What is ‘marijuana’? Name game limits cannabis entrepreneurs

The old debate about what to call the plant cannabis sativa L. is giving businesses real-world headaches in both new and established marijuana markets.


  • Iowa allows medical marijuana but calls it something else.
  • Texas restricts medical marijuana so severely that doctors must break the law to use the state’s program.
  • California officials are struggling to draw a bright line between what products are allowed and which ones aren’t.

As Iowa enters its second week of cannabis sales, here’s a rundown of the confusing landscapes businesses face as they enter new markets:

Iowa: The missing decimal

Iowa threw the cannabis industry for a loop last year when it authorized medical marijuana but called it “cannabidiol,” the name for just one cannabinoid in the plant.

Iowa’s law limits MMJ products to 3% THC, 10 times the federal legal limit of 0.3%

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