Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has signed a bill that allows research into the benefits and risks of medical cannabis after the legislature failed to pass comprehensive reforms during the session, the Associated Press reports. The proposal has the support of the Utah Medical Association, which has pushed for more research before the state broadens its limited medical cannabis regime – which currently only allows the use of CBD.
This is the third consecutive year that the Utah legislature has failed to pass medical cannabis reforms, and the inaction has already mobilized advocates in the state who are looking to put a ballot question to voters in 2018.
The bill signed by Herbert (HB.130) allows researchers to study cannabis for medical use without federal approval and will create the Cannabinoid Product Board to consider recommendations for future medical cannabis policy. The board will consist of four physicians, three medical research professionals, and three members of the Controlled Substances Advisory Committee.
The board will be tasked with reviewing medical cannabis research in order to evaluate the “safety and efficacy of cannabinoid products” including medical conditions that respond to cannabinoid products; cannabinoid dosage amounts and medical dosage forms; and interaction of cannabinoid products with other treatments. They will be expected to present their research annually.
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