Utah Opens the First Medical Marijuana Drive-Thru for Patients
Posted by Lori Ann Reese on 06/04/2020 in News
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Ogden, Utah is the first city in the United States to open a drive-thru medical marijuana service, at the licensed dispensary “Perfect Earth Modern Apothecary.” In Salt Lake City, “Dragonfly Wellness” is also offering a drive-thru service for medical marijuana patients in Utah.
One of the accommodations provided by the State of Utah is that minors are permitted in the vehicle when an adult medical marijuana patient is picking up the purchase. In Utah, medical cannabis is available for patients who meet the qualifying health conditions outlined in Proposition 2, of the state legislature. Recreational use of cannabis remains unauthorized in Utah. Possession of any amount of cannabis by an unregistered medical marijuana cardholder will result in criminal penalties.
The Drive-Thru Medical Marijuana is Convenient, but not Fast, for Utah Patients
If you are imagining that the drive-thru medical cannabis service is similar to getting lunch at your local fast-food franchise, it is not. Medical marijuana dispensaries are required to follow strictly regulated protocols for serving cardholders. This process is carefully followed at the Perfect Earth Modern Apothecary in Ogden.
Registered medical marijuana patients who are visiting the licensed dispensary will be required to first enter the facility for the initial consultation. During the consultation, the patients’ health conditions and symptoms will be recorded in a patient profile. After the consultation and profile are complete, they may use the drive-thru service at the dispensary.
When a medical marijuana patient visits a dispensary, they are required to present their state-issued medical marijuana card in addition to another form of government-issued photo identification. Patients who utilize the new drive-thru service in Ogden will be required to comply with the same procedures every time they wish to pick up preordered products from the dispensary.
Modifications to Medical Cannabis Laws in Utah Went into Effect in March 2020
Prior to the adoption of HB0425 by the Utah legislature, medical cannabis patients could access products by providing a letter of recommendation from a health provider. Starting on March 1, 2020, however, the UDOH began issuing the first patient medical marijuana cards.
To qualify for an MMJ card in the State of Utah, patients must be 18 years of age or older or have a parent or guardian over the age of 18 years apply on their behalf as a caregiver. All patients under the age of 21 must apply for special approval by the Compassionate Use Board of Utah.
Making Medical Marijuana Pick-Up Safer for Patients During the Covid-19 Health Crisis
To qualify for a medical marijuana card in Utah, patients must meet qualifying health conditions. They are also required to have a medical evaluation to review the therapeutic potential of cannabis for symptoms and pain relief. Many patients who rely on medical cannabis for therapeutic use have underlying health conditions that make them at greater risk for bacterial or viral infection.
This has presented a problem for patients who are immune-compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have sought out the option to have home delivery as a way to mitigate the risk of infection. Unfortunately, delivery is not yet available to Utah residents.
Patients are not permitted to send a family member to pick up an order of medical marijuana products from a dispensary, unless that family is a designated caregiver for the patient. What the drive-thru services now offer is a safer way for known registered patients to access medical marijuana without unnecessarily exposing themselves to further health issues.
Where Else Can You Purchase Medical Marijuana in Utah?
Medical marijuana patients in Utah can now purchase products from the following locations and dispensaries:
- Beehive’s Own — Salt Lake City
- Dragonfly Wellness — Salt Lake City
- Justice Grown Utah — Salt Lake City
- Wholesome Therapy — West Bountiful
- True North of Utah — Ogden
- True North of Utah — Logan
- Beehive’s Own — (Salt Lake City, and a second location planned for Brigham City)
- Deseret Wellness — Park City
- Deseret Wellness — Provo
- Curaleaf — Lindon
- Columbia Care — Springville
- Bloom Medicinals — Cedar City
- Justice Grown Utah — St. George
Licensed medical cannabis dispensary businesses are required to own the property and building where the dispensary is located. Each owner is required to submit to a criminal record and background check to be an authorized dispensary in the State of Utah. There is also a legal requirement for minimum partial ownership of the dispensary business by a resident of Utah.