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Jon Huntsman Sr. thinks medical marijuana should be legal in the Beehive State, and 73% of recently surveyed Utahns agreed.

On Nov. 8, 2018, there’s a good chance the voters of Utah will finally have their voice heard.

Utah medical marijuana advocates on Thursday received the prerequisite nod of approval from Spencer J. Cox and the Lieut. Governor’s office, officially authorizing the Utah Patients Coalition to begin amassing the necessary signatures in support of their 2018 ballot drive to legalize medicinal cannabis.

The gathering of 113,143 signatures from registered voters is the “stated goal” of the Utah Patient Coalition, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Should the coalition’s initiative receive the necessary signatures, be placed on the 2018 ballot, and passed by the voters – a restricted number of dispensaries and doctors “would be permitted to prescribe marijuana for certain medical conditions.”

The initiative disallows smoking your medicine, driving with an elevated THC metabolite level, and of course … medicating/smoking in public.

utah_medical_marijuana_initiative_supportersFormally known as the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, if the bill becomes law it would allow for state-regulated cultivation facilities, a specified number of dispensaries, a testing facility for quality assurance, and medicinal cannabis cards for qualifying patients. The initiative also allows for the local zoning of all medical marijuana dispensaries and restricts the total number of cultivation licenses to no more than 15.

Currently, under the existing Utah medical marijuana program, only those suffering from intractable epilepsy who have been found unresponsive to three or more treatment options, overseen by a neurologist, can obtain a state-issued card.

Ready to collect signatures for 2018

“Our volunteers — many of them patients or caregivers themselves — have been ready and early waiting,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for the coalition. “It feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this,” Schanz added.

After Utah voters pass the ballot initiative on Nov. 8, 2018, and the bill becomes law, under section “59-12-104.7. Exemption from sales tax for medical cannabis,” supporters of the initiative will collaborate with the Utah State Tax Commission to address the issue of taxes on their newest form of natural medicine.

While still restrictive, this initiative represents serious progress for Utah.

Sign. Vote. Medicate.

Photos courtesy of Utah Patient’s Coalition FB