The state of Utah legalized medical cannabis in 2018, through a Legislative bill, House Bill 3001, which provided a legal way for qualifying patients in the state to access and utilize medical cannabis as a form of treatment for their ailment. Access to medical cannabis is through state licensed businesses that are allowed to grow, manufacture and sell medical cannabis.
NUMBER OF MARIJUANA BUSINESS LICENSES AVAILABLE
The state of Utah is currently accepting applications to license Processors only, with no established statewide limit on number of licenses or deadline for application submission. Learn more about each type of marijuana business license in Utah below.
Utah Medical Cannabis Cultivation: can grow medical cannabis plants and sell wholesale to other licensed Utah Medical Cannabis Businesses. There is a limit of fifteen (15) medical cannabis cultivation licenses within the state. Applications for cultivation licenses were accepted from May 31, 2019 – July 1, 2019, the state issued only eight (8) cultivation licenses and is no longer accepting applications to license additional cultivators. The Department may issue additional licenses in the future should the department determine it is necessary, to provide adequate supply.
Utah Medical Cannabis Processor: can extract, process and produce cannabis products such as topicals, concentrates, tinctures, etc. and sell wholesale to state licensed dispensaries. There are no state-wide limits on number of processor licenses available. There are two different types of processing licenses:
- A Tier 1 Processor License allows the licensee to receive cannabis from a licensed cannabis cultivation facility or to accept THC or THC byproducts from a Utah licensed cannabis processing facility or industrial hemp processor to then process, manufacture, dry, cure, package, and label cannabis and cannabis products for sale or transfer to another cannabis processing facility or a medical cannabis pharmacy.
- A Tier 2 Processor License allows the licensee to receive cannabis from a licensed cannabis cultivation facility or a cannabis processing facility to package and label cannabis and cannabis products for sale or transfer to another cannabis processing facility, a medical cannabis pharmacy, or the state central fill medical cannabis pharmacy.
Utah Medical Cannabis Pharmacy (Dispensary): can purchase medical cannabis from licensed cultivation and processing facilities and dispense medical cannabis to registered patients. There is a limit of fourteen (14) medical cannabis dispensaries within the state. The state awarded all fourteen (14) dispensary licenses in January 2020 and is no longer accepting applications to license additional dispensaries.
HOW TO START A MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN UTAH
To obtain a marijuana business license in Utah, you will be required to submit an application. As part of the application, you will be required to submit marijuana business plans such as the following:
- Business Plan
- Financial Plan
- Processing Plan
- Inventory Control Plan
- Security Plan
- Recordkeeping Plan
Schedule for a complimentary 15-min consult with our licensing/application expert to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
ENHANCED OVERVIEW OF MARIJUANA IN UTAH
On November 6, 2018, Proposition 2 was passed by Utah voters to legalize medical marijuana and establish a state-regulated dispensing system. However, on December 3, 2018, legislators voted to pass the Utah Medical Cannabis Act to replace Proposition 2. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act was drafted as a “compromise bill” for those who opposed Proposition 2. In regard to marijuana business, the new medical marijuana law will mainly affect the licensing of dispensaries, replacing them with state government-run cannabis “pharmacies”.
On May 31, 2019, the Department of Agriculture released Emergency Rules and Request for Proposals for Medical Cannabis Cultivation Licenses. Applications were accepted until July 1, 2019. On July 19, 2019, the department selected 8 companies out of the 81 applicants to award the licenses to. The department was authorized to award up to 10 licenses but chose to hand out only eight to avoid an overabundance of cannabis.
On August 23, 2019, the Utah Department of Health released a Request for Applications (RFA) for medical cannabis processors. As outlined by the RFA, the Department will accept applications for processors until August 23, 2024.
On September 16, 2019, Utah held a special legislative session and lawmakers passed SB 1002 to make fixes to the state’s medical cannabis program. The bill includes the following changes:
- Abolishes the original plan of having a state-run medical cannabis pharmacy (dispensary) system for the medical cannabis program. Instead, the Department of Health will license 14 privately-run pharmacies (dispensaries) with the possibility of licensing more if the Department deems it necessary.
- Reduces the number of medical cannabis cultivation licenses allowed in the state from no more than 10 to no more than 8, as 8 licenses have been issued.
- Tasks the state with creating a portal to facilitate online requests for cannabis and it will allow for electronic payment processing between dispensaries and the patients.
- Provides more protection from prosecution for registered medical cannabis patients.
- Increases the supply a patient may receive from a 14-day supply to 30-day supply.
- Prohibits state lawmakers from having a financial interest in a cannabis cultivation or pharmacy until 2023.
UTAH MARIJUANA TIMELINE
2018 – Utah legalized medical cannabis
May 2019 – Request for Proposals period for Cannabis Cultivation Licenses open
July 2019 – Request for Proposals period for Cannabis Cultivation Licenses closed
July 2019 – Cannabis Cultivation Licenses awarded to 8 companies
August 2019 – Request for Proposals period for Cannabis Processor Licenses open (no deadline)
October 2019 – Request for Proposals period for Cannabis pharmacy (dispensary) Licenses open
December 2019 – Request for Proposals period for Cannabis pharmacy (dispensary) Licenses closed
January 2020 – Cannabis Pharmacy Licenses awarded to 14 companies
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