Have you been following the news about Utah's Medical Cannabis program? If so, you know the state legislature approved a plan to add a fifteenth pharmacy earlier in 2021. Now they have actually gotten the process started. A new Medical Cannabis pharmacy is on the way in short order. That is good for the industry and patients alike.
Of course, we don't yet know who will get the state's fifteenth pharmacy license. We also don't know exactly where the pharmacy will be located. But we do know that the legislature, when they approved the fifteenth license, mandated that whoever gets the license open the new pharmacy in a rural county.
We need to give our lawmakers credit for recognizing the fact that rural patients have a hard time getting to pharmacies on a regular basis. They figured out that just having a Medical Cannabis card isn't good enough if getting into the city to buy your medicines is too difficult. So along with a new pharmacy license, lawmakers also approved the plan to allow statewide home delivery.
The Utah Department of Health's September 2021 update indicates that applications are now being accepted for the new pharmacy license. Applications will be taken through October 18, and possibly on the 19th as well. The state plans to reveal the winning application by November 15, 2021.
Does that mean a new pharmacy will be open by the end of the year? It is possible, but there is no way to know for sure. Opening a pharmacy isn't necessarily easy or cheap. Whoever gets the license will have to find a location. Then there will be an investment in equipment, supplies, and labor. A Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP) will have to be hired and the pharmacy itself will have to connect to the state's electronic verification system (EVS).
If the planets and stars all align and the Health Department cooperates at unprecedented levels, it is possible that the new pharmacy could open by the end of 2021. A more realistic timeline suggests late winter or early spring 2022. But again, no one knows for sure. We just have to sit back and see how it all plays out.
While we wait for the new Medical Cannabis pharmacy to open, you might want to look into home delivery. It is just getting started here in Utah, but it promises to be a pretty big deal. Maybe your preferred pharmacy is already on board; perhaps not. You'll have to contact them and ask.
Home delivery in Utah is pretty straightforward. You still have to provide a valid Medical Cannabis Card to set up an online account with your pharmacy. Once that's done though, you just go online and place your orders as needed. With each order, you pick a delivery day and time. The pharmacy delivery driver brings the medicine right to your door.
Just be patient with home delivery. It took a while for the state to get our Medical Cannabis program off the ground; it is going to take some time to iron all the wrinkles out of home delivery as well. Do not forget that we are all in this for the long haul. Give pharmacies and delivery operations enough time to get things nailed down.
If you still need to get your Medical Cannabis Card, we invite you to visit any of our locations in Utah. Our clinics are staffed by Qualified Medical Providers (QMPs) who are ready to assist you in your endeavor to maintain good health. We can answer your questions, help you complete your application, and point you to some good pharmacies.