SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill again tweaking Utah’s medical marijuana program received a favorable recommendation from a Senate committee Monday, moving it to final passage in the full Senate.
Bill sponsor Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost, D-Salt Lake City, called the bill “critical” in helping the program, which launched at the beginning of this month, run smoothly.
Among larger changes, HB425 would lengthen the time of validity of an initial medical cannabis card; allow patients with a letter from a medical professional to purchase medical marijuana from a pharmacy through the rest of the year without a card; and remove a limit on the size of signage a cultivator of pharmacy can use.
The bill would also add legal protections for medical care facilities with patients who hold medical marijuana cards. The bill would allow facilities to purchase, transport or possess medical cannabis for the patient — or, conversely, to restrict marijuana use on premises.
It’s the second bill this session introduced in an effort to improve the program.
Gov. Gary Herbert has already signed off on SB121, which clarifies that private employers don’t need to allow marijuana use and requires the raw marijuana flower to be packaged in sealed containers with a 60-day expiration date that marks when it becomes illegal, rather than blister packs.
HB425 passed in the House on Friday.