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Residents of Utah and visitors who intend to use marijuana while there should familiarize themselves with Utah marijuana laws.

Brief History of Utah Marijuana Laws

Though recreational use of marijuana remains illegal throughout Utah, no- or low-THC CBD oil is now legal for all, and the medicinal use of marijuana recently became legal for certain conditions.

  •  1915: All forms of marijuana banned in Utah
  •  2014: Legalization of possession and use of low-THC CBD oil, only for registered patients with intractable epilepsy and a physician’s recommendation
  •  February 2018: Terminally ill patients granted the “right to try” and grow medical marijuana plants
  •  November 2018: Voters passed Proposition 2, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act 
  •  December 2018: Legislature passed HB3001, amending the Utah Medical Cannabis Act with more restrictive provisions; low-THC CBD oil legal for all
  •  2019: SB 161 modified Utah’s medical cannabis program
  •  February 28, 2020: SB 121 changed the medical cannabis program to allow flower to be dispensed in child-proof bottles, to allow physicians to recommend marijuana to more patients, and to remove criminal penalties from registered patients with THC in their system
  •  March 2, 2020: Medical Marijuana sales began in the state, at the only dispensary authorized and operational at the time
  •  March 24, 2020:  HB 425 signed into law, delaying until the end of 2020 the requirement that patients obtain a Medical Cannabis Card
  •  May 2020: The three open Medical Marijuana dispensaries (or pharmacies) are permitted to dispense through drive-thru windows and home delivery
  •  By end of 2020: State plans to allow an additional 11 dispensaries to open

Covered Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Utah

  •  HIV or AIDS
  •  Alzheimer’s disease
  •  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  •  Cancer
  •  Cachexia
  •  Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment
  •  Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  •  Epilepsy or debilitating seizures
  •  Multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
  •  Post-traumatic stress disorder that is being treated and monitored by a licensed mental health therapist
  •  Autism
  •  A terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than six months
  •  A condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care
  •  A rare condition or disease that affects less than 200,000 individuals in the United States and is not adequately managed despite treatment attempts
  •  Pain lasting longer than two weeks that is not adequately managed
  •  A condition that the Compassionate Use Board approves on an individual, case-by-case basis

Possession Limits

Patients in Utah can possess:

  •  A one-month supply based on the dosage amount specified by their doctor or state-licensed pharmacist at a Medical Cannabis pharmacy; or
  •  Four ounces of flower or 20 grams THC.

Patients cannot cultivate their own medical cannabis. 

Allowable Forms and Ingestion Methods in Utah

Smoking of cannabis is prohibited, as are edible products, such as candies, cookies, and brownies. Medical Marijuana can be vaped.

The following forms of Medical Marijuana are permitted and available from dispensaries in Utah:

  •  Tablet
  •  Capsule
  •  Concentrated oil
  •  Liquid suspension
  •  Transdermal preparation
  •  Gelatinous cube
  •  Flower in an opaque, tamper-evident and -resistant container that contains a quantity that varies no more than 10 percent from the stated weight at the time of packaging
  •  Wax or resin

Permitted Prescribers of Medical Marijuana in Utah

Only those medical providers registered with the Utah Department of Health to recommend Medical Cannabis can issue recommendations for Medical Cannabis. To be deemed qualified by the department, a health care provider must:

  •  Be licensed in Utah
  •  Be a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant
  •  Complete appropriate continuing medical education courses
  •  Have authority to prescribe Schedule II drugs
  •  Pay a fee of $300

Process for Legally Obtaining Medical Marijuana

If the patient does not yet have a Medical Cannabis Card, she or he must follow these steps to obtain Medical Marijuana legally in Utah:

  1. Get a recommendation letter from a qualified medical professional (see above).
  2. Take the recommendation letter to a Medical Cannabis pharmacy.
  3. The Medical Cannabis pharmacy must obtain independent confirmation from the medical provider or an employee of the medical provider that the letter is valid.
  4. Present a valid form of photo identification.

Patients must follow these steps to obtain a Medical Cannabis Card: 

  1. The patient must be a Utah resident with at least one qualifying condition (see above).
  2. The patient must meet in-person with a qualified medical professional (see above).
  3. The medical provider then certifies the patient’s eligibility for a Medical Cannabis Card online.
  4. Patient pays a $15 application fee online.
  5. The Utah Department of Health will approve or deny the application within 15 days.
  6. When approved, the patient can use the card to purchase at any of the authorized Medical Marijuana pharmacies in Utah.
  7. The initial card expires in 90 days unless the patient and provider renew online. Subsequent renewals will be valid for six months or a year.

Penalties for Violating Utah Marijuana Laws

Possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor at least, unless the possessor is a Medical Marijuana patient. Any sale of marijuana outside of one of the authorized Medical Marijuana dispensaries/pharmacies is a felony.

2 responses to “A Guide to Utah Marijuana Laws”

  1. “Four oz of flower” is permitted each 28 day period, but “Smoking of cannabis is prohibited.” How can the cannabis flower properties be consumed if the flower cannot be smoked?

    • Combustion is what is illegal. Flower can be vaped using a dry herb vaporizer, but not lit in the traditional sense. The reason for this being mainly that there is no medical benefit to heat your cannabis that high. You are actually burning off a lot of the good stuff that way!

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