Utah Lawmakers Seek To Improve Medical Marijuana Program, With Stakeholders Pushing For Regulatory Consolidation

Utah Lawmakers Seek To Improve Medical Marijuana Program, With Stakeholders Pushing For Regulatory Consolidation
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“What we are finding as we talk with patients is that the current barrier that we’re seeing is from the top down.” By Merrilee Gasser, The Center Square The current split regulatory structure of Utah’s medical cannabis industry has created recurring struggles with the supply chain that could be streamlined if all regulations were under one governing body, state lawmakers were told. Under the current regulatory structure, the industry is overseen by two different state departments. Pharmacies and patients are governed by the Department of Health and Human Services while processors and cultivators are governed by the Department of Agriculture and Food. Senate Bill 153, which passed during the latest legislative session, required the Legislative Management Committee to form a working group to study and make recommendations regarding bringing the regulatory authority under one state entity. The medical cannabis structure in Utah is one that other states look to as an example of one that’s growing really well as far as medicinal markets go,” Alyssa Smailes, executive director for the Utah Cannabis Association, told the Medical Cannabis Governance Structure Working Group on Monday. The desire to streamline the supply chain comes as demand from patients grows. Utah went from an estimated 4,027 medical cannabis patients in 2020 to over 50,000 by 2022, according to the legislative analysis. “The industry in Utah is growing at a rapid pace,” Smailes said. “Patient numbers more than doubled from 2020 to 2021 and we are on pace to exceed that in 2022. From 2020 to 2021 there was a 300 percent increase in sales based on current industry sales in 2022 up to this point.” The Utah Cannabis Association and Utah Cannabis Co-op recommended a single governing board with representatives from industry, physicians, patients and regulators, similar to other industries in Utah. Meanwhile, patient advocacy group Together…

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Source : Utah Lawmakers Seek To Improve Medical Marijuana Program, With Stakeholders Pushing For Regulatory Consolidation

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