The rather conservative state of Utah legalized medical cannabis in November 2018 when the Utah Medical Cannabis Act was passed. It was not until January 2021 that cannabis dispensaries opened their doors to medical marijuana patients.
Who Qualifies For Medical Cannabis in Utah?
At the rollout of the program, patients with Utah qualifying conditions had to get approved by a QMP (qualified medical practitioner) with authority from the UDOH (Utah Department of Health) to prescribe medical cannabis. There were about 800 providers under this scheme. The narrow panel of qualified physicians made it hard for patients to access the medical cannabis program in Utah.
The law was changed to allow physicians as well as nurse practitioners and a number of other professionals in health care to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients who meet certain criteria. The “limited medical provider scheme” was scheduled to start operations in October 2021, but technical and personnel concerns prompted a July 2022 launch date.
Under this scheme, any qualified doctor, physician assistant, podiatrist, nurse practitioner in Utah can recommend 15 patients for medical marijuana. This will allow over 21,000 other medical professionals to be able to recommend patients to the scheme. This initiative is intended to increase the number of doctors who can attend to medicinal cannabis patients in Utah.
If you are under 18, however, you will still require one of the 800 qualifying doctors already signed with the registry to refer you to the medical cannabis program.
Presently, there are over 41,000 people in Utah with medical cannabis cards and over 14 pharmacies operational in the state.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Utah
The following conditions qualify for medical marijiuana treatment.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Cancer-related cachexia
- Persistent nausea and vomiting that is not related to pregnancy or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
- Debilitating seizures and epilepsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- A condition that requires hospice care
- Chronic Pain that has not responded to opioid treatment or physical interventions
Note: In case a patient thinks that they may benefit from medical cannabis but their condition is not listed they can petition the Compassionate Use Board and their petition will be reviewed and responded to. However, licensed
The Different Types of Medical Marijuana Cards and How To Renew Them
In the state of Utah, you can qualify for any one of the below medical cannabis cards:
- Patient Cards: This mostly covers patients who are 18 years and older. Any patients below 21 years must be approved by the Utah Compassionate Use Board.
- Guardian Cards: These are issued to legal guardians or parents of minors eligible for medical cannabis. Guardian cards are issued alongside provisional patient cards.
- Provisional Patient Cards: These are issued to minors of below 18 years that meet the eligibility requirements for consumption of medical cannabis as well as being approved by the Compassionate Use Board. These are issued together with guardian cards.
- Caregiver Cards: These are issued to adults of 21 years and older that care for patient cardholders that are unable to either procure or consume their own medical cannabis. Caregivers are usually designated by the medical cannabis patients they sign up to assist.
The Compassionate Use Board
This board is responsible for reviewing all the card applications received from patients that are below the age of 21 and those whose specific conditions are not yet listed in the statute. The patients under this category must petition this Board and get approval from both the board as well as the Utah Department of Health prior to issuance of a medical cannabis card. The Board has in it seven providers who regularly meet to review the applications for the medical cannabis cards that they consider on a case-by-case basis. Petitions were first accepted in March 2020.
The mandate of UDOH states that “A patient’s first medical cannabis card is valid for 30 days from the date it was issued. Within the first 30 days, the patient and their medical provider must renew the patient’s medical cannabis card online or the card expires. Subsequent card renewal cycles are every six months.”
How much will you pay for your UTAH Medical Cannabis Card?
- Initial Patient Card: $15
- First 30-day renewal Patient Card: $5
- Six-month renewal Patient Card: $15
- Initial Guardian Card: $66.25
- First 30-day renewal Guardian Card: $5
- Six-month renewal Guardian Card: $24
- Initial Caregiver Card: $66.25
- Six-month renewal Caregiver Card: $14
Where to Purchase Medical Cannabis in Utah
If you have a condition that qualifies for medical cannabis treatment in Utah you will need to talk to your medical provider first. After evaluation, they will advise on whether this is the best treatment option for you. Note that healthcare providers are not obligated to recommend medical cannabis even if you have Utah qualifying conditions. Each patient is evaluated on a case by case basis.
Once approved for medical cannabis treatment you can then complete an online application for a medical marijuana card from the Utah Department of health.
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act allows the use of different forms of cannabis including oils, tinctures, capsules, tablets, and topical applications. However, smokable forms of cannabis and edibles are not allowed.
Patients with a valid Utah Medical Cannabis Card can purchase high-quality cannabis from any of the licensed dispensary in salt lake city in Utah. They include the following:
- Wholesome Co. Cannabis
- Dragonfly Health and Wellness
- Perfect Earth Modern Apothecary
- Beehive Farmacy
When choosing a cannabis pharmacy, it is important to ensure that the pharmacy has a wide range of products to choose from. Also, ensure that the quality of the products is not questionable. You can always do this by checking the certificate of analysis which should be available on the company’s website or upon request. Extra perks like home delivery are a welcome idea, especially if you are a distance away from a cannabis pharmacy.
Can You Get Your Cannabis Delivered at Home in Utah?
Thankfully, you can now have your cannabis delivered to your doorstep in Utah. Wholesome Co. offers cannabis delivery services to 90% of Utah cities. The best part is that marijuana delivery is free of charge on all orders within Salt Lake City and throughout the state of Utah. Medical cannabis patients can now just sit at home and with a few clicks have their medication find them right where they are.