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Did you know that the medical cannabis program that we know of today has only been in operation for less than two years? It’s hard to imagine. In just a short amount of time, over 35,000 Utah residents have signed up and are now legal medical cannabis patients. In fact, according to the State of Utah Center for Medical Cannabis’ Annual Report published in November 2021, the number of medical cannabis cardholders more than tripled from September 2020 to September 2021! (1)
Regulations regarding cannabis in the state of Utah are constantly refining as the Department of Health, licensed Utah pharmacies, politicians, and consumers all settle in (and chime in) as to what would make the current program better, more efficient, and accessible to more people across the state.
It definitely takes diligence to keep up with all that is going on with cannabis in Utah! Here is the latest update on everything you need to know about the current state of medical cannabis law in Utah as of January 2022.
Sometimes, to know where you are going, it helps to know where you have been. Legal medical cannabis in Utah was born with the passing of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, or UMCA, in 2018. (2) The basic program that we have today did not roll out until March 2020, however. (3)
Today the dispensing of legal medical cannabis is in the hands of responsible, licensed pharmacies, with strict regulatory responsibility in the hands of the Utah Department of Health and the Center for Medical Cannabis. The program started out with just seven pharmacies. There are currently14 legally licensed medical cannabis pharmacies throughout the state, with a 15th on its way. WholesomeCo, located in Bountiful, Utah, reaches 99% of the card-carrying population and is one of the most state-of-the-art and wide-reaching pharmacies in Utah.
WholesomeCo is also unique because it has a team of Doctorate-level pharmacists on staff ready to assist patients every day.
A few things have definitely changed for the better in 2022. One is that the number of QMPs, or Qualified Medical Providers, has increased by 38% within the last year, according to the November annual report. Currently, there are 781 QMPs registered with the Utah Department of Health.
What has remained the same, however, is the listing of approved medical conditions that a QMP (Qualified Medical Provider) or an LMP (Limited Medical Provider) can use to recommend medical cannabis to a patient. These conditions are as follows:
Also remaining the same for 2022 are the procedures for petitioning for those who do not have any of the above conditions but want to obtain a medical cannabis card in Utah. More information about the Compassionate Use Board (CUB) petition process can be found HERE. This resource is important too if you are applying for a Utah medical cannabis card for a minor under the age of 21.
A slight change to QMC and QMP/LMP regulations for this year is that LMPs (those who have not completed cannabis education hours and do not have a QMP certificate) can now recommend to up to 15 qualifying patients. MDs, osteopathic physicians (DO), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), and Physician’s Assistants (PA) are eligible to be a QMP (with extra training) or an LMP. Be sure to ask if your regular provider may be able to help you as either an LMP or QMP. (5)
There have actually been some great changes to cannabis consumption methods put forth by the Utah Department of Health. WholesomeCo is taking full advantage of them by providing more great products and choices for all of your medical cannabis needs!
The legal methods that medical cannabis can be purchased and consumed in Utah include:
According to the UMCA, it is still prohibited to smoke cannabis in the form of a cigarette or in a pipe. The UMCA states specifically that “patients may purchase a medical cannabis device that warms cannabis material into a vapor without use of a flame and delivers cannabis to an individual’s respiratory system.”
In addition, products labeled as “edibles,” such as cookies and brownies, are also illegal to obtain and consume in Utah at this time. (6)
The Utah Department of Health has been working hard to streamline procedures for obtaining a Utah medical cannabis card. In the Beehive state, there are four different kinds of cards you can apply for:
For most adults applying for the standard Medical Cannabis Patient Card, there is a simple four-step process:
A great resource for any questions you may have is the Utah Medical Cannabis site FAQ page available HERE.
In addition, our WholesomeCo pharmacists are available every day to answer any initial questions you may have before you start the process. Reach out for a 15-minute remote or in-person “Cannabis Curious Consult” today. The consultation is absolutely free, and most people are able to speak with a WholesomeCo pharmacist within 24 hours!
If you are visiting Utah and already have a medical cannabis card from your home state, you have “legal protections” to use medical cannabis in Utah. However, you must have a qualifying condition that can be approved under the state’s cannabis laws. You must also be sure that the form of medical cannabis that you are using in Utah is in an approved form under Utah law as well. Out-of-staters may not purchase cannabis products within Utah.
If you are a new resident, you will have the same privileges as someone who has an out-of-state medical cannabis card. After 45 days within Utah, however, you must apply for your own Utah medical cannabis card.
The medical cannabis industry in Utah has grown in leaps and bounds over the last year and WholesomeCo has been at the forefront every step of the way!
One of the focuses for both the state and WholesomeCo in recent times is making sure that medical cannabis card carriers in non-metropolitan areas have access to needed medical cannabis products.
Did you know that a large percentage of legal medical cannabis users reside in “mid-range” communities with a population ratio of roughly 250 per mile? An example of this is Utah county, which currently has the second-highest number of medical marijuana cardholders in the state. (7)
To meet the needs of the majority of medical cannabis patients, the legal delivery of medical cannabis was approved in Utah in January 2021. This approval has made it easier for those who live in rural areas as well as those affected by COVID 19 to obtain needed medical cannabis. Since January, delivery service has taken off, with thousands of completed statewide.
In addition, if you are a cannabis cardholder and you live more than 100 miles from a legal pharmacy, you can purchase up to 30 days’ worth of medical cannabis (as opposed to 14 days’ worth, which is standard).
WholesomeCo launched its highly-successful home delivery service in January of last year. After a simple registration process, within minutes you can be choosing products, placing an order, specifying delivery location, and even paying electronically fast and conveniently online.
We currently cover over 99% of all cannabis users and deliver to dozens of counties state-wide. If you are a card-carrying medical marijuana user, odds are we can delivery your product right to your door!