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HomeHealthUtah's Medical Marijuana Program: What Patients Need to Know

Utah’s Medical Marijuana Program: What Patients Need to Know

Welcome to our guide on Utah’s Medical Marijuana Program, where we aim to provide patients with all the essential information they need. Medical marijuanas in Utah has become a popular alternative treatment option for various medical conditions, and Utah has established its medical marijuana program. However, the program’s complex regulations and guidelines can take time to navigate. This guide will cover the necessary information about Utah’s medical marijuana program, including eligibility criteria, the application process, etc.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

Many states have different qualifying medical conditions for using medicinal marijuana. Utah has a specific list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana use. As of September 2021, the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in Utah include the following:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cache Valley virus
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Epilepsy or debilitating seizures
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
  • 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
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for individuals who a qualified mental health therapist has diagnosed
  • According to federal law, rare diseases or ailments must impact fewer than 200,000 people in the US and cannot be sufficiently treated with traditional medicine.

Application Process

The application process for Utah’s Medical Marijuana Program includes the following steps:

Step 1: Meet Qualifying Medical Conditions

Patients must have one or more qualifying medical conditions approved by Utah.

Step 2: Obtain Medical Records

Patients must obtain medical records from their healthcare provider documenting the qualifying medical condition(s). The medical records must be from within the past 12 months.

Step 3: Find a Qualified Medical Provider

Patients must find a qualified medical provider registered with Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program. These healthcare providers have completed specialized training to become a qualified medical providers.

Step 4: Receive Medical Evaluation

Patients must schedule an appointment with a qualified medical provider to receive a medical evaluation to determine if medical marijuana is a suitable treatment option for their condition.

Step 5: Apply for Medical Marijuana Card

If the qualified medical provider recommends medical marijuana, patients can apply to the Utah Department of Health for a medical marijuana card. The application must include the patient’s medical records and a recommendation from a qualified medical provider. There is a fee to apply for the card.

Step 6: Receive Medical Marijuana Card

If the application is approved, patients will receive a medical marijuana card valid for 60 days. Patients can renew their card up to 90 days before the expiration date.

Accessing Medical Marijuana

In Utah, patients can access medical marijuana from a licensed medical cannabis pharmacy. The state of Utah has licensed several medical cannabis pharmacies throughout the state. To buy medicinal marijuana from these registered pharmacies, patients must have a current medical marijuana card issued by the Utah Department of Health.

Once patients have a medical marijuana card, they can visit a licensed medical cannabis pharmacy to purchase medical marijuana products. The licensed pharmacy will have a registered pharmacist to guide product selection, dosing, and administration.

It is significant to remember that medical marijuana products bought in Utah from a licensed medical cannabis pharmacy must adhere to state laws., including product labeling and testing requirements. Additionally, patients are prohibited from growing their marijuana plants for medical use in Utah.

Administration Methods

Utah’s Medical Marijuana Program allows for several administration methods of medical marijuana. These administration methods include:

Inhalation

Inhalation is the most common administration method for medical marijuana. Patients can use vaporizers or inhalers to inhale cannabis flower or cannabis oil.

Sublingual

Sublingual administration involves placing cannabis oil or tincture under the tongue for quick absorption into the bloodstream.

Topical

Topical administration involves applying cannabis-infused creams or lotions directly to the skin to alleviate pain and inflammation.

Transdermal

Transdermal patches or creams are applied to the skin and slowly release cannabinoids into the bloodstream.

Edibles

Medical marijuana can be infused into food products, such as gummies, chocolates, or baked goods, for ingestion.

Legal Considerations

Utah’s Medical Marijuana Program has specific legal considerations that patients should know. These legal considerations include the following:

Possession Limits

Patients can possess up to 113 grams (or four ounces) of unprocessed cannabis or its equivalent in 30 days.

Employment

Medical marijuana use is not protected under Utah’s employment laws. Employers can still take disciplinary action, including termination, for medical marijuana use, even if the service is for medical purposes.

Federal Law

While medical marijuana is legal in Utah, it remains illegal under federal law. This means that patients can face federal prosecution for possessing or using medical marijuana, even with a valid medical marijuana card.

Driving

Patients should not drive under the influence of medical marijuana. Utah law prohibits driving while impaired, and patients caught operating a vehicle while impaired by medical marijuana may be prosecuted.

Public Use

Medical marijuana cannot be consumed in public places. Consumption of medical marijuana is only allowed in private residences or designated areas where consumption is permitted.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Utah’s Medical Marijuana Program provides patients with qualifying medical conditions access to medical marijuana to treat their symptoms. However, patients must follow a strict application process, obtain a medical marijuana card, and purchase medical marijuana from licensed medical cannabis pharmacies to ensure compliance with state regulations. Patients should also know legal considerations, such as possession limits, employment, federal law, driving, and public use.

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