Utah Law Changes — Doctors to Prescribe Medical Cannabis

Politics News - Utah Law Changes — Doctors to Prescribe Medical Cannabis

Utah’s medical marijuana law is set for new changes; one that would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis-based medications to up to 15 patients.

According to Sen. Evan Vickers, these changes will enable patients to reduce visits to healthcare facilities and allow them to stay at home during the pandemic. And in case physicians aren’t confident about the dosing, they would work closely with pharmacists and cannabis companies to gain the necessary expertise.

Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, claims that there are numerous physicians who advocate the use of medical cannabis but shy away from prescribing it as this requires additional fees, re-training (education), and a new database made specifically for these users.

Nevertheless, the upcoming changes are expected to encourage physicians who support medical cannabis to prescribe it more to patients.

Currently, Utah laws allow doctors to write prescriptions without registering as qualified medical providers in the program until the end of 2020. Yet, as of January 2021, physicians will have to be certified for that — which entails online training and regularly pay fees.

The new law could also bring about the use of other cannabis products (which are deemed illegal at the moment) for patients that need it most, as well as for patients suffering from illnesses “not on the list.” As of now, these include AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and any terminal illness with a short life expectancy (less than six months). 

However, patients that don’t “belong” on this list, have to go through the Compassionate Use Board for special approval; hopefully, such practice will also be reduced once the list of qualifying conditions gets expanded.

In addition, smoking medical cannabis is prohibited in Utah and the only forms that can be purchased are capsules, pills, oils, topical products (sublingual or transdermal), CBD gummies, and unprocessed flowers.