Utah approved medical marijuana in 2018 with the passage of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act. The law allows for medical patients to be in possession of up to 113 grams (4 ounces) of marijuana or up to 20 grams of total composite tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
How to get a medical card in Utah
Utah’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened in March, 2020, but under state law, qualified patients were already exempt from possession charges as long as they had a qualifying condition.
According to the Utah Department of Health, to apply for a medical marijuana card in Utah, a prospective patient must find a qualified medical provider (QMP) registered with the Utah Department of Health who can certify that the patient has a qualifying condition. The applicant must then meet in-person with a QMP who will assess their medical history and if they qualify for medical cannabis.
Once the applicant creates a profile on the EVS, their QMP must then go online and issue a recommendation. The applicant must then pay the $15 initial card application fee. (The other fees include a first 90 day renewal of $5 and a six month renewal of $15)
The Utah Department of Health is responsible for reviewing all applications, and the review process is supposed to take 15 days or less. If the application is approved, the Department of Health will issue the card and send the patient an email with a copy of their medical cannabis card, which they can print out or keep on their smartphone to present at a dispensary, along with a valid state-issued photo ID. In November 2020, Utah lawmakers proposed legislation that would expand the ability of doctors to recommend medical marijuana. Lawmakers said the bill will allow doctors to recommend cannabis to up to 275 patients each.
The qualifying conditions for which patients in Utah can receive medical cannabis include:
- HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment (except for nausea related to: pregnancy, cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome)
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis or debilitating seizures
- Multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- A terminal illness when the patient’s 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 U.S., as defined in federal law, and that 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, in the qualified medical provider’s opinion, despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other than opioids or opiates or physical interventions
- A condition that the compassionate use board approves (once established) on a case-by-case basis
Where to Buy
A list of the state’s currently operational dispensaries can be found here. There are currently 10 listed online, though the Department of Health said that all 14 which have been approved for operation should be open by January, 2021.
When the dispensaries are operational they will be able to supply medicine in the following forms: tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, transdermal preparation, gelatinous cube, unprocessed cannabis flower in a blister pack containing no more than one gram of flower pods in each individual blister, wax or resin, and a medical cannabis device such as a vaping pen that warms cannabis material into a vapor without the use of a flame and that delivers cannabis to an individual’s respiratory system. Smoking cannabis is not permitted, nor are edibles.
Utah will allow cannabis card holders visiting from other states to use medical cannabis in the state as long as they have one of the state’s qualifying conditions and meet the possession limits for patients in Utah. If the person lives in Utah for more than 45 days they will need to apply for a patient card.
Taxes and Medical Marijuana in Utah
Medical cannabis is exempt from sales tax in Utah.
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