Park City’s first medical marijuana dispensary has been approved by the state and the company behind the effort hopes to have their storefront open this fall.
When Utah voters passed the state’s medical cannabis law, known as Prop 2, in 2018, there was a mad dash by companies eager to open dispensaries across the state.
Jeremy Sumerix is the Market President of Deseret Wellness and says his company was chosen out of 130 applicants to open two locations in Utah -- one in Provo and a second on Kearns Boulevard in Park City.
Sumerix says if all goes well in the coming weeks with planning and construction, the Park City location could be up and running by September.
“We are still in the preliminary phases as far as construction,” Sumerix said. “We are landing on our final blueprints and getting final permitting for building, et cetera. Optimistically, we’re hoping end of September, maybe early October to be open in Park City.”
In response to the success of Prop 2 with voters, the Utah Legislature passed a medical cannabis bill of its own in late 2018. The compromise bill allowed 14 dispensaries to operate in Utah and imposed stricter restrictions on who would be eligible for a medical cannabis prescription than was originally in Prop 2.
According to the Utah Department of Health’s medical cannabis guidelines, patients diagnosed with over a dozen medical conditions ranging from HIV and AIDS, cancer, post-traumatic stress, severe chronic pain, to autism and epilepsy are eligible to apply for a medical cannabis card in Utah.
Sumerix says after a patient obtains the proper documentation from their doctor and the state, strict security guidelines will be in place in order to ensure customer privacy and safety at the dispensary.
“An approved patient will come to the door and there will be a security guard there to check ID,” he said. “Nobody under the age of 21 will be allowed into the building unless approved by the compassionate care group with the Department of Health. If they are 21, then they enter into essentially a public waiting area where we’ll have a receptionist that has access to the state’s, what they call the EVS, the electronic verification system. At that point, the patient will present their card, their ID, et cetera, and our receptionist will verify that they are an approved cardholder by the state. And then from there, we’ll invite them into what we are considering the ‘medicine room.’”
Sumerix says products available for purchase at the Park City location will include traditional loose cannabis flowers, vaping oils, droppers, topical creams, as well as edibles like infused gummies.
Cannabis is still considered a schedule-1 narcotic by the federal government and most insurance companies do not cover the cost of medical cannabis products for their customers. Sumerix says Deseret Wellness will have programs in place to help in-need patients with discounted access to their products.
More information on Utah’s medical cannabis program, as well as a full list of qualifying conditions for a state-issued medical cannabis card, are available here.