My New Years resolution is to explain the new Utah Medical Cannabis Act. First, if you are eager to do your own research, it’s listed under Title 26 Chapter 61a of the Utah Code. Until then, follow along with my next few columns. Next time, I’ll explain how to gain access to medical marijuana.
Adults, generally. At 18, an adult may carry a medical marijuana card and use marijuana for any qualifying conditions stated in the statute. Children under 18 may be allowed to use medical marijuana in the form of hemp oil if their guardian carries a medical marijuana card and the condition qualifies.
Qualifying Conditions. I hate speaking in legalese but with this new law, there’s no way to get around your inevitable questions of “is that a qualifying condition?” without just giving you the statute. Under 26-61a-104(2) of the Utah Code as of January 4, 2019 (because the laws can change any time the legislature is in session), a qualifying condition is:
(a) HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
(b) Alzheimer’s disease;
(c) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
(f) persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to:
(ii) cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome; or
(iii) cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome;
(g) Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis;
(h) epilepsy or debilitating seizures;
(i) multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms;
(j) post-traumatic stress disorder that is being treated and monitored by a licensed mental health therapist, as that term is defined in Section 58-60-102, and that:
(i) has been diagnosed by a healthcare provider or mental health provider employed or contracted by the United States Veterans Administration, evidenced by copies of medical records from the Veterans Administration that are included as part of the qualified medical provider’s pre-treatment assessment and medical record documentation; or
(ii) has been diagnosed or confirmed, through face-to-face or telehealth evaluation of the patient, by a provider who is:
(A) a licensed board-eligible or board-certified psychiatrist;
(B) a licensed psychologist with a doctorate-level degree;
(C) a licensed clinical social worker with a doctorate-level degree; or
(D) a licensed advanced practice registered nurse who is qualified to practice within the psychiatric mental health nursing speciality and who has completed the clinical practice requirements in psychiatric mental health nursing, including in psychotherapy, in accordance with Subsection 58-31b-302(4)(g);
(l) a terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than six months;
(m) a condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care;
(n) a rare condition or disease that:
(i) affects less than 200,000 individuals in the United States, as defined in Section 526 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; and
(ii) is not adequately managed despite treatment attempts using:
(A) conventional medications other than opioids or opiates; or
(B) physical interventions;
(o) pain lasting longer than two weeks that is not adequately managed, in the qualified medical provider’s opinion, despite treatment attempts using:
(i) conventional medications other than opioids or opiates; or
(ii) physical interventions; and
(p) a condition that the compassionate use board approves under Section 26-61a-105, on an individual, case-by-case basis.
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 email@example.com or call 435.610.1431.