SALT LAKE CITY(ABC4 News) – The state’s medical cannabis program is officially online, but patients are facing challenges and are even being turned away.
The legislature is taking note and working to fix the issue.
Dragonfly Wellness opened its doors for business in Salt Lake City on Monday, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for many of the patients who have shown up to get their medical cannabis.
“On the second day they were open they had to turn away nearly 200 patients and they could only serve one,” said Connor Boyack with the Libertas Institute.
The problem is those patients brought in their affirmative defense letters which have allowed them to use the product up until this point.
Now, patients need a medical cannabis card from the state and that can take some time.
“Right now the burden is all these patients are swarming and trying to get registered and it’s just going to take the Department of Health a little while to process through the backlogs. They actually have, by law, two weeks to approve every individual patient,” said Boyack.
A bill is also in the works to address the issue and make other fixes.
It’s being run by Representative Jennifer Dailey-Provost. She says it’s a work in progress.
“This is an annual thing that we will continue to tweak and modify as we see fit and as we see a need,” said Dailey-Provost, (D) Salt Lake City.
House Bill 425 would allow patients to use the letters at Utah dispensaries through the end of the year.
It would also extend the card renewal process from every six months to every year for patients deemed stabilized.
“We need to do everything within our power to break down the barriers that still exist and some of them we didn’t anticipate, but they’ve popped up and we’re trying to address them,” said Dailey-Provost.
She says there is strong support for the bill and she expects it to pass.
It has passed a House committee and should get a full House vote soon.
If signed by the governor, it would take effect immediately.
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