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The Utah Medical Cannabis program has seen an increase in patients interested in using cannabis to treat various qualified conditions. Because cannabis is only legal for medicinal purposes in Utah, patients were required to be referred by a qualified medical provider to obtain a Utah Medical Cannabis Card. Over the past year, Utah faced a shortage of Qualified Medical Providers (QMP) necessary to distribute medical cards and help patients through the first steps of the process. During the 2021 session, the Utah legislature passed a bill to make cannabis more accessible and affordable for everyone. These goals were accomplished by enacting the Limited Medical Providers (LMP) program.
The Limited Medical Providers program was passed in order to provide Utah residents with an additional cannabis referral resource. LMPs must be a Utah-licensed MD, DO, APRN, PA or DPM with a controlled substance license. Although LMPs will not have the power to write hundreds of recommendations like a Qualified Medical Provider, they do have the ability to issue up to 15 cards to patients 21 or older.
In order to provide a more affordable approach to using cannabis, LMPs are able to bill a patient's medical insurance for consultations. By implementing insurance policies to the program, patients are only required to pay a small out-of-pocket fee.
Accessibility is another goal of the LMP program. By giving existing, trusted providers the opportunity to recommend cannabis, there is an increased likelihood of patients being able to visit a doctor near them. Providers across the state will be able to issue referrals, making the overall experience more comfortable and convenient especially for those in rural areas.
To sum it up, most QMPs have been active in the program for over a year and have a better understanding of cannabis products, brands available, and the laws associated with cannabis use. Although LMPs may not share the same knowledge and experience as a QMP, they do serve as a familiar and affordable resource for patients. Thankfully, once patients are provided with a medical card either from a QMP or an LMP, cannabis pharmacies like WholesomeCo are able to inform patients of different products and consumption methods.
Limited Medical Providers are automatically granted the ability to recommend cannabis to patients. One of the first steps in obtaining a medical card from an LMP would be to schedule a consultation with your primary care doctor.
Before arriving at your consultation, it can be helpful to have a Limited Medical Provider Recommendation for Medical Cannabis form handy. This form will be submitted to one of the licensed Utah cannabis pharmacies following your consultation. If you are unable to print a form, you may pick one up at WholesomeCo or make sure your provider has one available.
Lastly, you will need to register on the state's Electronic Verification System (EVS) to receive approval for your medical cannabis recommendation. This can be done before or after your LMP consultation. Directions on the EVS process can be found below. If additional assistance is required the WholesomeCo staff is happy to assist! Contact us at 801-695-4480 or email@example.com.
Make sure your EVS account is registered and ‘Awaiting Approval’ so the pharmacist can submit your application in a timely manner.
Patients may utilize the Utah Department of Health’s new Medical Cannabis Visit Cost tool to find a provider near you and compare costs: https://healthcost.utah.gov/cannabis.php#close
For added convenience, use WholesomeCo’s QMP Finder Tool. Simply select a clinic and enter your contact info. The clinic will reach back out to you to set up an appointment.