AP NEWS

Utah doctor letters could be used to buy medical marijuana

March 5, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah patients could use letters from physicians to make purchases from marijuana pharmacies through the end of the year under an anticipated legislative proposal.

The measure would be used to alleviate problems with the state’s new online portal to help patients acquire medical marijuana cards, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Physician recommendation letters have granted temporary legal protection to cannabis patients while the state has been building its program.

The cards could be used at marijuana pharmacies for the rest of 2020 until patients can apply for permanent cannabis cards, cannabis advocate Connor Boyack said.

If the Legislature approves the idea, patients would bring letters into marijuana pharmacies and make purchases after employees call listed doctors to validate the recommendations.

The Utah Department of Health said the state has so far issued 66 cannabis cards to patients.

Some have encountered challenges navigating the portal to register for medical marijuana cards, said Desiree Hennessy, director of the Utah Patients Coalition.

The physician letter proposal would give the state time to work out the bugs in the system, Boyack said.

“This is a brand new software,” Boyack said. “So patients need to be patient. And it’s to be expected that we would have kinks.”