Some of you that have followed TRUCE over the years will remember the forming of these laws and boards as we pushed for more comprehensive legislation for safe access. We questioned the intent and effectiveness they would lend to the program as a whole.
On Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021, the UDOH held their December meeting of the Cannabis Product Board. (Video)
A bit of background history and duties of this board before you view the video.
The Cannabinoid Product Board (CPB) results from the Cannabinoid Research Act (H.B. 130) passed and was signed into law during the 2017 Utah General Legislative Session. During the 2018 Utah General Legislative Session, amendments (H.B. 25) were made to Cannabinoid Research Act as follows:
The composition of the CPB was modified from three board members being members of the Controlled Substance Advisory Committee to one; and
The duties of the CPB were broadened to include a review of research regarding “expanded cannabinoid products,” which provides for cannabinoid products with significant tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
The Role and Duties of the board:
The Cannabinoid Research Act directs the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) to form and facilitate the CPB. As stated in the legislation, the purpose of the CPB is to review available research related to the human use of cannabinoid products. Specifically, the CPB evaluates the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid products and expanded cannabinoid products in terms of 1) medical conditions that respond to cannabinoid products; 2) dosage amounts and their medical forms; and 3) interactions between cannabinoid products, expanded cannabinoid products, and other treatments. The CPB may only review research that has been approved by an Institutional Review Board or approved/conducted by the federal government.
From this research, the CPB is directed to develop prescribing guidelines that may potentially be used by qualified medical providers recommending cannabinoid products to their patients. The CPB must report their evaluation findings in writing to the Health and Human Services Interim Committee before November 1st of each year.
(That text is found here:
With the board’s expectations being clearly defined, TRUCE felt something was overlooked in the process that allowed D8 products into our medical program.
These minor cannabinoids have little to no research, and there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the extraction process used by the hemp industry to create these products.
Tapping into our network for guidance, we reached out to several great resources for help. One of the leading researchers in cannabinoid science, Dr. Ethan Russo, heard what we struggled with and emailed us immediately. We were thrilled to have him as our expert witness.
- LMP program will go into effect in the new year. This allows a physician up to 15 patients they can recommend cannabis too. We still object to this approach as we do not believe a lottery system is an appropriate way to practice medicine. We strongly disapprove of patients’ caps and feel this is a weak attempt to remedy the situation of doctor participation.
- The three monthly card renewals will be removed from the fee schedule. They are lowering the cost for patients slightly. This is a good win. However, patients are still required to go in every six months for renewal. Truce views this as a ‘user tax’ and feels once a year fee to access cannabis is more than sufficient. Similar practices are seen in other states. UDOH stressed an emphasis for patients to shop around for inexpensive QMP.
- The conversation around the board being unaware of Delta8 and its lack of supportive evidence in efficacy was a frustrating point in the meeting. This board’s primary function is to approve products. This has left a bit of a question mark for us as to what exactly is the board recommending? Delta 8 products have been on our dispensary shelves since the program’s start with no supportive documentation but the hemp industry insistence.
- The state restricted the sale of semi-synthetic or synthetic cannabis in our CSA. Currently, we are in direct violation of our state law. And with safety and efficacy in question, we certainly have a problem with how things are being managed, please. Tune in next month as this topic was bunted to January.
If you want to change the program, you need to follow these boards to help advocate for better outcomes. The medical cannabis program has severe glitches and deficits that desperately need to be addressed.
Many are dedicated to improving the system, and their input is desperately needed. Patients are fed up with the way things have been and demand a program focused on their needs.
#PatientsBeforeProfits #6monthRenewal #LMPprogram #Delta8 #TRUCE