The health of our society is intrinsically linked to the health of our workers – MEP Alex Agius Saliba
With just six currently opened dispensaries, Utah’s six-month-old medical cannabis program has gone over the expected sales amounts, having already caused a shortage that seems like a very promising sign for the licensed cultivators. In just six months, the state has an estimate of around 10,000 registered patients, making around $2 million a month, amounting to around $24 in sales on an annual basis, which surprisingly were predicted to be so for 2021 and not for the introductory year.
Although this is very good news, there are still factors which although are well-intended, hinder the process for patients to get access to medical cannabis, for instance, Doctors themselves must pay a $100 fee and participate in a four-hour training session in order to be part of this medical program, and many residents still find difficulties in finding physicians willing to recommend MMJ. Richard Oborn, director of the Center for Medical Cannabis, commented that the more residents in Utah use medical marijuana, the less there are who get it from the black market.
One of the issues that remains a problem in states like Utah is the fact that medical cannabis continues to be federally illegal. The initial process takes time since cannabis takes around 90 to 100 days to grow, and a couple of months afterwards to process it, not to mention the time it takes for one to actually get the license and start the actual work. Utah have also decided to open a limited amount of pharmacies, and so they proposed to open 14, of which at the moment six have been developed and are in business.
Again, all of these factors were naturally anticipated in some way or another, so there were no surprises there, but the issue still remains that there are people who go to buy their medicine and find that it’s out of stock, although it seems like the general feeling is one of patience especially now that the state has done the first move to heading in a more open minded direction about the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
There are also reported minor issues with law enforcers, where they still confiscate marijuana even from citizens who have prescriptions, but there’s already been cases of retracting of such confiscations and arrests, which is naturally a great sign of progress for the state.