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Despite Concerns, Utah to Begin Accepting Medical Cannabis Card Applications

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Beginning on March 1, Utahns with qualifying conditions will be able to begin applying for medical cannabis cards. Issues and concerns plague Utah’s medical cannabis system—but the card system should be ready before the state’s imposed deadline.

“We hope they’re ready to go, you know, everybody has been kind of getting ready for this big day,” advocate Justin Arriola told KJZZ. “It’s a big day, one that I, frankly, didn’t think that we would see now.”

The Utah Department of Health is scheduled to inspect one pharmacy this week. If it passes, it will open next week to the first round of approved card-holders.

“Once people have cards and start going that’s going to be exacerbated by the fact that there are still cultivators struggling to provide product” Arriola added.

Eventually, there will be 14 “pharmacies” in Utah, however, only one to two pharmacies are expected to be ready for the March deadline. Utah’s Department of Health is scheduled to inspect one pharmacy this week, and if it passes, it will open next week to the first wave of medical cannabis patients who have received their cards.

Card approval for patients with a qualifying condition can take up to 15 days. Several more changes to Utah’s medical cannabis law could take place shortly. Lawmakers will gather for a special session at the Capitol on Sept. 16 to address potential changes.

KUTV reports that some of the issues that will be resolved on Sept. 16 include the following: Lawmakers aborted their original plan to have medical cannabis prescriptions filled by the state. Instead, they would now license up to 12 private pharmacies to dispense medical cannabis with the help of rural couriers. Patients would be protected from prosecution from state agencies such as the Division of Child and Family Services. The rules would be made clearer so cultivators can open in different counties and cities.

 

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