Utah patients can use medical marijuana legally after a compromise agreement was signed into law, but they likely won’t be able to buy it legally until at least 2020, officials said Tuesday.
The state will need time to first build up a database to start issuing patients medical-cannabis cards, and then begin granting licenses for dispensaries, health department spokesman Tom Hudachko said. The first license for a private dispensary must be awarded by June 2020, though authorities are aiming to do it faster.
But people who have bought permitted forms of medicinal marijuana, like cube-shaped gummies and oils, with a doctor’s recommendation now have legal protections.
“We did not want them to be considered criminals for the next year or two while they wait for the bureaucracy,” said Connor Boyack with the group Libertas Institute, who helped draft a legalization law passed by voters in November.
Until medical cannabis cards become available, patients can carry a letter from their doctor recommending use of the drug.
Lawmakers passed sweeping changes to the law Monday under a compromise deal that was arranged before Election Day and won the support of the influential Mormon church. [Read more at St George News]