Navigating the Utah Medical Cannabis Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the Utah Medical Cannabis Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Medical marijuana became available to select patients in Utah on March 1, 2020. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act regulates the prescription and access to medical cannabis products. This complicated system can be hard to understand and difficult for patients to navigate on their own or know where to begin, so we have compiled a list of some frequently asked questions about Utah’s medical cannabis system here. 

Who qualifies as a patient under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act and can receive a Patient Medical Cannabis Card?

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act clearly limits access to medical cannabis to a strict list of medical conditions. We explain more in depth what these conditions are at this link.

Where can I find a doctor that is qualified to recommend medical cannabis?

A doctor must register with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) as a Qualified Medical Provider to be able to recommend medical cannabis to patients. We explain in more detail how to become a Qualified Medical Provider here. If your doctor is not currently registered with UDOH as a Qualified Medical Provider, you can ask them to become a Qualified Medical Provider by following the steps listed in the link above.

Once a doctor is registered with UDOH, they will be listed on the state’s Medical Cannabis resource site. A list of Qualified Medical Providers can be found at this link

What are the fees to obtain a Patient Medical Cannabis Card in Utah?

Applying for a Patient Medical Cannabis card requires a $15 fee. Once a card has been approved, it must be renewed after 90 days. At this point, your doctor will recommend the length of time for the renewal period (6 months or 1 year).

A medical cannabis card issued for a terminal illness does not expire.

How long does it take to receive my Patient Medical Cannabis Card?

Most applications are processed within 15 days. Some applications, including those for patients under 21 years of age or those that have applied to the Compassionate Use Board, may take up to 90 days to process. Once your application is approved, you will be emailed your Medical Cannabis Card to either print or access via your smartphone.

Where can I purchase Medical Cannabis once I have a card?

The Utah Department of Health has awarded licenses to 14 medical cannabis pharmacies across the State of Utah. As of publication, three of these pharmacies are open for business: Dragonfly Health and Wellness in Salt Lake City, and Perfect Earth Modern Apothecary with locations in North Logan and Ogden. 

All 14 pharmacies are scheduled to be open by December 2020. At least 7 more pharmacies plan to open by June 30, 2020, and an additional 6 plan to open after July 1, 2020. (Medical cannabis pharmacies are classified as essential businesses and are not subject to closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

You can find an updated list of pharmacies at this link.

What types of medical cannabis treatments are available?

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act regulates the type of treatment and dosage forms in which medical cannabis can be provided. This means medical cannabis can be provided in the following processed products, with specific and consistent cannabinoid content:

  • A tablet;
  • A capsule;
  • A concentrated oil;
  • A liquid suspension;
  • A topical preparation;
  • A sublingual preparation;
  • A gelatinous cube, or lozenge in a cube or rectangular shape.

Medical cannabis may also be provided as an unprocessed cannabis flower, sealed in a blister pack, with each individual blister containing a specific and consistent weight that does not exceed one gram. After December 31, 2020, blister packs will be labeled with a barcode that provides information to an inventory control system. 

SMOKING OF MEDICAL CANNABIS IS PROHIBITED. Edible products such as candies, brownies, and cookies, and unprocessed flowers outside of blister packs are not permitted.

How much medical cannabis can I purchase at one time?

Utah is a large, mostly rural state, and the Utah Medical Cannabis Act takes the distance a patient may need to travel to obtain medical cannabis into account.

If a patient’s primary residence is less than 100 miles from a medical cannabis pharmacy or local health department:

In any one 12-day period, patients may not purchase the lesser of:

  • An amount sufficient to provide 14 days of treatment 56 grams of unprocessed cannabis flower; OR
  • More than a total of 10 grams of THC in medicinal form.

If a patient’s primary residence is more than 100 miles from a medical cannabis pharmacy or local health department:

In any one 28-day period, patients may not purchase more than the lesser of:

  • An amount sufficient to provide 30 days of treatment based on the dosing parameters from a Qualified Medical Professional; OR
  • 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis flower; OR
  • No more than a total of 20 grams of THC in medicinal form.

Patients with a Medical Cannabis Card cannot possess at any one time more than 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis flower or more than 20 grams of THC in all other medicinal dosage forms.