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MEDICAL MARIJUANA FAQs & PATIENT CHECKLIST (UTAH)

Utah Medical Marijuana Information & FAQs

These frequently asked questions and the checklist are designed to help medical cannabis patients in Utah know what they can currently do to comply with the Utah Medical Cannabis Act (“UMCA”) and what requirements they must meet to qualify for a medical cannabis defense. *See disclaimer below.

Frequently Asked Questions on Utah’s Medical Cannabis Act

Q: Who does the medical cannabis decriminalization law apply to?

It applies to people using marijuana medicinally for a “qualifying condition” and who are criminally charged for possession of marijuana, THC, or paraphernalia. Use the checklist below to see if you would qualify for the medical marijuana defense. It also applies to people who possess for a spouse or child who is a valid medical cannabis user.

Q: When can a person assert a medical cannabis defense?

The medical cannabis defense can be asserted whenever a law enforcement officer becomes aware you are in possession of marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, or a substance containing THC. It can also be asserted in a criminal case if the government charges you with illegal possession of any of those things. In either situation, a police officer or prosecutor can still pursue criminal charges if they don’t believe that you qualify, but you would be able to present your defense to a judge or jury who would have the final say.

Q: How does a person qualify for the medical cannabis defense?

In order to comply with the Utah Medical Cannabis Act and qualify for the medical cannabis defense, a person must comply with several requirements. (See the checklist below) After December 31, 2020, these requirements will change, and a person will be required to obtain a state-issued medical cannabis card.

Practical Tips for Medical Cannabis Users in Utah

  • Use a vitamin/pill organizer or cold seal (self-fill) blister pack to store unprocessed cannabis. Currently, there are no cannabis blister pack manufacturers in Utah, so you need to make sure your medical cannabis is in a legal form. An easy way to do this is to use a either a daily vitamin/pill organizer that you can purchase at your local pharmacy or cold seal blister packs that can be purchased online. Make sure each individual blister is the right size to hold what could be considered one dose.
  • Make sure your unprocessed cannabis is divided up into single doses. Make sure that each blister/container contains no more than a gram and has a specific and consistent weight.
  • If your medical provider diagnosed you with a qualifying condition before you were found in possession of cannabis but didn’t write you a letter beforehand, he or she can still write a letter as long as they previously believed that your condition could have benefited from the use of medical cannabis.

*This is reference material only and is not a substitute for personalized legal advice. In fact, even if you believe you are in compliance with the requirements in the checklist, the government can still charge you with a crime if they disagree with you. Additionally, this defense only applies until December 31, 2020. After that, you must obtain a government-issued medical cannabis card. Because laws change frequently, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information after the publication date of March 31st, 2019. If you have been charged with a crime or if you need personalized legal advice, you may contact Intermountain Legal at 801-970-2800 or contact us online.

Information, help & FAQs on Utah Cannabis Act for medical marijuana patients. PDFs of: Frequently Asked Questions, Patient Checklist and Docotor's Letter available.