Utah’s Medical Marijuana “Compromise Bill”
December 3, 2018
December 3, 2018
Contributing Writer: Alex Bibisi
Utah’s “Compromise Bill” for Legalizing Medical Cannabis
On December 4, 2018, the governor of Utah signed a new “compromise” bill into law, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, which amends Proposition 2, the voter-approved medical cannabis initiative that passed this November.
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act mostly leaves Prop 2 intact and generally imposes only minor changes. Below is a list of the four most significant changes to Prop 2 that the Utah Medical Cannabis Act contains:
• Licenses: The Department may license up to 7 medical cannabis pharmacies, a decrease from the number allowed in Prop 2. If the state-run central fill pharmacy is not operational by Jan. 1, 2021, the Department may issue up to 3 more licenses to meet demand. Business licenses will be available on or before January 1, 2020.
• Cultivation: Decreases the number of allowed state-issued cannabis cultivation facility licenses, from 15 under Prop 2 to 10. Allows the Department to issue 5 additional licenses after an annual review if necessary to meet demand. Cannabis cultivation facilities are limited to 100,000 square feet of grow space indoors or 4 acres of grow space outdoors. Cultivators may apply each year to increase their size limit by up to 20 percent.
• Renting Rights: Removes a controversial restriction on landlords prohibiting them from refusing to rent to a person solely because they have a medical cannabis card or penalizing them in some other way on that basis.
• Patients Under 21: Requires that patients under the age of 21 also obtain approval from the compassionate use board. The board has been increased from 5 to 7 members and must include at least 2 pediatricians.