Medical marijuana in Utah can't happen until seed-to-sell tracking system developed

Before the first dose of medical cannabis can be sold in Utah, a system tracking the entire process must be developed, because the law says without this tracking system, medical marijuana in Utah cannot exist. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — The legalization of medical marijuana is all but certain in Utah, but don't head to the doctor for a prescription just yet.

Before the first dose can be sold, a system tracking the entire process must be developed, because the law says without this tracking system, medical marijuana in Utah cannot exist.

“The electronic verification system is probably the most key component to implementing the program," said Tom Hudachko with the Utah Department of Health.

The health department is one of the agencies in charge of gathering information on how to build out a new marijuana "seed to sale" tracking system.

Physicians will use the software system when recommending treatment. Growers, card-holders, inventories and every single transaction will be traced through the still-to-be-developed system.

“The electronic verification system is really the engine that drives the Utah medical cannabis program,” Hudachko said.

30 states so far in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana.

“We want it regulated; we just want access to as many people who need it,” said medical marijuana advocate Justin Arriola, who travels the country advocating for these systems.

Some cites have paid $10 million for their tracking system —systems which quickly get filled up with personal patient information.

Several software systems have been hacked.

“The state is really focused on the IT aspect of this," Arriola said. "All of the elements that they've laid out here are very much geared around tracking that information."

The public safety and agriculture departments will also be connected to the tracking system.

The State has until March of 2020 to get it up and running. Once the State collects all this information, they'll have a better idea whether the system will cost taxpayers a couple hundred thousand dollars or millions.

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