As Utah’s medical cannabis market continues to jostle into view, lawmakers are teeing up a number of changes as they prepare for a special session in September. Chief among the amended regulations is a move away from state-run dispensaries and an increase in the number of private retail business licenses—from seven to 12.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the proposal is a reaction to controversy among local county governments—a sense of concern that the violation of federal law would put public agencies at risk of potential consequences. Following the examples set by other states that keep retail operations in the hands of private businesses is one way of avoiding the problem altogether.
Earlier this summer, companies placed bids on the proposal to build a central inventory control system and “medical marijuana electronic verification system” that would have administered sales on behalf of public dispensaries. It’s not yet clear what will come of the September special session and how businesses will vie for the seven or 12 (or more) retail licenses.
Also included in the bill is a proposal to allow home delivery for medical cannabis patients. Sales would be facilitated by those private businesses that win dispensary licenses.
Read the pharmacy license regulations as they stand now here.
“We want to make sure that we have everything in place so that we can meet the distribution deadline of the first part of March of 2020,” Gov. Gary Herbert said on KUED.