SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah Patients Coalition has received approval from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. After holding 10 public hearings across the state and meeting with various state departments and stakeholders, Utah Patients Coalition will now proceed to collect the more than 113,000 required signatures to place doctor-approved access to medical cannabis on the ballot for Utah voters to approve.

In response to feedback from state officials, Utah Patients Coalition made two technical changes to the initiative language: (1) striking a short tax deduction provision that would have required federal tax law to be interpreted and implemented by state tax authorities, an issue that advocates plan to revisit with the State Tax Commission and the legislature after the initiative becomes law; and (2) establishing a limit on the amount of medical cannabis that a patient or caregiver can transport, bringing it in line with a common 30-day restriction on pharmacy drugs.

“We plan to gather the first signatures by next week and be finished prior to the 2018 legislative session in January,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for Utah Patients Coalition. “Our volunteers—many of them patients or caregivers themselves—have been ready and eagerly waiting; it feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this.”

Utah Patients Coalition offers a special thanks to the respectful and timely schedule adhered to by Lt. Governor Cox and his staff in the Elections Division, as well as the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), the State Tax Commission, and the Governor’s General Counsel Jacey Skinner.

“Everyone involved worked efficiently and provided important input, helping us make sure that Utahns will vote on the best proposal possible,” said Schanz.

Utah Patients Coalition will now begin printing petition packets and organizing signature-gathering efforts. The campaign plans to announce volunteer training and petition events in the coming weeks.

Information for those wishing to donate or help gather signatures will be posted at UtahPatients.org.

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The Utah Patients Coalition is a political campaign committee formed to support a 2018 ballot initiative to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program in Utah.