SALT LAKE CITY, UT: Late Friday night, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services released a vaguely worded directive to Utah Medical Cannabis patients regarding the presence of synthetic cannabinoids in state sponsored sales of medical cannabis products. 

The state has the responsibility to endorse only safe products, as per 4-41-402 section 2. The state has not proved that these synthetic cannabinoids, D6a-10a, are safe for human consumption and is unfairly passing the responsibility onto QMPs, physicians, and pharmacists. 

Christopher Hudalla, Ph. D. with ProVerde Laboratories states that, “As regulators, public health officials, clinicians and researchers, we have the responsibility to protect public health and safety.”

When Utah patients purchase state sponsored products, safety and quality should be assured and backed by rigorous scientific testing and standards. Patients should have access to a Certificate of Analysis (COA) provided at purchase point or made available on labels via QR code as per 4-41-403 section 1

Ethan B. Russo, MD, board-certified neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher, said that, “As such, it is my formal professional opinion that all cannabis-based products sold in Utah and elsewhere should be accompanied by a certificate-of-analysis (COA) on each batch of material, and that no synthetic cannabinoids should be endorsed for commerce by any state agency.

Christine Stenquist, President of Truce Utah, says that the state is “pushing the responsibility onto our local physicians who do not have experience with cannabis science instead of heeding the guidance of experts like Dr Russo and Dr Hudalla who do.

The DHHS Center for Medical Cannabis is holding a Medical Cannabis Market Analysis Public Input Meeting on October 25, 2022 from 4:00 to 5:00pm*. The purpose of the meeting is regarding the following: 

  • Is there evidence of adequate or inadequate medical cannabis product quality?
  • Is there evidence of adequate or inadequate medical cannabis product supply? 
  • Is there evidence of adequate or inadequate medical cannabis product variety? 

Stenquist continued, “Patients, physicians, pharmacists, and QMPs should voice their concerns at this meeting. It is important to show up and insist that the state protect the public safety.”