There are 23 states and one District of Columbia in the U.S. that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Back in June, the state of Minnesota became the latest state to legally allow residents over the age of 21 to possess and consume cannabis. The state of Iowa is not a state in which marijuana has been legalized however the popularity of legal THC products has been growing.

Unsplash - Zane Bolen
Unsplash - Zane Bolen

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol aka THC is a major psychoactive component and one of the 113 cannabinoids that can be found in marijuana, according to NCBI. This is the component that can give people a "high" feeling after consuming marijuana.

What THC does when it is consumed is it binds with receptors, mostly in your brain. These receptors in your brain are what help control pain, your mood, and other feelings. This is why individuals may feel "euphoric" after consumption, according to Web MD.

While consuming marijuana is illegal in the state of Iowa, there are legal alternatives for those who are looking to consume THC and they have been booming in popularity.

According to KCRG, bars, and liquor stores are selling drinks that have been infused with legal THC. Old Neighborhood Pub, located in Cedar Rapids, has jumped on the bandwagon and is now carrying these THC-infused drinks.

In 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds signed the Iowa Hemp Act, which was approved by the USDA in 2020, according to KCRG. This is the law that removed hemp plants from being labeled as controlled substances and allowed people to use the products produced by this plant, as long as the THC levels measure at 0.3% or less.

Jason Wilkerson is the owner of Local Craft Cellar and they also have jumped on board to sell THC-infused drinks. They have a brand called Climbing Kites and supposedly it's doing extremely well. He told KCRG that his THC-infused drinks are outperforming most of their beer brands

Collectively, I would say that the Climbing Kites brand is outperforming 90% of our craft beer brands. And we sell a lot of craft beer.

Michael Williams is a regular at Old Neighborhood Pub and before he tried one of their infused drinks, he asked a lot of questions. He told KCRG

I asked quite a few questions, you know, to get an educated understanding of what [the drinks] were. My review of it is, in and of itself, a little on the relaxing side.

While recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Iowa, the popularity of THC-infused drinks, bars, and gummies has only continued to grow. Could this be a sign of change in Iowa's future when it comes to recreational marijuana? Only time will tell.

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