Utah is finally getting itself some medical marijuana. After Governor Gary Herbert signed his name to an MMJ bill Friday, the State will begin accepting licenses on Sunday and open its first dispensary on Monday.
Though things are moving relatively quickly now, Utah previously slowed its roll to a crawl when it came to medical cannabis. Voters passed a referendum to regulate MMJ in 2018, but lawmakers immediately put together a bill to override the referendum and implement a less permissive marijuana program.
After a whole lot of legal jockeying, the newest medical marijuana bill was passed by the State Legislature on Thursday. Among other changes to previous MMJ law, Senate Bill 121 will allow patients to apply for expungement of past cannabis convictions, remove blister packaging requirements for flower, and increase patients caps for doctors, as reported by Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
“This bill makes needed adjustments and clarifications to Utah’s medical cannabis law. These changes will help us ensure that Utah patients have the best possible access to cannabis products as our new program rolls out on Monday, March 2,” Gov. Herbert said in a statement.
The state kicks its MMJ party off with a bang March 1 with a single solitary dispensary in the SLC with limited product.
Some patients and cannabis advocates probably aren’t thrilled with the limited access this will provide, and they are not the only ones displeased with the new law. During a House committee hearing on the new bill, an anti-weed activist reportedly interrupted the proceedings to present a bag of fake cannabis, proclaiming, “This is a bag of weed.” He also claimed that medical marijuana legislation had already done “More damage than the two Mexican cartels now operating in our area,” for some reason.
Photo via Flickr/WeedPornDaily