. “And we sell a lot of craft beer.”
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Iowa, but Williams and Van Hoeck hoped THC drinks were indicators of change.
“Everybody around us right now is legal except for Iowa,” said Van Hoeck, adding, “Nebraska is working on it.”
Williams said the drinks were “baby steps” toward marijuana legalization. “Our state is so behind on what most of the country is doing at this point in time.”
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