Home – Herbert Signs Altered UT Cannabis Law

Herbert Signs Altered UT Cannabis Law

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed legislation last week to significantly amend a voter-approved measure that legalized medicinal marijuana use in the Beehive State. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act came out of a one-day session last Monday called specifically to address elements of the ballot measure voters endorsed on Nov. 6th that lawmakers objected to.

 

Major changes include reducing the allowed number of cannabis outlets from 40 general dispensaries to just seven “cannabis pharmacies,” with much of the distribution now being handled by the state. The new law also mostly bars edible marijuana products – which Proposition 2 broadly allowed – and removes all but a handful of autoimmune diseases from the list of those legally treatable with cannabis products.

 

Those changes drew criticism from some medical cannabis proponents, who said they will prevent many needy residents from accessing treatment. But advocates like Marijuana Policy Project deputy director Matthew Schweich hailed the compromise measure, saying it would ensure the program at least gets off the ground.

 

“This bill is undoubtedly inferior to the law enacted by voters in November. However, Proposition 2 would very likely have been defeated without the compromise deal, which prevented an onslaught of opposition spending,” he said in a statement. “Advocates made the responsible decision to negotiate with opponents and ensure that patients were not left without any access to medical cannabis.”

 

Several lawmakers suggested the law is also likely to undergo numerous changes as all sides determine its effectiveness. (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT)