Now that Utah has a medical cannabis program (for its rollicking timeline, see City Weekly’s “Get on the Canna-bus,” published April 22), it should be easy for anyone to sign up and start smoking, right? Wrong. There are plenty more steps and hoops to jump through before you’re able to even visit a pharmacy.
As many City Weekly readers likely know, two of our neighboring states—Colorado and Nevada—have had recreational cannabis programs running for years (on top of their decades-old medical cannabis systems), almost certainly capturing millions of tax dollars from Utahns and residents of other restrictive nearby states.
Soon, Colorado and Nevada will be joined by most of the rest of our neighbors: Arizona voters approved a referendum creating a recreational system in November 2020 and were able to start making purchases this January, and the New Mexico Legislature passed a law in March 2021 creating a recreational program scheduled to be up-and-running within the next year.
Of course, by the letter of the law, this availability currently means little for most Utahns, as it’s still a state and federal crime to transport cannabis across state lines.
Despite this, Utah medical cardholders can use a loophole approved by the Legislature extending their ability to travel to neighboring states and bring back cannabis—either around 4 ounces of flower, or other products with no more than 20 grams of THC (total, not each)—without worrying about legal ramifications from the state until June 1, when it expires for good. (Cardholders utilizing the loophole are limited to once every 28 days.)
On the legalization front, Wyoming could be next; Republicans in two state House committees voted to send bills that would have legalized recreational cannabis to the full House of Representatives, but legislative leaders eventually let the bills die without