Utah was the first state to pass a limited CBD-specific medical cannabis bill. The legislation made it legal for a small number of people to legally possess CBD-oil, however, it doesn’t allow patients to grow their own cannabis, nor does it create a regulated system in which patients would be able to purchase medicine from dispensaries. Basically in order to obtain CBD-oil patients would have to break the law, which is obviously unacceptable.
The Utah Legislature passed bills last session that made tweaks to Utah’s limited medical marijuana program, but the measures are still incredibly restrictive. Activists in Utah have been working very hard to collect enough signatures in order to put a comprehensive medical cannabis initiative in front of voters. A report surfaced yesterday in which initiative organizers claim that they now have enough signatures to make the ballot. Per Fox 13:
With nearly 160,000 signatures gathered from across Utah, it appears medical marijuana will be on the November ballot for voters to decide.
The Utah Patients Coalition, which has been running the campaign to get the issue before voters, told FOX 13 on Monday it has had 120,000 of those signatures verified by county clerks. The Lt. Governor’s Office said Monday it has validated 117,000 of those. That’s still more than the 113,000 needed to qualify for the November ballot.
“This is indeed going to be on the ballot for 2018,” said DJ Schanz with the Utah Patients Coalition.
Election officials are still verifying signatures, so the announcement is not official yet. The signature deadline goes until April 16, and I have to assume that the campaign will be pushing for as many signatures as possible up until the deadline. Utah requires that a certain percentage of signatures be gathered from various districts around the state, similar to a requirement that Missouri has. States like Oregon do not have those geographical signature requirements.
If the initiative campaign has enough signatures, which the campaign seems confident that they do, then the initaitive will appear on the ballot in November. The campaign will switch gears from signature gathering to trying to convince voters to approve the initiative. Poll results that were released this week show that 77% of adults in Utah support medical cannabis reform. If you want to learn more about the Utah campaign and its initiative, check out their website and volunteer and/or donate to the campaign if you are able!