Salt Lake City, Utah

25% Of Utah Medical Cannabis Patients Still Obtain Cannabis Out Of State

On November 6, 2018, voters in Utah approved Proposition 2, which legalized the use of medical cannabis by qualified patients. Proposition 2 went into effect on December 1, 2018, however, a special legislative session was convened shortly after the new law went into effect.

Utah lawmakers replaced Proposition 2 with a different measure, which was reportedly agreed to by both proponents and opponents of Proposition 2 in Utah’s Legislature. The replacement legislation installed stricter rules on patient access to medical cannabis, as well as a greater level of state oversight on Utah’s medical cannabis program.

In 2019, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed SB 161 which made several modifications to Utah’s medical cannabis program, including a prohibition on discrimination against medical cannabis patients in Utah’s family court system.

On February 28, 2020, Gov. Herbert (R) signed SB 121, which allowed medical cannabis flower to be dispensed in child-proof bottles, allowed physicians to recommend medical cannabis to more patients, and removed criminal penalties from registered patients with THC metabolites in their system who are not impaired.

Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food recently published the 2023 Utah medical cannabis market analysis. Below are some of the reports major findings:

  • Utah’s medical cannabis patients pay less for medication, falling in the bottom ten states for amount paid monthly on cannabis
  • 58% of patients reported there was plenty of supply of medical cannabis products
  • 74.5% of patients did not feel the need to travel outside of the state to get the medical  cannabis products they need
  • 41% of patients reported having a limited or very limited supply of medical cannabis products they wanted to purchase
  • 25% of patients are still traveling outside of Utah to get cannabis products due to cost
  • 59% of cannabis products were acquired from illicit sources rather than regulated pharmacies

Utah medical cannabis patients are allowed to possess the lesser of:

  • a) a one-month supply based on the dosage amount specified by their doctor or state-licensed pharmacist at a medical cannabis pharmacy; or
  • b) four ounces of flower or 20 grams THC. Medical cannabis may be dispensed in the following forms: flower, tablets/capsules, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, topicals, transdermal patches, sublingual preparations, and lozenges.

Qualifying conditions for Utah’s medical cannabis program include: HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment (except nausea caused by pregnancy, cannabis-induced vomiting syndrome, or cannabinioid hyperemesis syndrome), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, epilepsy, debilitating seizures, multiple sclerosis, debilitating muscle spasms, PTSD (provided certain conditions are met), autism, a terminal illness (with six months or fewer remaining), a condition resulting in an individual receiving hospice care, and chronic pain (provided that certain conditions are met). Patients may also petition the “compassionate use board” to become a qualifying patient for other conditions.