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All You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana in Utah

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Is cannabis legal in Utah?

As of 2023, recreational cannabis is not legal in Utah. However, Utah has implemented a medical cannabis program that prospective and existing patients can access through Compassionate Clinics of America.

In 2018, voters in the state approved Proposition 2, which legalized medical cannabis for qualifying patients with certain medical conditions. The program allows for the use of medical cannabis products, but it has specific regulations and restrictions. The Utah law that regulates the program is the Medical Cannabis Act and it is designed to protect patients who use cannabis for medical purposes.

With medical cannabis cards, patients can visit medical cannabis pharmacies. Medical cannabis pharmacies are the term used to describe what are commonly known as medical marijuana dispensaries.

In the 2023 Utah General Legislative Session, amendments were made to medical cannabis laws, including transferring oversight of the Utah medical cannabis program from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

It also extended Utah medical cannabis card validity from six months to one year, and increased patient caps, among other program amendments.

Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah

Do I need a doctor’s referral to get a medical card?

Yes, in order to get a medical cannabis card, you must get a qualified medical provider’s recommendation that you would benefit from cannabis treatment and participating in the Utah medical cannabis program.

Having a medical cannabis patient card is the only way to legally possess medical cannabis. Cannabis remains a controlled substance in the state and is still illegal according to federal law.

Who qualifies for a medical cannabis card in Utah?

Prospective medical cannabis patients must be a current resident of Utah and provide proof of residency through a valid Utah ID.

They must have a qualifying medical condition recognized by Utah’s medical cannabis program.

Qualifying conditions under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act include:

  • HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • cancer
  • cachexia
  • persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to:
    • pregnancy
    • cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome
    • cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • epilepsy or debilitating seizures
  • multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
  • 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, masters prepared psychologist, a masters prepared licensed clinical social worker, or a psychiatric APRN
  • autism
  • a terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months
  • a condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care
  • 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
  • persistent 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
  • acute pain that is expected to last for 2 weeks or longer for an acute condition, including a surgical procedure, for which a medical professional may generally prescribe opioids for a limited duration

Note: Patients with medical conditions not listed in the law may petition the Compassionate Use Board for a medical cannabis card, which will review complete petitions and recommend eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

How do I get a medical cannabis card?

To obtain a medical cannabis card in Utah, there are a few steps you will need to follow.

First, locate a registered medical provider who can also recommend medical cannabis treatment. A medical provider can be accessed by booking an appointment with Compassionate Clinics of America if your primary medical provider does not provide medical cannabis treatment.

At the appointment with one of the providers at Compassionate Clinics of America, they will go over your medical records and medical history and determine whether you’d benefit from medical cannabis treatment.

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If they recommend medical cannabis treatment, you, or the physician, will need to create an account on the Utah Department of Health’s Electronic Verification System (EVS) and submit your application online.

The application will require personal information, medical documentation, and payment of the application fee for both the initial application and renewals.

The Utah Department of Health will review your application, including the medical provider’s certification and recommendation. If your application is approved, the Utah Department of Health will issue your medical cannabis card, which will be emailed to you. You can save the card on your smartphone or print it out.

With the card in hand, adult patients are now ready to purchase medical cannabis from a medical cannabis pharmacy. When visiting the pharmacy, make sure to bring your medical cannabis card and a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license.

Before your first purchase, you may need to consult with a medical cannabis pharmacist. Keep in mind that some medical cannabis pharmacies require appointments made in advance for such consultations.

Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah

What are the benefits of having a medical cannabis card in Utah?

Having a medical cannabis card in Utah comes with several benefits.

First, it provides legal protection and allows you to access, use, and legally possess medical cannabis in accordance with state laws. With a medical cannabis card, you are exempt from potential legal penalties for possession and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. This provides peace of mind and ensures that you can obtain and use medical cannabis without legal repercussions.

Having a medical marijuana card is the only way to consume cannabis legally, as recreational cannabis is still illegal within the state.

Secondly, a medical cannabis card grants you access to a wider range of cannabis products and dispensaries. It allows you to purchase medical-grade cannabis from licensed dispensaries that are specifically authorized to sell to registered patients. These dispensaries often have a broader selection of strains, products, and knowledgeable staff who can assist you in finding the most suitable options for your medical needs

How much does it cost to get a medical cannabis card in Utah?

The cost for a medical cannabis certification with Compassionate Clinics of America in Utah is $199 for new patients. The renewal fee for a medical cannabis certification is $149.

We offer Sezzle payment options to break up the cost into separate, affordable payments.

Utah charges a $15 application fee when submitting an application through the Electronic Verification System.

What information and forms are required when a patient applies for a Medical Marijuana ID card?

Patients are required to submit personal information, such as their full name, date of birth, address, and contact details.

They will also need to provide proof of residency with a valid Utah ID.

In some cases, patients may need to provide supporting documentation, like medical records, to verify their qualifying medical conditions.

How long is my medical marijuana card valid in Utah?

Medical marijuana patients in Utah will have to renew their card every one (1) year. The expiry date on medical cannabis patient cards was extended from six months to one year in 2023.

What is required for renewal?

To renew a medical marijuana card in Utah, patients need to go through a simple process. They must ensure that they have an active Utah ID account and access the Electronic Verification System (EVS). The renewal application can be completed online through the EVS, where patients will need to provide updated personal information and attest to the continued presence of a qualifying medical condition through a new doctor’s recommendation.

A $15 renewal fee will need to be paid by patients through the EVS.

It’s important to note that patients should initiate the renewal process before their current card expires to ensure uninterrupted access to medical marijuana.

I heard I can renew my medical card in Utah for $20. Where can I renew my card for $20?

There are no such provider in Utah that exists that can provide a renewal of your medical card for just $20. The cost to renew your medical cannabis certification with Compassionate Clinics of America in Utah is $149, plus the aforementioned state renewal fees. In the event that you are not recertified, these fees will be returned to you.

I live in another state, can I apply?

Yes, patients from other states can apply for a Utah medical cannabis card under certain circumstances. Utah recognizes medical cannabis cards issued by other states through a program called the Reciprocity Program.

Out-of-state patients with qualifying medical conditions can apply for a Temporary Medical Cannabis Letter (TMCL) in Utah, which allows them to legally purchase and use medical cannabis in the state for a limited period of time.

The TMCL can be obtained by submitting an application and providing proof of their out-of-state medical cannabis card.

Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah

What does the Utah Medical Cannabis Act say about where I can consume cannabis?

According to state law, medical cannabis consumption is only permitted in private residences, provided that the residence is not a rental property where the landlord prohibits cannabis use.

Consumption in public places, including parks, streets, sidewalks, and businesses, is strictly prohibited.

It is also important to note that consuming medical cannabis while operating a vehicle or any other form of transportation is illegal and can result in serious legal consequences.

How long does it take to process my application?

The review process time may vary depending on factors such as your age and whether you have a qualifying condition or require Compassionate Use Board review.

Can I own a gun and have a medical cannabis card in Utah?

Having a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah does not necessarily disqualify you from obtaining a gun license, but there are some complexities to consider. When a person with a medical marijuana card purchases a gun from an authorized firearms dealer, they are required to complete an ATF form. On this form, buyers must acknowledge their use of drugs prohibited under federal law, including cannabis.

This situation can be challenging for individuals who have the legal right to use medical marijuana in their state but face federal regulations that do not recognize this legality. However, Utah’s legislature has included provisions in HB 3001 to prevent state law enforcement from using resources to enforce gun laws that restrict a person’s ability to purchase, own, or possess a firearm solely because they are using marijuana in accordance with state medical marijuana laws, regardless of whether those laws are local, state, or federal.

In theory, federal officials could still detain someone for marijuana possession, and federal law enforcement might raise concerns about firearm ownership. However, federal legislation has been enacted to prevent the federal government from using federal funds to penalize individuals who are abiding by state laws.

Given that the Utah Medical Marijuana Act includes provisions preventing law enforcement from targeting medical marijuana users who possess guns, it can be reasonably inferred that having a medical cannabis card in Utah does not necessarily prohibit gun ownership.

Will I be given a temporary card while my application is being processed?

Until your application is accepted, you can expect to see “Awaiting State Review” listed under the “Payment Status” section. Once your application is approved, you will receive your Utah medical card through email.

Can a qualified medical provider complete a medical marijuana certification via telehealth?

Yes! Meeting with a Utah medical cannabis doctor through Compassionate Clinics of America is done using telehealth, meaning you can have all your questions answered about the cannabis plant and your health from the comfort of your own home.

The qualified medical professional from Compassionate Clinics of America will strive to make the process comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable as you discover medical cannabis for your health and wellbeing.

When does the physician certification expire?

A recommendation from a qualified medical provider at Compassionate Clinics of America is valid for a period of one (1) year. We will notify you when it is time to make an appointment to renew your medical marijuana card.

Questions About Medical Cannabis Certification in Utah?

Feel free to connect with us anytime at [email protected] or call us at (888) 611-4820.

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Locations in Utah

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions specific to Utah’s medical cannabis program can be found at the link below: 

Utah Medical Cannabis Program Frequently Asked Questions

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