Utah Dispensaries Open Amid Patient Access Issues

Today marks the opening of Utah’s very first medical cannabis dispensaries.

Full story after the jump.

Utah’s long-embattled medical cannabis program launches today but, even as the first dispensary opens its doors, patients have reported issues getting signed up for the program, FOX 13 reports.

Qualified cannabis patient Mario Enriquez said he spent about an hour trying to access the Department of Health website over the weekend to finish registering for the program; state officials confirmed there were some hiccups but said everything should be working, now.

“I expected it to be busy. We had a feeling the system would be crashing with the excitement… I think they’re doing the best that they can,” Enriquez told FOX 13.

Utah’s first dispensary — or medical marijuana “pharmacy,” according to state law — is Dragonfly Wellness in Salt Lake City. At least one more dispensary is expected to open in March with seven more set to launch in June. In total, 14 dispensary locations have been announced.

Utah’s medical cannabis law requires that patients get a recommendation letter from their doctor to use or possess medical cannabis products. To access one of the state-licensed dispensaries, however, patients must also register with the Department of Health and have a letter from a QMP or “qualifying medical professional” — there is a catch, however, as not all doctors in the state (only 60, to be exact) are considered QMPs and many patients have found that their doctor’s recommendation does not satisfy the state.

Utah voters approved a state medical cannabis program in November 2018. The next month, however, lawmakers there voted to replace the voter-approved program with their own stripped-down version.

 

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