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Utah S.B.

211 would create a system for cultivation, distribution, and sale of


medical marijuana; however, the bill has several serious flaws that must be fixed
before passage. If not, it will do nothing for the suffering patients in Utah. As
currently drafted, the bill:
For purposes of exemption from prosecution, limits cannabinoid products to
include only substances that are expressly approved by the Legislature. The bill
does not expressly approve any substances. See section 57-37-3.7. This is a
major problem because it leaves no actual products for a physician to
recommend until the state Legislature determines that a specific product is
appropriate for recommendation. Without revision, this section undermines the
entire bill, creating a regulatory framework around a nonexistent product.
Allows the Department of Health to cap the number of patients a doctor can
recommend marijuana to. A doctor should not be precluded from recommending
the course of treatment they believe would most benefit a patient simply because
they have other patients that use medical marijuana.
Creates an electronic system to monitor plants, seed to sale. This system is
linked to the proprietary electronic payment processing.
Requires a specific payment processor to be licensed by the state. The
prospective processor must show: the applicant has a partnership, service
agreement, or service contract with a federally insured depository institution
that agrees to clear cannabinoid product transactions. The processor will create
a system of patient accounts that allows patients to add value to their
cannabinoid card. Patients then must use their cannabinoid card to pay for
cannabinoid products, unless the state determines that no qualified applicant
applied, then you can pay with cash. There is no deadline for the state to issue
this determination that no qualified applicant has applied. This leaves open the
possibility that there is no way for patients to pay for medical marijuana
products. It is unclear whether a payment processor exists that would be willing
and able to apply for this license. This system is onerous and unnecessary.
Requires license applicants to post a large bond that will be forfeited if their
license is ever revoked. This may be problematic, as it may be difficult to find a
surety company willing to insure marijuana businesses in Utah.
Requires cannabinoid products to be in medical dosage form: (a) a tablet; (b) a
capsule; (c) a concentrated oil; (d) an injectable; (e) a transdermal preparation;
or (f) a sublingual preparation.
Doctors must register and undergo special training before recommending
cannabis.