Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert signed a new, revised version of the state’s medical cannabis legislation on Sept. 23, making changes to the state’s existing medical structure.
According to the The Salt Lake Tribune, the bill will finally put an end to the idea that public officials would be the ones to distribute cannabis. First it will increase the number of dispensary licenses to up to 14, with eight becoming available in the first round, and six in the second round (which is set to conclude in July 2020). This bill will also create boundaries of the state’s four geographic regions in order to make sure that each region has at least one license. In the future, more dispensary licenses may be issued at the behest of regulators as well. Finally, the number of cultivation licenses will increase from eight to 15.
The amendments were initially approved last week during a special session of the legislature in Utah, and the biggest change is that there will no longer be a state-run dispensing system. Medical cannabis is expected to officially hit the market by March 2020, but this new law begins immediately.
Gov. Herbert signed a total of five other bills, including setting aside funds for the 2020 census, a settlement for a former attorney general, a bill allowing stronger beers in grocery stores, and some other legislation to go along with the new cannabis measures.
Many are excited about this new measure passing in Utah. While there were initially concerns about the new cannabis program being extremely restrictive, many have been rejoicing that there will now be home delivery and more pharmacies available. This is all good news, as progress has been slow in Utah. A mom even lost custody of her children despite being a legal cannabis patient. The sooner Utah gets medical cannabis on the books, the sooner the state can truly move forward into the future.