about medical marijuana
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This is How You Will Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Utah
The Status of Cannabis Legalization in Utah
Cannabis in Utah is illegal for recreational use, with possession of small amounts punishable as a misdemeanor crime. Medical use was legalized by ballot measure in November 2018, after a CBD-only law was passed in 2014 and a limited “right to try” law was passed in March 2018.
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act directs the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) to issue medical cannabis cards to patients, register medical providers who wish to recommend medical cannabis treatment for their patients, and license medical cannabis pharmacies. These activities must be implemented by March 1, 2020.
However, the UDOH is working to implement the Utah Medical Cannabis Act as quickly as possible prior to the March 2020 deadline. The Department can also share the following information:
Medical Cannabis Cardholders: Medical cannabis treatment will be allowed for patients with certain qualifying medical conditions. The UDOH will begin accepting applications for medical cannabis patient cards by March 1, 2020.
Possession of Medical Cannabis Prior to 2021: Prior to January 2021, under Utah law, patients meeting certain criteria outlined in the Medical Cannabis Act may legally possess medical cannabis without a medical cannabis card. Compliance with the Utah Medical Cannabis Act may not protect patients from liability for violations of federal law or the laws of other states. Questions regarding this provision of the law are best answered by an attorney who can provide legal counsel specific to an individual’s situation.
Patients 18 and older, a parent or legal guardian of a minor patient, and designated caregivers may purchase medical cannabis. Each must have a medical cannabis card.
Conditions qualifying for medical cannabis under the Utah Medical Cannabis Program include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Ongoing and debilitating pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- “A rare condition or disease affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.”
- An illness requiring hospice care
For those with ongoing and debilitating pain, a doctor must conclude that the patient has pain lasting for more than two weeks or doesn’t respond to traditional medication other than opioids or opiates. For conditions not specified, a Compassionate Use Board of medical specialists will review on a case-by-case basis whether medical cannabis is acceptable for treatment.