After months of politics and voting, Utah is one week away from when patients can apply for a medical cannabis card.
However, that doesn’t mean you can simply walk into a pharmacy next week and get your medicine; there are still hurdles to overcome.
There will eventually be 14 pharmacies in Utah, but just two are on track to open in March.
“We hope they’re ready to go, you know, everybody has been kind of getting ready for this big day,” says advocate Justin Arriola.
March 1, 2020 is when patients can begin applying for a medical cannabis card.
“It’s a big day, one that I, frankly, didn’t think that we would see now,” Arriola says.
Arriola has seen other states launch their programs. He says the first day can be challenging.
“There’s always product shortages. Any time the program kicks off, it’s very quickly product shortages,and in our state that will be even more so.”
Arriola says that’s because some growers had trouble getting through permitting and construction delays.
“I’m hopeful, but I’m also realistic that it’s probably going to be a while before patients get medicine here in Utah,” he said.
The Utah Department of Health is scheduled to inspect one pharmacy this week. If it passes, it will open next week to the first round of approved card-holders.
“Once people have cards and start going that’s going to be exacerbated by the fact that there’s still cultivators struggling to provide product” Arriola says.
Card approval for patients with a qualifying condition can take up to 15 days.