Everything You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana in Utah

Utah Canna | Picture of a doctor with patient | The Ultimate Guide To Medical Marijuana in Utah

So you’re looking to get your Utah medical card, but don’t know where to start?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ll answer all your burning questions regarding everything related Medical Marijuana in Utah.

Let’s get started!

The History of Medical Marijuana In Utah

While some claim that Utah was the first state to prohibit the use of marijuana, cannabis had been illegal in Utah since 1915.

Over 100 years later, in early 2018, the state legislature passed the “right to try” bill, which allowed terminally ill patients to access Medical Marijuana if other options had failed.

Several months later that year, the Medical Marijuana Initiative was approved by Utah Proposition 2, which allows medical marijuana access to those with specific health conditions.

What are Requirements for a Utah Medical Cannabis Card?

If you’re looking to get your medical cannabis card in Utah, for most there are mainly 3 requirements:

Be a Utah Resident

Have a Qualifying Condition

Complete the State Application

Meet with a Qualified Medical Provider

Can Minors Be Medical Cannabis Patients?

For those under the age of 21, as well as for anyone who has a condition that doesn’t fall neatly into the current list, the state has delegated a Compassionate Use Board (CUB) to determine your eligibility.

The CUB comprises of 7 qualified medical providers that review and recommend medical marijuana applications for patients who believe cannabis is a good option for them, despite their initial disqualification.

The CUB petition process is comparatively lengthy and can take up to 90 days to be approved by the board.

What types of Medical Cannabis cards are available?

There are 5 types of medical cannabis cards available in Utah:

Patient Cards

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • For parents or legal guardians of minors who meet eligibility requirements
  • Issued in conjunction with Provisional Patient Cards

Guardian Cards

  • For parents or legal guardians of minors who meet eligibility requirements
  • Issued in conjunction with Provisional Patient Cards

Provisional Patient Cards

  • For minors under the age of 18 who meet the eligibility requirements
  • Issued in conjunction with guardian cards
  • Must have approval from the Compassionate Use Board

Caregiver Cards

  • Adults 21 years of age and older who care for patient cardholders who are unable to procure or consume medical cannabis on their own
  • Issued in conjunction with guardian cards
  • Must have approval from the Compassionate Use Board

Non-Utah Resident Cards

  • Patients with a Utah Qualifying Condition that hold a medical cannabis card from another state
  • Must apply for a temporary card while visiting Utah
  • Good for 21 days at a time, and may only be issued twice per year

How Much Does A Medical Marijuana Card Cost?

When paying for a Utah Medical card, you’ll have 3 different expenses to consider:

State Application Fees

Pharmacy Fees

Provider Fees

Where Can I Get A Medical Card?

Most patients can get a medical card from their primary care physician (PCP) or a clinic that specializes in medical marijuana cards.

Primary Care Physician (PCP)

In order for your PCP to be able to qualify you for medical marijuana, they
themselves must complete a department-approved, 4-hour continuation
education course online.

Without this certification, they cannot approve any patients for medical cannabis and will not be able to certify you or anyone else.

Currently, Utah state allows 4 types of physicians to qualify patients for
Medical Marijuana:  MD, DO, APRN, and PA.

Because these clinics specialize in getting patients their medical cannabis, they are typically better able to help you answer your questions regarding the process of obtaining your medical card, as well as guide you regarding treatment with medical marijuana.

How Long is My Utah Medical Marijuana Card Valid For?

Beginning January 3, 2022, initial medical cannabis patient cards will be issued with
an expiration date of 6 months, and must renew their medical card every 6 months (previously, first-time cardholders were required to renew after 90 days).

Once a cardholder has had their card for a year, they may then make a request to their QMP to be put on an annual renewal schedule.

Once Approved, How Long Does It Take to Receive My Medical Card?

Usually within 1 business day, however, once an application is submitted, the state can take up to 15 business days to deny or approve an application.

How Much Medical Marijuana Can I Purchase?

Within a 30-day period, patients may possess or purchase no more than:

How Much Medical Marijuana Can I Purchase?

Currently, there are 14 Dispensaries medical cannabis cardholders can purchase cannabis:

Can I Bring Cannabis Purchased Out of State Into Utah?

No. Possession of medical cannabis purchased out of state is not permitted.

Are Cardholders Allowed to Grow Their Own Cannabis?

Unfortunately, no.

After Utah residents voted and approved Utah Medical Cannabis Act, the state legislature re-wrote it to strip all home cultivation wording from the original bill.

How Do I Get A Medical Marijuana Card?

The process is fairly straight-forward and requires only 3 basic steps:

Complete the State Application

After creating  a UtahID account, you’ll need to register and apply to Utah’s Electronic Verification System (EVS).

See a Qualified Medical Provider (QMP)

Any provider that has taken the 4-hour continuation education course and whose application has been approved by the state may legally qualify patients for medical cannabis.

Once a QMP has evaluated and approved you, they will certify you within EVS and pass your application on to the state, who will then review your application for approval.

Get State Approval

Once a QMP has certified you at your appointment, the state will review your application, after which you will be notified via email of you approval. Once approved, you may print your card from the approval email or within EVS.

For a more detailed explanation please see our step-by-step tutorial.

Where Can I Consume Medical Cannabis?

Unless it is a medical emergency, patients must consume cannabis on private property and out of public view.

Are Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards Valid in Utah?

Yes, as long as the visiting patient has a Utah Qualifying Condition and registers in EVS for a Non-Utah Resident Card.

Non-Utah Resident Cards are valid for 21 days, and can only be issued twice per calendar year.

What forms of medical cannabis are patients allowed to use?

Most forms of the medicine are tolerated:

Smoking cannabis is NOT permitted.

Additionally, candies, cookies, brownies, and “edible” are NOT permitted.

Can You Own A Gun And Have a Utah Medical Card?

It depends.

The Utah Medical Cannabis Act prohibits both state or local authorities to use any resources toward enforcing any “law that restricts an individual’s right to acquire, own, or possess a firearm based solely on the individual’s possession or use of cannabis in accordance with state medical cannabis laws.”

At the same time, you are in violation of federal law if you are both a firearm owner and a medical cardholder.

Why? Because it is illegal for any unauthorized use of a controlled substance, which includes marijuana, to own any firearm.

Violation of the law may result in 5 years in federal prison carries and a fine of $10,000.

Are There Any Employee Protections For Medical Cannabis Card Patients?

The answer to this depends on whether or not you work in the private domain vs the public domain.

Private Sector

The law does not require employers to accommodate their employees’ use of medical cannabis within the private sector.

Furthermore, there are no legal ramifications for any employer who terminates their staff on the basis of using medical cannabis.

It is best to check your employee handbook or speak to your human resources department regarding the use of medical cannabis if you are unsure.

Public Sector

State employees, however, do have some protections afforded to them through the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, as certain provisions within the law make it clear that public employees cannot be discriminated against based solely on their use of medical cannabis.

Can I Use Cannabis While Driving?

Definitely not. Driving under the influence of cannabis is considered a DUI offense in Utah.

Utah does not take kindly to anyone who operates a motor vehicle or machinery under the influence of any substance, even if you have a medical card.

Always use caution during the use of your medicine to ensure your personal safety, as well as that of others.

Can I Purchase MMJ in Another State and Bring It Into Utah?

While many medical marijuana patients purchase their product in neighboring states and bring it back, transporting marijuana across state lines is a federal offense, and if caught you could face federal drug trafficking charges.

First time offenders could face up to: