Bending to reality:
According to the Utah Dep't of Health's new Medical Cannabis website, UDOH has recognized that in no way will the state be ready to serve all qualifying patients by the time the first "pharmacy" is scheduled to open.
Thus the state says it will continue to recognize affirmative defense letters stating that the patient is likely to benefit from medicinal cannabis through 2020.
"Before January 1, 2021, patients are not guilty of use or possession of medical cannabis under Utah law if, at the time of arrest:
* – the individual has been diagnosed with a qualifying condition and had a pre-existing provider-patient relationship with a Utah-licensed APRN, physician, or physician assistant who believed that the individual’s illness could benefit from the use in question; and
* – the medical cannabis was in a medicinal dosage form in a quantity not to exceed specified limits.
Compliance with the Utah Medical Cannabis Act may not protect an individual from liability for violations of federal law or the laws of other states. Specific questions regarding this provision of the law are best answered by an attorney who can provide legal counsel specific to an individual’s situation."
Ironically, in our opinion the "affirmative defense era" may turn out to be a better time for many patients than when "all eight" (Wow! So many!) dispensaries are open. (That's like one on every corner, right!?!) That is patients may be using better quality meds purchased at better prices than what's going to be in these outlets, where no patient choice on anything is going to be available – not on forms, amounts, "strains," etc.
Excuse our sarcasm. A little. But we are glad the period for recognizing patients as patients before the cards and stores system is up and running has been extended, and we expect it may well have be extended again if there are any further slow-downs in rolling out the state program…..
Frequently Asked Questions – Utah Medical Cannabis
Prior to January 2021 After January 2, 2021