Lawmakers update medical marijuana compromise bill that may replace Prop 2

    Days after Proposition 2 passed by a thin margin, lawmakers rewrote the bill in accordance to a promised compromise. (Photo: KUTV)

    (KUTV) -- Days after Proposition 2 passed by a thin margin, lawmakers rewrote the bill in accordance to a promised compromise.

    Utah's medical marijuana initiative was revised Wednesday, ahead of December when the bill will become law.

    The latest version includes the following changes:

    • Seven medical marijuana pharmacies will be allowed in Utah, instead of the previous number, five.
    • 10 more licenses may be granted if a state-run central fill pharmacy is not operational by Jan. 1, 2021.
    • Renters can't be penalized by landlords for having a medical cannabis card.
    • The number of state issued cannabis growing facility licenses have decreased from 15 to 10.

    FILE - In this June 26, 2017, file photo, Desiree Hennessy attends to her adopted son Hestevan, who has Cerebral Palsy and suffers from chronic nerve pain, seizure disorder, during the Utah Patients Coalition news conference, in Salt Lake City. The Mormon church is backing a deal that would legalize medical marijuana in Utah, even if the ballot initiative fails in the November election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

    The compromise bill states that each cannabis production establishment, medical cannabis pharmacy and state central fill medical cannabis pharmacy has to maintain the following requirements:

    • It must have a unique identifier for each cannabis plant in order to track it until it is sold.
    • The facility must allow the Utah Department of Health access to the cannabis facility's inventory.

    In order to get a license to have a cannabis production establishment, the health department has to issue them. The bill states that the entrepreneur also has to pass a certain list of requirements, which include:

    • Have evidence proving that the applicant has obtained and maintained a performance bond that the state issued in the amount of at least $250,000 or $50,000, depending on circumstances.
    • Some applicants may need a land permit, depending on the area.
    • They also need to be able to pay the application fee.

    However, medical marijuana establishments won't be popping up everywhere. If two people in the same town or city apply for a cannabis production establishment license, the department has to consult local authority before approving the applications.

    New voter numbers Thursday showed a slight increase in the lead in favor of medical marijuana. (File photo: KUTV)

    In order to distribute the marijuana legally, it has to have labeling and childproof packaging. The medical cannabis license must be renewed every year, the bill states.

    Minors will also not be allowed inside a medical cannabis pharmacy, the bill states. Those who give away or sell the medical cannabis illegally will face criminal penalties.

    Designated caregivers, parents and patients, who are approved or appointed, may pick up the medical marijuana from a pharmacy. Indian tribes within the state of Utah can also get access to medical marijuana, if the governor and the "governing body of the tribe" sign off on the agreement, the bill states.

    Prior the Election Day, government officials, local religious and community leaders and advocates came together to announce a compromise bill. The groups had been divided and debated Proposition 2 since it was first discussed.

    House Speaker Greg Hughes and the Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, talk after a press conference about a new medical cannabis policy in Utah during a press conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

    Following the election results, a few medical marijuana advocates expressed their concern about the way the situation was handled, citing the government's possible collaboration with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    To read the entire revised bill, click here.

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