Medical Marijuana Utah
In 2018, Utah voters approved SB 1002, “Proposition 2,” which legalized medical marijuana for patients with qualifying medical conditions. However, the state legislature subsequently made significant changes to the law, and a compromise bill was passed and signed into law in December 2018, replacing Proposition 2. The new law, House Bill 3001, referred to as the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, established a regulatory framework for the medical marijuana program in Utah, including rules for cultivation, processing, dispensing, and patient access. By March 2020, Utah’s first medical cannabis pharmacies opened its doors to registered patients.
As of April 2023, there are 68,994 registered patients in the state of Utah.
Approved Forms of Medical Marijuana in Utah
Medical cannabis is only available in the following forms under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act: Tablet; Capsule; Concentrated oil; Liquid suspension; Transdermal preparation; Gelatinous cube; Unprocessed cannabis flower in a blister pack containing no more than one gram of flower pods in each individual blister; Wax or resin.
*If a patient fails to substantially respond on two other forms listed, a qualified medical provider may recommend wax or resin.
Smoking of cannabis is not permitted, however patients may purchase a medical cannabis device that warms cannabis material into a vapor without the use of a flame and delivers cannabis to an individual’s respiratory system (such as an electric dabbing rig). Further, Utah law prohibits candies, cookies, brownies, and other edible products. Unprocessed flowers outside of blister packs are also not permitted.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Utah
Qualifying conditions under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act are as follows:
HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Cancer; Cachexia; Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to: (i) pregnancy, (ii) cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or (iii) cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome; Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis; Epilepsy or debilitating seizures; Multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is being treated and monitored by a licensed health therapist (defined here), and that: (i) has been diagnosed by a healthcare provider by the Veterans Administration and documented in the patient’s record, or (ii) has been diagnosed or confirmed by evaluation from a psychiatrist, doctorate psychologist, a doctorate licensed clinical social worker, or a psychiatric APRN; Autism; Terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months; A condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care; A rare condition or disease that affects less than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., as defined in federal law, and that is not adequately managed despite treatment attempts using conventional medications (other than opioids or opiates) or physical interventions; Pain lasting longer than two weeks that is not adequately managed, in the qualified medical provider’s opinion, despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other than opioids or opiates or physical interventions; or A condition that the compassionate use board approves (once established) on a case-by-case basis.
Types of Licenses
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is responsible for issuing the following licenses:
- Tier I – process, formulate, package, and label products.
- Tier II – package and label.
- Medical Cannabis Pharmacy
- Can conduct home delivery
- Courier (delivery)
- Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratory
Upcoming Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses
Currently, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is accepting applications for the following licenses:
For those interested in obtaining a Cultivation or Medical Cannabis Pharmacy license, the Department is not accepting applications at this time. Under Utah regulations, Cultivation licenses are limited to eight (8), which are currently all accounted for, unless all cultivators reach 100,000 sf. grow limit and the Department determines a greater need. Further, Medical Cannabis Pharmacies are limited to fifteen (15). There may be an application period in the near future if the registered patient count continues to rise.
If you are interested in being a vital enterprise in Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program, now is the time to work with a Team of experts to begin building your competitive business plan. Contact us today to discuss your options!
Last Updated: June 6th, 2023