Comprehensive Guide to Utah’s Medical Cannabis Laws

by | Jul 25, 2023 | Laws and Regulations | 0 comments

Updated July 2023


Comprehensive Guide to Utah’s Medical Cannabis Laws

Understanding Utah’s Medical Cannabis Laws

Navigating the landscape of medical cannabis laws can be a daunting task, especially with the ever-changing legislation and regulations. In Utah, the Medical Cannabis Act, also known as 26-61A, serves as the cornerstone of the state’s medical cannabis program. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify Utah’s medical cannabis laws, providing an in-depth look into the qualifying conditions, the process of obtaining a medical cannabis card, possession limits, and the rules surrounding public use of medical cannabis.

Utah’s Medical Cannabis Act was designed with the intention of providing a safe and accessible framework for patients who could benefit from medical cannabis. The Act outlines the specifics of the state’s medical cannabis program, including the list of qualifying conditions, the application process for obtaining a medical cannabis card, and the regulations surrounding the purchase, possession, and public use of medical cannabis.

Medical Cannabis Cards in Utah

Once a patient has been diagnosed with a qualifying condition, the next step is obtaining a medical cannabis card. In Utah, there are different types of medical cannabis cards, each with its own set of criteria and validity period.

The most common type of card is the patient card, issued to Utah residents who are 18 years of age or older. This card is valid for six months upon initial issuance and for any renewals thereafter. However, after one year has passed since the original card was issued, the recommending QMP may determine that the patient has stabilized on medical cannabis treatment and approve a one-year renewal period instead.

For patients with acute pain, a different type of card is issued. This card expires in 30 days, rather than the usual six months, as the recommendation is specific to the patient’s medical condition and requires more frequent evaluation and monitoring.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in Utah

The first step in accessing Utah’s medical cannabis program is understanding the qualifying conditions. These are specific medical conditions that the state has identified as potentially benefiting from medical cannabis treatment. The list includes:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Hospice Care
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Persistent Nausea
  • PTSD
  • Rare Disease
  • Terminal Illness
  • Temporary Pain (Temp card

Cannabis Purchase and Possession Limits

Utah law outlines specific limits on the purchase and possession of medical cannabis. Patients are allowed to purchase either a one-month supply or an amount that a QMP specifies, whichever is less. The amount a patient can possess at any one time is also limited to a one-month supply.

Public use of medical cannabis is generally prohibited unless there is a case of an emergency medical condition. In the event of an emergency, cannabis must be in medicinal dosage form, meaning it must be in a form that can be administered and measured consistently.

Transportation and Public Possession of Medical Cannabis

When it comes to transportation and public possession of medical cannabis, Utah law has specific regulations. Patients may not operate or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within Utah if the individual has any measurable controlled substance or metabolite of a controlled substance in the person’s body. However, this law does not apply to an individual who has THC as the only controlled substance present in the individual’s body.

Accessing Medical Cannabis in Utah

Who Can Recommend Medical Cannabis?

In Utah, only a QMP can recommend medical cannabis to a patient. A QMP is a medical provider who is licensed to practice in Utah and is registered with the Utah Department of Health to recommend medical cannabis treatment. This includes physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, and physician assistants. 

Medical Cannabis Pharmacies Across Utah

Utah has a network of licensed medical cannabis pharmacies where patients can purchase their medication. These pharmacies are regulated by the state and are required to adhere to strict guidelines to ensure patient safety. They offer a variety of cannabis forms, including tablets, capsules, concentrated oils, liquid suspensions, topicals, skin patches, and sublingual products.


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