SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah legislators are drafting a proposal to scrap a planned state-run medical marijuana dispensary system after facing pressure from county attorneys who said the system put public employees at risk of being prosecuted under federal drug laws.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers says medical cannabis would instead be distributed through up to 12 private dispensaries.
Gov. Gary Herbert has hinted about calling a special session where those changes could be approved, though no date has been announced.
The law now calls for seven private dispensaries with a state-run “central fill pharmacy” distributing the remainder of medical marijuana orders through Utah’s 13 local health departments. But some county attorneys argued using health departments as pickup points would make the employees de facto drug dealers.
Some cannabis advocates applauded the proposed change for increasing patient access. Others worry 12 dispensaries still won’t meet demand.