In an 80-degree room in Tooele, hundreds of marijuana plants bask under an amber light, synthesizing chemical compounds that will soon serve as medicine for Utah patients.
This flowering room is tucked inside a secure warehouse, which has other spaces devoted to the cloning, raising, drying and curing of some of the state’s first legal marijuana. Only seven months ago, these were completely empty spaces — just cement floors and metal beams.
At that point, Utah’s medical cannabis program was similarly skeletal. There were no plants, no growing spaces, no pharmacy owners. Just words in state law.
“It’s been a pioneering effort,” Randy Gleave, senior vice president of operations for Tryke Companies Utah said Thursday during a ribbon-cutting at the warehouse.
But despite the compressed timeline, plants are already on drying racks in Tryke’s warehouse, and company representatives said they’ll have raw flower ready by March 1, the target date for debuting Utah’s full-fledged medical cannabis program.
Utah officials have selected eight cultivators to grow medical cannabis for the entire state, and all of them have started raising plants, said Andrew Rigby, the state’s hemp and medical cannabis program director for the state’s Agriculture Department. [Read more at The Salt Lake Tribune]