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Robert Cutts

Utah’s Senate has given preliminary approval to a “right to try” medical cannabis bill that would allow patients with less than six months to live access to medical cannabis products, Deseret News reports. The measure has already passed the House 22-4 and was advanced to a final reading by the Senate.

The reform package includes a bill that would direct the state Department of Agriculture to grow cannabis for the program, and another that would force the state to apply for a federal waiver to allow physicians to prescribe CBD oil – which, under Utah law, is not allowed to be sold over-the-counter but, according to the report, is being sold illegally throughout the state.

Senate Minority Whip Karen Mayne, a Democrat, urged her colleagues to support the right-to-try legislation, citing her experience watching her husband battle cancer. She said that nearly a decade ago his physician told him cannabis would help ease the suffering from the “worst of the worst cancer” – but he declined to seek out the therapy because he was a sitting senator “and didn’t want to go there.”

“We need to give relief. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help. [Citizens] are using this and it is coming. You need to give guidelines for them, give relief to not just the patients, but the families.” – Mayne, on the Senate floor, via Deseret News

It’s unclear when the Senate will take up the third reading of the bill; however, the bill’s broad support – 22-4 – means it’s likely the measure will pass.

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