Utah is considered one of the nation’s most conservative states and it came as a total surprise as the voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana. On Tuesday, with 60% of precincts, Utah’s medical cannabis ballot approved, the measure to legalize medical marijuana became more viable. This was foreseen as a month ago when the proponents and opponents of the initiative came together in support of the plan to allow patients to legally use cannabis.
All eyes now turn to Governor Gary Herbert who is supposed to hold a special legislative session to enact patient access to medical marijuana before the year ends.
What Does This Mean for Utah Residents?
Proposition 2’s approval shows just how wide the support for medical marijuana has progressed in the U.S. Deputy Director of the Marijuana Policy Project Matthew Schweich said, “States like Utah, which is one of the most socially conservative states, its voters still recognize and appreciate the medical value of marijuana and its products to patients who will benefit from it.”
The main question is how will authorities be able to distinguish qualified patients? Well, in the measure qualified patients who have a doctor’s approval will receive a state ID card that will allow them to purchase 2 ounces of medical marijuana or any cannabis product containing 10 grams of cannabis or THC. There is a time restriction of two weeks.
The sale of medical marijuana is exempted from taxes and all the generated revenue from licensing fees will be redirected to catering for the implementation and regulation costs.
Stakeholders, however, would be required to scale back some provisions. This will include not allowing any home cultivation, shorter lists of qualifying medical conditions and fewer dispensaries. The approval of medical marijuana in Utah was gladly received as many patients with conditions that require marijuana treatments will receive them with no challenges at all.