MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS
- 113 GRAMS IN 30 DAYS
- DIFFERENT LIMITS APPLY IF YOU LIVE WITHIN 100 MILES OF A DISPENSARY
MINIMUM AGE LIMIT
- PATIENTS AGED 18-20 MUST HAVE THEIR APPLICATION APPROVED BY THE COMPASSIONATE USE BOARD
LIST OF QUALIFYING CONDITIONS FOR A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD IN UTAH
- Epilepsy/debilitating seizures
- Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Persistent nausea unrelated to pregnancy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal illness with less than six months to live
- Any condition which affects less than 200,000 people in America
- A condition that causes the patient to require hospice care
- Any patient approved by the Compassionate Use Board that doesn’t have a medical condition on the list
- Chronic and severe pain lasting longer than 14 days if a non-opioid prescription or a physical intervention such as chiropractic care doesn’t work.
According to some, Utah was the first American state to prohibit marijuana in 1915, but other scholars claim California was the first in 1913. However, Massachusetts may have restricted cannabis as early as 1911.
In any case, Utah remained one of the staunchest anti-cannabis states for around a century. Residents of Utah couldn’t even purchase CBD oil until 2014. Even then, you needed a physician’s recommendation, and intractable epilepsy was the only qualifying condition.
Therefore, it was a surprise when Proposition 2, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, passed on November 6, 2018. On December 3, 2018, the state legislature passed HB3001 and signed the legislation into law on the same day.
The MMJ program in Utah is up and running but still faces many difficulties. We outline how you can get a medical marijuana card in Utah below.
Utah Medical Marijuana Laws
It is essential to have a Utah MMJ card because the state continues to take the illegal possession, sale, and use of marijuana seriously. The possession of any amount of the substance is a misdemeanor, which carries a potential prison sentence of six months and a maximum fine of $1,000.
The length of the jail term could increase to a year if found with up to a pound. It is a felony to possess more than a pound, and a conviction could result in a 5-year prison sentence. Cultivation is illegal even with an MMJ card, and growing a single plant could see you go to jail.
Finally, the sale of any amount is a felony with a penalty of up to five years imprisonment.
Utah Medical Card Requirements
As part of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, the state didn’t need MMJ cards ready until March 1, 2020. The state wasn’t required to offer licenses to dispensaries and facilities until 2020. Therefore, it made no effort to speed up the process.
The program is now in play, and the Utah Patients Coalition said that up to 70% of MMJ patients had acquired their cards within the first 12 months.
You will now face criminal charges if found with marijuana and no MMJ card.
The program is only open to residents of Utah aged 21+. If you are 18-20, you can qualify if the Compassionate Use Board recommends approval. Minors are also permitted but need to apply for a Medical Cannabis Guardian Card and a Provisional Patient Card. If you have a designated caregiver, they must apply for a Medical Cannabis Caregiver Card.
There were specific criteria outlined in the state’s Controlled Substances Act that protected MMJ patients from legal issues if found with cannabis after March 1, 2020. This protection ran out on January 1, 2021.
You will now face criminal charges if found with marijuana and no card. Find out how to get yours below.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Utah – Step by Step
Step 1 – Get a Physician’s Recommendation
UDOH began accepting online applications on March 1, 2020. You need to visit a qualified medical provider (QMP) that is pre-registered to recommend medical marijuana. In Utah, doctors must complete a four-hour education course and apply with the state to become a QMP.
During this initial consultation, you will discuss how medical marijuana will help benefit your condition. Remember that you need to have one of the qualifying conditions outlined on top of this page.
The QMP will complete a full assessment of your medical history. You should NOT begin the online application process before your QMP appointment. Bear in mind that physicians are limited to 275 patient recommendations. However, specialists such as oncologists can have up to 600.
New legislation will allow licensed physicians to recommend MMJ for a maximum of 15 patients without becoming a QMP. However, even though the state legislature passed the bill, it hasn’t been implemented yet.
Step 2 – Create a Utah ID Account
You must create a Utah ID account before proceeding with your Electronic Verification System (EVS) application. Go to id.utah.gov to proceed. Review the EVS user guide and apply online for your MMJ card. Provide your name, gender, age, and address. Patients must also sign a form to acknowledge the risks of using medical marijuana.
Step 3 – Your QMP Goes Online to Issue a Recommendation
After starting your online application, your QMP needs to log into the EVS. There, they must complete their section of your application. This includes the recommendation for MMJ. At this stage, you pay your application fee. Then, your application gets submitted to the UDOH.
Step 4 – Wait for Approval
Once you have applied, it shouldn’t take UDOH more than 15 days to issue a card if you qualify. However, it could take up to 90 days for applications from minors to be reviewed. After approval, the UDOH will issue the card and email you a copy to save on a smartphone or print out.
Step 5 – Use Your MMJ Card
Once you have the MMJ card, you can only purchase, possess, transport, and use marijuana in a medicinal dosage form. Also, you need to have your card if in possession of marijuana, and you cannot use the substance in public, barring an emergency.
