(KUTV) — Although Utah lawmakers hurriedly passed a Medical Cannabis Law, called House Bill 3001 on December 3, it’ll be at least a year before any patients in Utah can get it legally in-state.
“It’s going to be 18 months before the state of Utah has it up and running,” said Doug Rice who is the father of a patient with epilepsy.
Rice is also a member of the Epilepsy Association of Utah and the community liaison for TRUCE, a patient advocacy that who pushed for Proposition 2, the original initiative that was passed by voters but overhauled and complicated by the legislature.
Before patients in Utah can purchase medical cannabis, the state must lay the groundwork for the dispensing system that will get the cannabis from private dispensaries, to filling stations at local health departments, to patients who have a recommendation from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
For Rice, who has tried medical cannabis for his daughter out-of-state, the cannabis plant or flower is what he needs to help minimize his daughter’s daily seizures.
He’d like to put the raw plant in her breakfast smoothies because.
He said if the plant is not hot, it won’t get her high – it’ll just make her feel better.
Right now, that seems like a far-off reality since the state would require the cannabis flower to be sold in blister packs – much like the packaging used for chewing gum or pills.
“Which are not sold anywhere in the country that I’m aware of,” he said.
For now, Rice will have to do like other patients in Utah who drive out of state to get medical cannabis or continue using CBD products until things change in Utah.
He’s not counting on the new law to help his daughter.
“It changes nothing for us,” he said.