Utah: Governor Signs Bills Expanding Access, Legal Protections for Medical Cannabis Patients

Salt Lake City, UT: Republican Gov. Spencer Cox has signed a pair of bills into law expanding legal protections for registered medical cannabis patients.

Senate Bill 46 limits state employers from taking punitive actions against employees who consume cannabis products at home in compliance with the state’s medical marijuana access law. The legislation does not extend these protections to those who work for private employers, nor does it allow for employees to arrive to work under the influence of marijuana.

The measure also forbids judges and juries from discriminating against medical cannabis patients in the course of a judicial proceeding.

The bill’s chief sponsor said that the bill’s enactment further clarifies lawmakers’ intent to treat the medicinal use of cannabis in a manner that is similar to the use of other physician-authorized medicines.

Governor Cox also signed SB 195, which expands the ability of doctors to recommend medical cannabis products to patients suffering from chronic pain, particularly for those for whom they would otherwise prescribe opioids. 

Those who consume cannabis medicinally are most likely to report doing so to address chronic pain conditions. Dozens of studies further report that pain patients typically reduce or eliminate their use of opioids following their initiation of cannabis therapy.

Other provisions in SB 195 place limitations on the way retailers can market or advertise medical cannabis products. 

Additional information on pending legislation is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center.