Medical Cannabis Lawsuit against Governor and Department of Health dismissed

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In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019, file photo, Darren Johnson, a hemp processor, holds raw hemp that will be used to make CBD oil at his processing facility, Wasatch Extraction, in Salt Lake City. Utah’s decision to award a smaller number of medical marijuana grower licenses has sparked protests from rejected applicants who claim the state is granting licenses to unqualified cultivators and will create a cannabis shortage. (AP Photo/Morgan Smith, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A lawsuit filed against Governor Herbert and the Utah Department of Health over the handling of H.B. 3001 the Medical Cannabis Act has been dismissed.

Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education (T.R.U.C.E.) had originally filed the lawsuit over the special session modifying Proposition 2 after Utahns had voted for it.

T.R.U.C.E. said in their press release:

“Having achieved their primary goal of preventing the state and local governments from monopolizing the distribution of medical cannabis, TRUCE and its co-plaintiffs Epilepsy Association of Utah, Christine Stenquist, Douglas Rice, Nathan Kizerian, and Andrew Talbott, M.D. are dismissing the remainder of the lawsuit they filed against Governor Herbert and Joseph Miner, Director of the Utah Department of Health.”

The case started in State Courts then moved to Federal Courts. A move that was contested by T.R.U.C.E.

“Today may be the last sentence in one chapter, but its the beginning line of the next.  Cannabis policy and education in Utah has a long way to go yet, still. Hopefully, with a concerted effort, the community and patients can get the program they deserve.” said brain tumor patient, veteran cannabis advocate, and Founder of TRUCE, Christine Stenquist

According to the press release sent to ABC4 News by T.R.U.C.E., “The lawsuit addressed the requirement that state and local government agencies participate in a scheme to stock and distribute cannabis, a schedule one substance prohibited under the federal Controlled Substances Act, through the network of County Health Departments throughout the state.”

The press release ends with the following:

“While this lawsuit is coming to an end, the fight for a real medical cannabis system for the state of Utah, which will meet all patient needs, continues. And in that effort TRUCE remains “the mouse that roared,” bringing attention to a much-needed cause, which, while unnecessarily stymied, has made real progress towards reforming Utah’s cannabis laws.”

ABC4 News has reached out to the State of Utah for comment.

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