Can Medical Cannabis Be Used for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

Utah is similar to most other states with Medical Marijuana programs in that we maintain a list of qualifying conditions for which Qualified Medical Providers (QMPs) can recommend Medical Cannabis. The list is comparatively short when you consider how many different illnesses, injuries, and maladies people suffer with. Still, you might wonder if medical cannabis can be used for non-qualifying conditions.

The answer is not black-and-white. It has to be looked at from multiple angles, beginning with what the Compassionate Use Board (CUB) has to say about it. Then there is also the issue of obtaining a Medical Cannabis Card.

Approved Use Only

Right off the bat, you need to know that Utah law does not give patients the right to self-medicate. Qualifying condition or not, you are not allowed to grow marijuana plants in your backyard for the purposes of treating yourself. All Medical Cannabis consumed in Utah must originate from a Utah cultivator. It must be processed by a Utah processor and sold through a Utah Medical Cannabis pharmacy.

If you are using marijuana products in any unapproved way consider joining Utah’s Medical Cannabis program and make your use of cannabis legitimate. Getting a Medical Cannabis Card is no more complicated than filling out an electronic application form and visiting with a QMP.

Petitioning the CUB for Non-Qualifying Conditions

When legislators were crafting Utah’s Medical Cannabis laws, they were fully aware that there may be times when Medical Cannabis is appropriate despite a patient not being diagnosed with a qualifying condition. They created the CUB for that very reason.

If you and your doctor believe you suffer from a condition that would be well-served by Medical Cannabis despite it not being on the qualifying list, you can always petition the CUB. The CUB is a panel of seven experts given the task to approve Medical Cannabis use outside normal state rules.

The CUB routinely reviews applications from people diagnosed with non-qualifying conditions. They also review applications from minors, given that state law prohibits children from using Medical Cannabis. At any rate, your condition will generate one of three results:

  • Card Approved – The CUB reviews your application and agrees with your QMP’s medical assessment. They approve your Medical Cannabis Card.
  • Card Not Approved – The CUB reviews your application and, for whatever reason, disapproves of your using Medical Cannabis. Your card request is denied.
  • More Information Requested – The CUB reviews your application and decides it doesn’t have enough information to render a decision. They request that you or your QMP furnish additional information.

In the third case, you would have 90 days from the completion date of your application to provide the additional information. The CUB would review that information and render a decision from there.

How to Petition the CUB

Petitioning the CUB used to involve downloading a PDF application form, completing it, and sending it to the state. That is no longer the case. The CUB now utilizes an online form. Furthermore, it is a form you would never see as a patient. Instead, your QMP completes it.

To get the ball rolling, you would apply for a Medical Cannabis Card online. You would then see a QMP with whom you would discuss your condition. If you have non-qualifying conditions, your QMP would note that on the application. Next, the state would send the QMP an invitation to fill out the CUB petition form. Then it is a matter of waiting on a decision.

Medical Cannabis can be used to treat non-qualifying conditions under certain circumstances. Ultimately though, that decision rests with the CUB.

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Published October 22, 2021

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