Other Information on the Utah Medical Marijuana License Process
When you get a Utah MMJ Card, there are limits on the type of cannabis you can buy and other rules to discuss. We outline such information in this section.
How Long Is My Utah MMJ Card Valid For?
The medical marijuana program in Utah is inconvenient for new cardholders. Once you successfully apply, you must renew your card after 90 days. This includes a second consultation with a doctor. Your MMJ card is only valid for six months before you have a third consultation.
In another six months, you have to schedule a FOURTH consultation. Only at this point does your card become valid for a year. The state plans to review whether to retain the initial 90-day consultation in 2022.
How Much Cannabis Can I Purchase & Possess in Utah?
Qualifying patients can possess a maximum of 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis in 30 days, and they must also possess no more than 20 grams of total composite THC.
The limits fall if you live less than 100 miles from your nearest dispensary. You can have a maximum of 56 grams of unprocessed marijuana flower or the 14-day amount prescribed by your QMP in 12 days. You also can’t have more than 10 grams of composite THC in any 12-day period.
The Act allows tablets, capsules, gelatinous cubes, transdermal preparations, topicals, liquid suspension, and concentrated oil. You can now purchase unprocessed cannabis flower but may only vape it as smoking the substance remains illegal.
Also, you must store the marijuana in a tamper-resistant opaque container. MMJ cardholders can also consume resin or wax and are permitted to use a vaporizer. You may not smoke cannabis in Utah nor use any edible aside from the cubes.
Is Home Growing Allowed?
No. According to Proposition 2, you could grow up to six cannabis plants at home. However, you had to live more than 100 miles from a licensed dispensary. Yet lawmakers passed HB3001, which removed permission for home cultivation under any circumstances.
Where Can I Purchase Cannabis in Utah?
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act enables you to purchase marijuana from a licensed pharmacy using your MMJ card. The state has approved 14 pharmacies. Only half of them were open by the end of 2020, but fortunately, all of them are now in business. The state will award a fifteenth pharmacy license in 2022. The Act also ensures no more than one dispensary per 150,000 people in each county.
You can be fined $100 for not having your card if you possess marijuana. A similar fine applies for not having your cannabis correctly labeled.
Where Can Utah Residents Consume Their Marijuana?
It is only legal to use MMJ in a private residence.
Are MMJ Patients Allowed to Use Caregivers?
Yes. If you want to assign a caregiver, you need them to register with the Utah Department of Health. The caregiver card is automatically renewed with the associated MMJ card. The state will also perform a criminal background check on the person you select.
It is illegal for anyone other than a designated caregiver to buy marijuana for a patient.
A caregiver can help up to two MMJ patients. It is illegal for anyone other than a designated caregiver to buy marijuana for a patient. They pay $66.25 but don’t have a 30-day renewal. Instead, they pay $14 every six months.
Can Minors Apply for an MMJ Card in Utah?
Yes. Patients aged 18 can apply, but those aged 20 or under need to have their Compassionate Use Board application approved. This Board consists of seven medical providers who meet once a month to approve younger MMJ patient applications. Minors under 18 must apply for a provision patient card issued with the guardian card. The guardian card is for the person applying on behalf of the minor.
A card for a Guardian (when the patient is a minor) costs $66.25. The 30-day renewal is $5, and each six-month renewal is $24.
Does Utah Have a Reciprocity Agreement?
Utah doesn’t have a specific reciprocity agreement. However, certain states may recognize a Utah MMJ card. These include:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Visitors to Utah who meet one of the state’s qualifying conditions can use and possess MMJ, and they need to adhere to all state laws in the process. At present, non-residents can receive a non-resident card for a maximum of two visitation periods per calendar year if they have an MMJ card from another state.
New residents can also possess medical marijuana from out-of-state for 45 days if they have an out-of-state MMJ card.
How Hard Is It to Get a Medical Card in Utah?
The process is relatively straightforward if you have a qualifying medical condition. There are services such as Veriheal that make it easier than ever to get an MMJ card in Utah. With Veriheal, you book an appointment and spend perhaps 15 minutes consulting with a doctor. If you don’t receive MMJ card certification, the company promises a full refund.
However, despite having a relatively low population, Utah is fairly large in area. With strict limits imposed on the number of dispensaries in the state, MMJ patients may face a long journey to visit a dispensary.
Also, it is expensive to become an MMJ patient in Utah as the $15 application fee is a red herring. You might pay $150 to $300 for the first consultation and $50 to $100 for another consultation 90 days later. Then you’ll pay another $150+ for another consultation six months later.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Utah Medical Marijuana Card
These days, it is easier to apply for a Utah MMJ card than ever before. You can use a company like Veriheal to schedule a consultation with a licensed QMP. Once you receive the recommendation, you can send your application online.
However, being an MMJ patient in Utah is an expensive business. You must complete four consultations within the first 15 months, and each one costs at least $150. Hopefully, the scheduled review will remove the initial 90-day card limit and reduce the cost.