Utah’s medical cannabis law may be on the verge of changing again, with an aim to approve the latest tweaks quickly — even before the state’s medical marijuana program begins on March 1.
Senator Evan Vickers, sponsor of a new bill, Senate Bill 121 — Medical Cannabis Amendments — said the focus is to make the law “better” and “a little easier for patients and growers.”
Key elements of the proposed changes, according to Vickers:
- cannabis buds could be dispensed in child-proof bottles, not only “blister packs” common for other medication,
- numbers of medical cannabis patients per doctor would go up from 175 to 275 for a general practitioner, and 300 to 600 for a specialist,
- licensed growers could stack planters, and have more than one location, but still be subject to square footage limits.
- impaired driving would still lead to a DUI, but in some cases where people have cannabis in their systems, they could be exempt from a “driving-related crime.”
“If you used it last night, it might be ‘inactive,’ and you wouldn’t be charged?” 2News asked.
“Correct,” Vickers replied.
“If you used it 30 minutes ago, you might be charged?”
“That’s exactly right,” he said.
In the journey from illegal to legal medical marijuana in Utah, there was first Proposition 2, passed by voters, then the Legislature’s version, then tweaks from the Legislature, and now more proposed tweaks. Vickers maintained Prop 2 would have led to a later start date for the program, and would have required even more changes.
Still, S.B. 121, he suspected, is not the final word on medical cannabis.
“I wish I could say that,” said Vickers, “but I’m afraid this is a gift that keeps on giving.”