11/7/2018 By Bethany Rodgers Salt Lake Tribune   Share to Facebook  Share on Google+  

An updated draft of the medical cannabis bill was released on election eve. Here's what it says.


An updated draft of the medical cannabis bill was released on election eve. Here's what it says.A new version of a medical cannabis bill under consideration by state lawmakers strikes a requirement that patients undergo criminal background checks and fleshes out protections for pharmacists and physicians involved in dispensing the drug, considered illegal under federal law. But the revised legislation, released Monday evening, preserves the basic structure of the proposal pitched by medical marijuana advocates, Proposition 2 opponents and state officials last month. The big concepts have remained, but weve found more artful ways to address the small-to-medium issues based on a ton of input, said Connor Boyack, founder of the libertarian Libertas Institute and a medical marijuana advocate. The list of ailments including HIV, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and forms of chronic pain that could be treated with medical cannabis has remained virtually untouched. So have the allowable cannabis product varieties and the proposed distribution system. Under both the original and updated versions, a state-centralized pharmacy would ship cannabis orders to local health departments for pickup by patients. A handful of private cannabis pharmacies would also sell the substance. The drafted Utah Medical Cannabis Act took shape during weeks of private negotiations between groups on opposing sides of the Prop 2 debate. While the two camps still disagree on the medical cannabis ballot initiative, they found common ground on the proposed legislation. Gov. Gary Herbert has pledged to call a special session on the bill, potentially drawing lawmakers to the State Capitol in mid-November or early December. In recent weeks, participants in the negotiations have



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