Utah has finally chosen recipients for the state’s 14 medical cannabis pharmacy licenses.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) announced on Jan. 3 that 10 companies that are expected to receive the state’s 14 licenses. There were 60 hopeful companies that submitted more than 130 applications for licenses. The competitive licensing process disappointed many hopeful applicants, but that is simply the nature of cannabis licensing across the nation.
“The evaluation committee spent hundreds of hours evaluating applications from companies seeking a limited number of licenses. It was a highly competitive process and some qualified applicants will be left disappointed, but that is the nature of a highly competitive process,” said Richard Oborn, Director of the Center for Medical Cannabis at the UDOH. “The Utah Department of Health is committed to ensuring patients have safe and reliable access to medical cannabis and we are confident the companies selected are best prepared to meet the needs of Utah patients and provide the best value to Utah communities.”
Licensees will be required to pay an annual fee in the amount of $50,000 to $69,500. The fee will be calculated depending upon the license type and location of the pharmacy. Some of the companies that have been chosen to receive licenses don’t yet own the locations for which they’ve proposed businesses. There are operating plans that still need to obtain department approval, and owners still need to pass background checks before licenses can be granted.
Licensees were chosen across four geographic regions. Officials approved proposed locations in Cedar City, Logan, Park City, Provo, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Springville, St. George, Vernal and West Bountiful. Eight of the locations may open as soon as March of this year, while six others may open beginning in July.
ICYMI – Utah health officials have announced the tentative locations of 14 medical cannabis pharmacies as they strive to get marijuana products on shelves by March. https://t.co/RxQ1hDnZsM pic.twitter.com/gKRxYaAv0K
— Bethany Rodgers (@BethRodgersSLT) January 6, 2020
Although medical cannabis was legalized back in 2018, patients have been without access for two major reasons. This latest announcement gives a clear timeline on when and where patients in Utah can start purchasing legal and safe cannabis medicine, but patients may still be having a hard time finding a doctor who is willing to prescribe them medical cannabis. This is largely due to skepticism about the medical value of cannabis.
As Utah’s medical cannabis program moves forward, there is hope that more doctors in the state will start to understand the legitimacy of the plant. The licensees are as follows:
- Beehive’s Own (two licenses), Salt Lake City and location TBD in Box Elder, Morgan, or Rich Counties
- Bloom Medicinals, Cedar City
- Columbia Care, Springville
- Curaleaf, Lindon
- Deseret Wellness (two licenses), Park City and Provo
- Dragonfly Wellness, Salt Lake City
- Justice Grown Utah (two licenses), Salt Lake City
- Pure UT, Vernal
- True North of Utah (two licenses), Logan and Ogden
- Wholesome Therapy, West Bountiful