Utah Seeks to Increase Access to Medical Cannabis

The state dramatically expanded the ability of medical professionals to prescribe cannabis.

Salt Lake City, Utah.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
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SALT LAKE CITY β€” The Utah Department of Health and medical cannabis pharmacies launched a program to increase access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients.

The program allows any Utah-licensed physician, advanced practice medical nurse, physician assistant, or podiatrist with a controlled substance license to recommend medical cannabis to up to 15 of their adult patients who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition. There are more than 21,000 medical providers who will now be eligible to make these recommendations. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act designates these medical providers as limited medical providers.

β€œThis program expands access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients by increasing the number of clinicians who have the option to recommend medical cannabis. In the past, adult patients had to obtain a recommendation from one of the 800 medical providers who were registered with the Utah Department of Health but that is no longer the case,” said Richard Oborn, Utah Department of Health, Center for Medical Cannabis.

Patients younger than 21 are still required to obtain a medical cannabis recommendation from a medical provider who is registered with the Utah Department of Health.   

Utah’s medical cannabis program launched in March 2020. There are currently more than 41,000 Utah residents with active medical cannabis cards. With a medical cannabis card, an individual may purchase medical cannabis products from any of the 14 medical cannabis pharmacies located in North Logan, Brigham City, South Ogden, West Bountiful, Salt Lake City, South Jordan, Lehi, Provo, Payson, Springville, Cedar City, and St. George. A 15th location is scheduled to open in Price by the end of 2022.  

 To learn more about this program, patients and providers may visit https://medicalcannabis.utah.gov/providers/lmp/.

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