Medical Marijuana in Utah Limited Program Begins
Last month was officially the first month where a limited use medical marijuana in Utah license could be obtained by a few select patients in the state. So how many medical marijuana cards were issues in July? Only 11 total licenses were obtained. Compare these number to other states such as California, Nevada, and other western neighbors and it is easy to see Utah is barely providing any medical use marijuana at all. The medical marijuana laws in Utah only currently allow individuals with severe epilepsy to possess cannabis extract oil. Medical marijuana in Utah is currently not legal for any other use or in any other form. Legislation on this issue successfully passed this year when several mother’s of epileptic children and their support came forward pushing for a bill. Half of the cards issued by the state were for child patients. This is a good step in the right direction but Utah still has quite a ways to go in opening up the medical uses of cannabis.
Distribution Still not Permitted
Utah’s law is so limited and narrowly tailored, it doesn’t even permit pharmacies or doctors to distribute the cannabis oil. Rather, patients sill have to obtain the oil from another state, the license only allows them to possess it. The current major supplier of the cannabis oil is located in Colorado. There is a waiting list to obtain the oil, and that list is growing. Therefore, patients in Utah are having a tough time getting any oil even if they have successfully obtained their medical marijuana card. There is a growing demand for the cannabis oil and it doesn’t look like the supply is going to be able to meet the demand anytime soon. Patients hoping for medical marijuana in Utah may be left without for some time.
Future of Medical Marijuana in Utah
Change in drug policy often takes time so many patients are holding out hope the laws will become even more relaxed when it comes to the medical use marijuana. Many are already calling and planning for continued legislation building on the foundation previously set in this area. Additionally, just this year the Justice Department has relaxed enforcement of the federal laws on simple marijuana possession. Utah it seems may follow but surely the changes here will be slow and gradual. Don’t expect full blown medical marijuana use similar to California any time soon.