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Inside the mind of a medical cannabis pharmacist in Utah

pharmacist woman

Utah is unique when it comes to cannabis, and the state’s program includes many unique exceptions not often seen across the rest of the country in states where medical cannabis is legal.

In Utah, dispensaries are referred to as pharmacies, and the method of which patients must apply for and obtain cannabis medicine differs. While the state of Utah is home to over three million people, only 15 pharmacies and eight cultivators are allowed to legally operate there.


Here’s what changed for medical cannabis in Utah in the 2022 legislative session


Patient advocate Christine Stenquist says the state has come a long way on medical cannabis.

A range of bipartisan bills passed during this year’s legislative session expanding Utah’s medical cannabis program. They ranged from clearer protections for patients to expanded access for qualifying conditions and more regulatory labeling.

These bills had general support from some patient advocate groups.

Christine Stenquist, founder of TRUCE — a Utah-based patient advocacy group, said the state has made progress when it comes to medical cannabis.

“When we [were] discussing the CBD-only legislation and the fear and the concern that was around that legislation, to where we are now where we have dispensaries and growers,” she said.


Medical cannabis expansion launches in Utah

Utah sign

An expansion to Utah's medical cannabis program has officially launched, allowing more health care workers to recommend marijuana to qualifying patients.

The program allows any licensed physician, physician's assistant, nurse or podiatrist with a controlled substance license to recommend cannabis to up to 15 patients. There are more than 21,000 medical providers who can now recommend medical cannabis, the Utah Department of Health said.


5 Reasons to consider Medical Cannabis for improved health and wellness in the new year

old woman

Have you ever considered incorporating medical cannabis into your 2022 new year’s wellness routine? WholesomeCo is excited to share a few reasons our patients use medical cannabis, and the medicinal benefits it may bring to your lifestyle. As we ring in the new year, our pharmacists at WholesomeCo are ready to assist in your personal cannabis journey. Here are 5 ways Utah patients might use medical cannabis in the new year.


Ramone Martinez: Cannabis tycoon accused of kidnapping and torturing woman to make her 'love him'

justice scales

Ramone Marcio Martinez, 39, of Salt Lake City, carved the number 6 into the woman's left hand to remind her she had 6 months to 'love him or be killed'

A self-proclaimed Utah “millionaire” is accused of kidnapping a woman and holding her captive in his home for weeks. He reportedly beat her repeatedly and carved the number six into her hand — a reminder that the victim had a six-month deadline to “love him or be killed.”


An Ogden firefighter is suspended for having a medical marijuana card

firefighter gear

The city violated state law when it put the firefighter on unpaid leave for refusing to relinquish his medical cannabis card, according to a lawsuit. Several lawmakers agree.

Levi Coleman has been a firefighter for the Ogden City Fire Department for more than a decade.

But since September, Coleman has been on unpaid leave from the department, burning sick leave and vacation time, while trying to get reinstated. His offense: being prescribed medical cannabis.

He is now suing the city, trying to get his job back and recoup lost wages.


Backed by rap royalty, bipartisan politicians, Utah music producer works for marijuana-related reform

Photo Weldon Angelos

Utah-based music producer Weldon Angelos was on his way to becoming a rising star in the hip-hop industry.

By the time he was 23, he had already worked with titans of rap such as Snoop Dogg and Nas, as well as former associates of Tupac Shakur. In the process of getting ready to stabilize himself with a lucrative contract with a major recording studio, he was arrested after selling $300 of marijuana to an undercover police informant on three separate occasions in 2002. (Photo Courtesy of Weldon Angelos)


The facts on Utah’s medical marijuana program

April 20, or as it’s written in shorthand, 4/20, is a particularly busy day for medical marijuana pharmacies across the state.

Provo-based Deseret Wellness was slammed with customers on 4/20, a day renowned in counterculture by many who use marijuana, both with a medical need or otherwise. To mark the occasion, the pharmacy, which caters to those who have a medical cannabis card only, decorated the dispensary with green balloons and streamers.


More fixes coming to Utah's medical cannabis program

medical stethescope

More changes are coming to Utah's medical cannabis program in a pair of bills in the state legislature.

Since voters approved medical cannabis in 2018 (and the legislature overrode the ballot initiative with a compromise bill), the state's program has slowly started moving forward. But the program has had issues, which lawmakers have tried to address in bills.


Utah’s first cannabis home deliveries roll up to patient homes

man delivering boxes
Utah’s first medical cannabis couriers have started hand-delivering orders to the homes of patients, a promising development for people who face daunting drives to the nearest marijuana pharmacy.
The service is starting small at first. WholesomeCo, the company that is trailblazing cannabis home delivery in Utah, has hired 10 couriers that can cover Salt Lake, Utah, Tooele, Weber, Cache, Summit and Wasatch counties.
But Chris Jeffery, WholesomeCo’s chief executive officer, says his goal is to go statewide within six months so that patients who are medically fragile or who live long distances from the nearest pharmacy have a better option for getting their cannabis treatment.


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