Summary of the Utah medical cannabis ballot initiative:

  • Protect terminally and seriously ill patients with specific debilitating medical conditions from arrest and prosecution if using medical cannabis pursuant to their doctor’s recommendation.
  • Allow a patient who needs assistance to designate a caregiver to help the patient to obtain and administer their medication. Designated caregivers must pass a background check. 
  • Permit medical cannabis card holders to obtain no more than two ounces of cannabis or 10 grams of cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol from a licensed dispensary during any 14-day period.
  • Maintain prohibitions on the public use of cannabis, driving under the influence of cannabis, and smoking cannabis.
  • Establish an electronic verification system administered by the Department of Health and issue medical cannabis cards to qualifying patients while tracking the amount of cannabis purchased by each patient. 
  • Provide for issuance of four types of medical cannabis business licenses:
    • Cannabis cultivation facility
    • Cannabis processing facility
    • Independent cannabis testing laboratory
    • Cannabis dispensary
  • Establish restrictions on the number of medical cannabis businesses, including that not more than one cannabis dispensary be licensed for every 150,000 residents in a county, rounded up to the nearest whole number.
  • Prohibit felons from owning or working at a medical cannabis business.
  • Establish restrictions on the locations of medical cannabis businesses:
    • No medical cannabis business may be located within 600 feet of a school, public park or playground, church, or library
    • No medical cannabis business may be located within 300 feet of an area zoned exclusively for residential use
    • A medical cannabis business must be in compliance with any zoning restrictions enacted by a local government
  • Require medical cannabis businesses to use an inventory control system to track cannabis at every step from initial planting to sale.
  • Require thorough testing of medical cannabis for potency and contaminants and require that medical cannabis be appropriately labeled and securely packaged.
  • Create a system to evaluate competing applications for medical cannabis licenses that will select those applicants for licensure who are best qualified to operate in compliance with the law and to provide affordable medical cannabis to patients.
  • Allow local governments to require cannabis businesses to obtain a local license and to impose restrictions on cannabis dispensary operations.
  • Provide an affirmative defense for medical cannabis related charges that can be used by patients until patient ID cards become available.
  • Authorize the cultivation of cannabis without a license by a patient only after January 1, 2021 and only if a cannabis dispensary is not operating within 100 miles of the patient’s home, as long as any cultivation is not within 300 feet of an area zoned exclusively for residential use or within 600 feet from a community location. This cultivation must take place in an enclosed and locked space.
  • Exempt medical cannabis from sales tax.
  • Generate sufficient revenue from medical cannabis program fees to offset all expenses of establishing and maintaining the medical cannabis program.