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Learn About Marijuana In Utah

Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in Utah

Located in the western United States, Utah is surrounded by states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. California, Colorado, and Nevada all have booming recreational and medical cannabis industries. In November 2018, Utah joined the movement when 52% of Utah voters approved Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana for individuals with certain qualifying conditions. Opposition to Prop 2 caused state lawmakers to pass a compromise bill in December 2018.

Is Marijuana Legal in Utah?

Utah’s medical marijuana program is not currently up and running. The state will start accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries no later than January 2020. Per the compromise bill passed in December 2018, only seven dispensaries (called “pharmacies” under the compromise bill) will be allowed to operate.

When Did Marijuana Become Legal in Utah?

Utah voted yes on Proposition 2 in November 2018, and the compromise bill was passed in December 2018.

Where Are Dispensaries Located in Utah?

There are currently no legal medical marijuana dispensaries in Utah. They will start accepting applications on or before March 1, 2020.

Are the Dispensaries in Utah Medical, Recreational, or Both?

There are no medical dispensaries open at this time. Recreational marijuana will remain illegal.

Who Qualifies to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Utah?

Previously, only patients with epilepsy that had been unresponsive to three or more treatments were able to legally obtain cannabis oil. The compromise bill, The Utah Cannabis Act, removed some conditions from the list of qualifying conditions in Proposition 2. The qualifying conditions are as follows:

  • Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • HIV or AIDS
  • ALS
  • Cachexia
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy or debilitating seizures
  • Multiple Sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder that is being treated and monitored by a licensed mental health therapist
  • Autism
  • A terminal illness when the patient’s remaining 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 United States, 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 despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other than opioids or opiates, or physical interventions
  • A condition that the Compassionate Use Board approves on an individual, case-by-case basis

How Do I Become a Medical Patient in Utah?

On or before March 1, 2020, the Department of Health must start accepting applications for medical cannabis cards. They have not clarified when the application will be made available, but they have outlined qualifications. To apply for a medical marijuana card in Utah, a person must:

  • Be at least 21 years old. Or, be an 18, 19, or 20-year-old and petition the Compassionate Use Board to get approval for a medical marijuana card
  • Be a Utah resident
  • Have a recommendation from a qualified medical provider
  • Pay the department a fee

To become a medical cannabis caregiver, a person must be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • A Utah resident
  • The parent or legal guardian of a minor for whom the minor’s qualified medical provider recommends a medical cannabis treatment, or if the individual petitions and is approved by the Compassionate Use Board

Where Can Marijuana be Consumed in Utah?

Medical marijuana can be consumed by medical patients in their private residences. Marijuana cannot be publicly consumed anywhere in Utah. Even under Proposition 2, marijuana cannot be smoked, even in private residences.

How Do I Get a Job in the Utah Marijuana Industry?

As of December 2018, applications for dispensary licenses are currently closed.

Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Legal in Utah?

Yes, and the state will treat medical marijuana as equivalent to any other medication used at the discretion of a physician.

Is Delivery of Marijuana Legal in Utah?

Marijuana delivery is not legal in Utah.

How Do I Pay for Marijuana in Utah?

Regulations have not been outlined for payments at medical marijuana dispensaries. However, dispensaries will likely only take cash because banks are reluctant to get involved with cannabis companies since it is still federally illegal.

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Utah Marijuana Laws

Utah passed their medical marijuana compromise bill in early December of 2018, and Utah lawmakers are referring to their program as the “best-designed medical cannabis program in the country.” The program is fairly limited in terms of how many dispensaries they will allow, what conditions will qualify for a medical card, and what products patients will be allowed to buy. Proposition 2 faced oppositon from conservatives and religious groups for being too lenient, while The Utah Medical Cannabis Act is facing strong opposition from cannabis activists who believe the program is too limited.

Purchase and Possession Limits

As long as a medical marijuana cardholder is in possession of their medical card and a label detailing the dosage of the cannabis product and what it is, and if the identification number is on the product (proving it was purchased from a licensed dispensary), the cardholder may possess no more than:

  • 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis; or
  • An amount of cannabis product that contains 20 grams of total composite THC

Under Utah law, any form of smokable cannabis will remain illegal.

Growing Marijuana at Home

Prop 2 would have allowed for medical marijuana patients who lived over 100 miles from a dispensary to grow at home, but the Utah Medical Cannabis Act removed that right. The state is fully in charge of growing marijuana, so no one is allowed to grow marijuana plants at home.

Driving and Marijuana

Driving While Intoxicated

Marijuana is considered to be a controlled substance, and “driving with any measurable controlled substance in the body” is illegal. A person may not operate or be in physical control of a vehicle if they have “any measurable controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance” in their body. This law will likely come under fire considering THC can stay in the system long after the psychoactive effects of marijuana have worn off.

Driving While in Possession of Marijuana

Laws for medical patients driving while in possession of marijuana have not been outlined as of now.

Marijuana and Minors

Individuals under the age of 21 may only get a medical card if their petition is approved by the Compassionate Use Board. Any non-cardholder under the age of 21 cannot possess any amount of marijuana.

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