July 1 is the start of the fiscal year in Iowa and with that date each year, new laws go into effect. Here are five of the biggest this year, courtesy of KCCI.

 Lemonade Stands

Serve 'em up, kids! Sure, as far as importance is concerned, this one pales in comparison to the other four on the list but it is way overdue. Kids can now host lemonade stands legally in the state of Iowa. Not just lemonade, either. Kids can also sell food at their stands. I vote for a milk and cookies stand in my neighborhood... preferably Oreos.

Alcoholic Drinks To-Go

Perhaps the one and only good thing that has come from the coronavirus pandemic is bars and restaurants being able to see alcoholic drinks to go. It's now officially the law. Just remember other laws, like open-container and D.U.I. Be smart and more importantly keep yourself and everyone self. Don't crack the cap 'til you're home.

Harsher Punishment for Animal Cruelty

The Iowa House and Senate combined votes on strengthening penalties for cruelty to animals was 140 to 4. Personally, I think there's more to be done but the new law, known as House File 737 is a step in the right direction. Here is how part of the new law reads:

  • (3) A person who commits animal abuse that causes injury, other than serious injury or death, to an animal is guilty of a serious misdemeanor.
  • (4) A person who commits animal abuse that causes serious injury or death to an animal is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.
  • (5) Notwithstanding subsection 4, a person who commits animal abuse that causes serious injury or death to an animal is guilty of a class "D" felony if the person has previously been convicted of committing animal abuse.

Purchasing Tobacco

The age to purchase tobacco in Iowa is now the same as the legal age for alcohol consumption. 21. That matches the law at the national level, which will allow the state of Iowa to hold onto over $3 million worth of funding for substance abuse programs.

Marijuana for Medical Purposes

Iowans suffering from severe autism as well as those with post-traumatic stress disorder are now part of the program in Iowa. The THC limit is 4.5 grams over 90 days. Patients that are terminal do not have to adhere to any limits.