LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Utah?
In Utah, medical cannabis is available to patients with qualifying conditions. Adult-use, or recreational, cannabis remains illegal, and possession of small amounts may result in criminal penalties.
On Nov. 6, 2018, Utah voters approved Proposition 2 , allowing patients to obtain and use medical marijuana and state-licensed facilities to grow, process, test, or sell cannabis for medicinal purposes.
In the weeks leading to Election Day, the fervor generated by Proposition 2 Utah prompted Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah Legislature, and proposition proponents and opponents — including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest religious community in the state — to craft a compromise cannabis law regardless of whether Proposition 2 passed.
The compromise bill called for relaxing medical cannabis card renewal requirements, tightening qualifications for who could be a caregiver or guardian, offering employment protections for patients, and regulating how medical marijuana could be consumed. The legislature passed the compromise bill Dec. 3 2018, and Herbert signed it the same day. It was HB 3001, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act .
Utah has frequently tweaked its medical marijuana laws to loosen some restrictions and tighten others. For example, HB 195, signed in 2018, allowed terminally ill patients to try medicinal marijuana. HB 121, signed in 2020, allowed for the expungement of some cannabis-related convictions and required seed-to-sale tracking, among other things. HB 425, also signed in 2020, waived some ID card requirements to make it easier for patients to purchase medical marijuana during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is in charge of issuing patients medical cannabis cards, registering doctors recommending cannabis, and licensing dispensaries. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) handles cultivation and processing licenses and oversight.
Where is it safe to purchase?
There are six open medical cannabis pharmacies in Utah with another eight licensed and slated to open. Patients 18 and older, a parent or legal guardian of a minor patient, and designated caregivers may purchase medical cannabis. Each must have a medical cannabis card. All cards for patients younger than 21 must be approved by Utah’s Compassionate Use Board.
Cardholders can purchase up to 112 grams (3.95 ounces) of cannabis with up to 19 grams (0.67 ounces) of total THC within a 30-day period. Those are also the maximum possession limits.
Temporary rules in place during 2020 allow patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis from a pharmacy by presenting a letter from the patient’s doctor.
Where is it safe to consume?
Patients must consume their marijuana in private unless it’s a medical emergency. They can’t smoke cannabis anywhere or consume it while driving a vehicle.
In Utah, medical marijuana may be taken as a tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, skin patch, or a gelatin cube that can be chewed or dissolved. The state also allows the vaping of flower, resin, or wax.
Medical cannabis cardholders can possess up to 112 grams (3.95 ounces) of cannabis within a 30-day period. When transporting or possessing marijuana outside the home, a patient or caregiver must carry their state-issued medical cannabis card.
For those without state-issued medical cannabis cards, possession of less than 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor, while a third or subsequent conviction could result in a third-degree felony.
Possession of 1 ounce to 1 pound is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,500. Possession of more than 1 pound will result in a felony, even for first-time offenders.View the CBD & cannabis laws & regulations for Utah.
UT Medical Marijuana Qualifications
Updated on May 11, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Utah Medical Marijuana Qualifications
Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Utah
Under Proposition 2 Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana include:
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Debilitating Seizures
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Multiple Sclerosis Or Persistent And Debilitating Muscle Spasms
- Ulcerative Colitis
- A Terminal Illness When The Patient’s Life Expectancy Is Less Than Six Months
- A Condition Resulting In The Individual Receiving Hospice Care
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) That Is Being Treated And Monitored By A Licensed Health Therapist (Defined Here), And That:
- Has Been Diagnosed By A Healthcare Provider By The Veterans Administration And Documented In The Patient’S Record; Or
- Has Been Diagnosed Or Confirmed By Evaluation From A Psychiatrist, Doctorate Psychologist, A Doctorate Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Or A Psychiatric Aprn
- Persistent Nausea That Is Not Significantly Responsive To Traditional Treatment, Except For Nausea Related To:
- Cannabis-Induced Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome
- Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
- A Rare Condition Or Disease That Affects Less Than 200,000 Individuals In The U.S., As Defined In Federal Law, and That Is Not Adequately Managed Despite Treatment Attempts Using Conventional Medications (Other Than Opioids Or Opiates) Or Physical Interventions
- Pain Lasting Longer Than Two Weeks That Is Not Adequately Managed, In The Qualified Medical Provider’s Opinion, Despite Treatment Attempts Using Conventional Medications Other Than Opioids Or Opiates Or Physical Interventions
- A Condition That The Compassionate Use Board Approves (Once Established) On A Case-By-Case Base
Medical Marijuana in Utah
Utah passed Proposition 2 on November 6th, 2018. “The Medical Marijuana Initiative” legalizes Medical Marijuana for all patients diagnosed with a qualifying condition. If a patient is under eighteen (18) years of age, an approved and authorized Caregiver can accompany minors for Medical Marijuana Treatment. After being certified by a qualified physician and diagnosed with a qualifying condition, patients can apply for a Medical Marijuana Card. Proposition 2 authorizes Utah’s Department of Health to begin issuing Medical Marijuana Cards no later than March 1, 2020.
Under the current medical marijuana program, only patients who are diagnosed with epilepsy have a chance of getting cannabis oil treatment to relieve their seizures. The cannabinoid CBD can be very effective at reducing the length and frequency of seizures. In severe cases, epilepsy is debilitating and even causes brain damage.
The misfirings in the brain that cause seizures are of unknown origin, but they can cause damage. The longer the seizure goes on, the more damage brain tissue can experience. Cannabis relaxes the brain and stops the random and erroneous signal transfers.
People who experience severe seizure activity with epilepsy find it almost impossible to conduct their daily activities. There are often no warning signs that a seizure is about to start. Depending on the environment, a seizure can cause physical damage to the body. It may also present other dangers, like falling down the stairs or causing a traffic accident.
Cannabis therapy that reduces seizures can be life-changing for a patient with epilepsy. There are many other conditions that can be relieved by marijuana treatment. Hopefully, in time, the state of Utah will make this healing plant available to more patients.
Medical cannabis will only be available in the following forms under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act:
- Concentrated oil
- Liquid suspension
- Transdermal preparation
- Gelatinous cube
- Unprocessed cannabis flower in a blister pack containing no more than one gram of flower pods in each individual blister
- Wax or resin*
*If a patient fails to substantially respond on two other forms listed, a qualified medical provider may recommend wax or resin.
Smoking of Medical Marijuana is not permitted, but vaporizing (vaping) Medical Marijuana is legal.
The law prohibits any brownies, candies, cookies or other edible products, including unprocessed flowers outside of blister packs.
In any one 12-day period, patients may not purchase more than the lesser of:
An amount sufficient to provide 14 days of treatment based on the dosing parameters that the relevant qualified medical provider (QMP) recommends; or
- 56 grams of unprocessed cannabis (flower); or
- More than a total of 10 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in medicinal form
If a qualifying patient’s primary residence is 100 miles or greater from a medical cannabis pharmacy or local health department:
In any one 28-day period, patients may not purchase more than the lesser of:
- An amount sufficient to provide 30 days of treatment based on the dosing parameters that the relevant qualified medical provider (QMP) recommends; or
- 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis (flower); or
- More than a total of 20 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in medicinal form