State Lawmakers Headed To Special Session For Changes To Medical Cannabis Legislation

Sep 5, 2019

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a call for a special session of the State Legislature Thursday, to amend Utah’s medical cannabis law. 

The special session is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16. In a press release from the governor’s office, Gov. Gary Herbert says taking the state-run, central fill pharmacy out of the equation will help ensure patients have access to medical cannabis by March 2020, the deadline set during a December 2018 special session when the legislature overrode the Proposition 2 medical cannabis ballot initiative.

County attorneys have expressed concern to legislative leaders over their county health departments acting as distributors of the drug, a schedule one substance at the federal level. They worried, by subverting federal law, the departments’ funding could be at risk. Summit County Health Department Director Rich Bullough recently told KPCW he didn’t know how to implement the law at the local level and whether there would even be any space at the county health department to store medical cannabis. He said he hoped a special session would provide more clarity on the issue and allow people access to the medical treatment they approved through Proposition 2.

The Sept. 16 session will address amendments to the Utah Medical Cannabis Act as well as a few other items, including amendments to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act around the transportation of high-point beer; amendments to certain tax incentives; and appropriations for the 2020 U.S. Census.