Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program Off To A Healthy Start

Nine months following the launch of legal medical cannabis sales in Utah, regulators and industry leaders are hailing the early success of the state’s program and looking forward to 2021 for continued growth. Voters in Utah approved the medical use of cannabis with the passage of a ballot initiative known as Proposition 2 in November 2018.

But the measure soon came under attack by state legislators, who attempted to tighten restrictions on the law with a replacement bill that caused an uproar from medical cannabis advocates. A measure that was termed a compromise bill by lawmakers was passed in December 2018, although it saw legal challenges and multiple changes in subsequent legislative sessions.

Sales of medical cannabis products finally began at licensed dispensaries, or pharmacies as they are called in Utah, on March 2 of this year, and statewide sales already exceed $2 million monthly. The number of registered patients has risen quickly, surpassing 10,000 in September, six months sooner than regulators expected the tally to reach that milestone.

“It’s been going. It’s been going well, as with all new programs and people starting and really pushing to get up and going like they did early on — and now (producers) are starting to find their traction to be able to keep moving forward,” Cody James, manager of the Utah Department of Agriculture’s…

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