TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) — The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has issued a warning to the community about potential cannabis program scams that have been making their rounds throughout the state.
Medical Cannabis Division Director Dr. Brandon Forsyth said the scam being shared throughout the state claims that individuals may be eligible to open their own cannabis dispensary.
“We want to clarify that the Utah Medical Cannabis program does not allow for cannabis dispensaries outside of the allowed licensed pharmacies,” Forsyth said. “Any offers stating that individuals can create their own dispensaries are false and considered scams.”
The department urges the public not to call any numbers or visit any websites associated with these scam materials that are making their way through the state.
If an individual comes across any materials with these false claims or other suspicious materials, please contact the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Medical Cannabis Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, only medical marijuana use is legal in Utah. In order to own a medical cannabis card, Utahns must be a state resident with a qualifying medical condition listed by the Utah Therapeutic Health Center.
According to a report by the Utah Department of Health, about 6.1% of Utahns reported that they had used marijuana in a 30-day period in 2019. Among these people, 42.3% of them used it for non-medical reasons while 30.8% of them used the drug for medical and recreational purposes.
As of 2021, there are 23,089 active patient cardholders with access to medical marijuana in the state. Utah County has 10,105 cardholders, or 43.7% of all patients in the state. Salt Lake County trails behind with only 6,321 cardholders, making up 27.5% of the patient population.
The Utah Department of Health and medical cannabis pharmacies launched a program last year to increase access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients. The program allows any Utah-licensed physician, advanced practice medical nurse, physician assistant, or podiatrist with a controlled substance license to recommend cannabis to up to 15 of their adult patients who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition.