In my last article, I discussed what conditions qualify for medical marijuana in Utah. If you think you have a qualifying condition under Utah Code 26-61a-104, here’s how to gain access to medical marijuana in Utah.
Get diagnosed. Visit your Utah licensed nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or physician to determine if you have a qualifying condition.
Have the right dosage. You can have up to 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis in the right product form.
Approved cannabis products. If you have a qualifying diagnosis, you can have cannabis as a tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, in liquid suspension, as a lozenge or gelatinous cube, resin or wax, or in blister packs with each pack appropriately labelled and measured to equal or less than 1 gram per blister.
Currently, you can obtain these items out of state. After January 2021, you will be required to only buy the products through Utah licensed cannabis pharmacies.
It’s still illegal to smoke a joint. A cigarette, loose cannabis flowers, or smoking cannibals is still illegal. With that, you can be charged for a DUI, possession, or paraphernalia charges. These charges carry at least a $680.00 fine and into the thousands with possible jail time and a license suspension for at least six months.
Until January 2021, having the proper dosage without a Utah medical cannabis card is legal. This means you can have marijuana products, if they are in the right dosage and product, not necessarily processed in Utah. To prevent arrest or if you are arrested, provide your doctor’s note with your qualifying condition to the police officer or county attorney. Police officers are not medical professionals so they may, as a conservative measure, give you a ticket which you can most likely get dismissed if you provide your doctor’s diagnosis, dated before the arrest, of the qualifying condition.
Outside-of-state medical marijuana cards are legal, kind-of. Non-residents of Utah with medical cards that have a qualifying condition under Utah law and the right dosage under Utah law are legal.
This means if you are visiting Utah, have marijuana and no medical card, or have a medical card for PTSD (a Utah non-qualifying condition), then you will be charged with a crime.
You must be licensed to grow marijuana. Only state licensed entities can grow, process or dispense medical marijuana. These entities will be licensed through the Utah Department of Agriculture. Growing cannabis at home, without a license, is still illegal.
What if you get arrested for having legal, medical marijuana? Always be respectful and predictable while with the officer for everyone’s safety. With the new law, they might make a mistake or not know if your cannabis is legal or illegal. Carry a copy of your diagnosis and only use the allowed products. If you believe you are wrongfully charged, provide your diagnosis information to the county attorney to reduce or dismiss charges.
Disclaimer. As always, my column is not legal advice, instead merely insight into the law and legal profession. If you have a general question about the law or legal profession, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435.610.1431.