Utah: Governor Signs Series Of Marijuana-Related Bills

Salt Lake City, UT: Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a series of bills to facilitate access and research to cannabis and cannabis-related products.

House Bill 195 provides patients with no more than six-months to live the legal option to access cannabis-infused products. Under the law, patients with a physician’s recommendation may legally possess up to a one-month supply of products. All cannabis products must be obtained from a state-approved provider. Access to herbal formulations of cannabis is not permitted under the law.

House Bill 197 permits the Department of Agriculture and Food to contract with a third party to cultivate cannabis for the purpose of manufacturing marijuana-infused oils and other related products. These products would be provided to terminally ill patients and also used in state-sponsored research trials. The new program is required to be operational by January 1, 2019.

Finally, Senate Bill 130, the Cannabidiol Product Act, establishes rules for the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp for the purpose of manufacturing CBD-infused products. These products must contain a 10 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC. These products are intended to be sold at “cannabidiol-qualified pharmacies” to patients with a written recommendation from a physician.

Utah lawmakers signed legislation into law in 2014 permitting patients with intractable epilepsy the option of possessing certain CBD-infused products. However, that law provided no legal in-state supply source for the products.

Activists have collected over 160,000 signatures from registered voters in support of a 2018 statewide ballot initiative, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, to permit qualified patients to obtain either herbal cannabis or cannabis-infused products from a limited number of state licensed dispensaries. Last week, a representative from the Lt. Governor’s Office confirmed that state officials had validated 117,000 of those signatures – more than the 113,000 needed to qualify for the state ballot.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.