Utah Medical Marijuana Facts
Advocates once again had to face the discouraging medical marijuana facts for Utah that state lawmakers had no intention of passing a sensible medical cannabis program during the 2017 legislative session. Some movement had been made toward establishing a system whereby patients could access weed for medical purposes, but that will have to wait for another time.
In the meantime, lawmakers did say they would push for legislation that would allow research into the benefits of marijuana to be conducted within the state. This is obviously of little comfort to the people of Utah who suffer from horrible medical issues. Rather than be able to access safe, effective marijuana, they instead will have to continue to either try and obtain the plant illegally or use potentially addictive — and possibly even deadly — medications.
Medical Marijuana Facts for Utah
- Only patients in Utah who are suffering from severe epilepsy can access cannabidiol (CBD) oil. However, the vast majority of seriously ill people in the state cannot access this extract. Even those select few who can often find that the oil is too expensive.
- The bill was signed into law in 2014 by Gov. Gary Herbert. It allows patients to use CBD that is very low in THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Extracts must be at least 5% by weight and contain less than .3% of THC.
- Minors are allowed to use CBD oils, but their legal guardians or parents must be responsible for that use. To obtain CBD, patients or their guardians/parents must apply for a “hemp extract registration card.” They must send a statement signed by a doctor to the state’s department of health. The statement must show that the patient may be able to benefit from the use of “hemp extract.”
- One of the reasons that some leaders gave for not considering expanding medical cannabis legislation is they wanted to see what direction the Trump administration would go regarding enforcement of federal marijuana laws. The main factor in many states’ decisions not to implement workable medical weed programs is that marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I drug. Until that classification changes, people in states such as Utah will very likely continue to be denied marijuana’s medicinal benefits.
- There are groups in Utah who are working toward creating a ballot initiative that would take the issue to voters in the state. However, these efforts were only in the early planning stages as of February 2017. Ballot initiatives are typically much more comprehensive than those introduced by legislators, and they don’t include political compromises that often need to be included in a bill for it to have a chance to pass.
- One state representative said that even creating a medical marijuana research program in Utah would be difficult due to budgetary constraints.
Hopefully, the medical marijuana facts for Utah will one day change, and patients will be able to fully enjoy the benefits of medical cannabis. MarijuanaDoctors.com will keep track of any developments and bring them to you as they warrant.