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Utah: Medical Cannabis Initiative Moves Forward Towards 2018 Ballot

Utah Medical Cannabis

The ballot initiative would set up state-regulated cannabis growing and dispensing operations and allow the drug to be consumed in edible forms, in topical forms or as an oil, however, smoking cannabis would not be allowed, but vaping would

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Medical cannabis activists in Utah have filed the necessary paperwork to get the issue before voters in 2018. The Utah Lt. Governor's Office will review the language for legality and fiscal impact to taxpayers. Before qualifying for the November 2018 ballot, the Utah Patients Coalition must hold seven public hearings throughout Utah and collect 113,143 signatures from registered voters around the state.

Utah: Committee Unanimously Passes Medical Marijuana Research Bill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Utah’s House Health and Human Services committee unanimously passed House Bill 130, allowing research on medical marijuana without federal approval.

State Representative Brad Daw (R), the bill’s sponsor in the House, said, “This is the first step in what I think is the right policy direction for this state.”

The proposal specifically:

allows a person to possess cannabis, a cannabinoid product, and an expanded cannabinoid product and to distribute the cannabis, a cannabinoid product, or an expanded cannabinoid product to a patient pursuant to an institutional review board-approved study; and
allows a person conducting an institutional review board-approved study to import and distribute cannabis, a cannabinoid product, and an expanded cannabinoid product under certain circumstances.

Proponents of medical marijuana are frustrated with the decision, believing there is plenty of research to prove its medical use, and want the state to expand upon a law passed in 2014 that allows for the medical use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil, but only for those with epilepsy to allow full-plant use (as well as THC), and to greatly expand the list of qualifying conditions.

Utah: Legislators Kill Second Medical Marijuana Bill

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Utah will not see medical marijuana in 2016; the highly-watched bill failed to be passed on Thursday.

Lawmakers failed to approve the bill, the more restrictive of two proposed bills being considered. The first, broader plan was rejected earlier this week.

Senate Bill 89, introduced by Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, and Brad Daw, R-Orem would have allowed the use of a marijuana extract to treat certain illnesses.

"The agencies came back and said we need a lot of startup cash to get this going," Daw said, "and we just didn't have that in the budget."

He says he plans to re-introduce the proposal next year.

The proposal would have allowed treatment for those with certain debilitating conditions with a low-THC cannabis extract. Edible marijuana products would have been made legal for those with chronic pain.

Currently, Utah only allows the extract to be used by those with severe epilepsy, and they must obtain it outside of the state.

Utah: Legislature Passes Resolution Asking Federal Government To Reclassify Marijuana

The Utah House wants the feds to reclassify marijuana.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Utah House unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday requesting that the federal government reclassify marijuana, making it less regulated to allow for more medical research.

Floor sponsor Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, said "The federal government is way, way behind in realizing that there are some medical possibilities with cannabis."

Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it should have "no currently accepted medical use in the United States," according to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Diversion Control website.

Daw said that marijuana needs to be reclassified as a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs "have a high potential for abuse" but are recognized as having some medical benefit.

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said he'd "like to see the federal government allow us to gather the information that's necessary to make good policy decisions, both at the state and the federal level."

The resolution, SCR11, received no opposing votes.

"To me, this is more than a resolution to make us feel good. This is important stuff, and we are seeing a federal government that has, for far too long, dropped the ball on this and kind of ignored the problem," Daw said.

The resolution now goes before the governor for his decision.

Utah: Mormon Church Opposes Medical Marijuana Edibles Bill


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Mormon church is opposing a bill before the Utah Legislature which would legalize the medicinal use of edible cannabis products.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leaders claimed they were worried about "unintended consequences" of the bill introduced by Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Eagle Mountain), reports the Associated Press. A majority of state lawmakers in Utah are Mormons, so the church position on an issue usually is codified into law.

The church isn't objecting to another medical marijuana bill, a much more restrictive CBD-only measure that would only allow access to cannabis infused oil, according to church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

Madsen told The Salt Lake Tribune that church representatives told him and other lawmakers about their opposition, but wouldn't explain their reasoning. "Maybe they don't want to be known as the spcial interest who put their thumb on the scale and decided this for everyone in the state," he said.

"If they're going to put their thumb on the scale politically and force everyone to a standard, then I think they owe something of an explanation to the people," Sen. Madsen said. Madsen's right; at the very least, these hypocrites seem to be falling a little short of their ideals.

Both medical marijuana bills in the Utah Legislature have been approved in committee and are expected to be debated before the full Senate within a week.

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