LEARN | LAWS & REGULATIONS
Is weed legal in Utah?
In Utah, medical cannabis is available to patients with qualifying conditions. Adult-use, or recreational, cannabis remains illegal, and possession of small amounts may result in criminal penalties.
On Nov. 6, 2018, Utah voters approved Proposition 2 , allowing patients to obtain and use medical marijuana and state-licensed facilities to grow, process, test, or sell cannabis for medicinal purposes.
In the weeks leading to Election Day, the fervor generated by Proposition 2 Utah prompted Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah Legislature, and proposition proponents and opponents — including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest religious community in the state — to craft a compromise cannabis law regardless of whether Proposition 2 passed.
The compromise bill called for relaxing medical cannabis card renewal requirements, tightening qualifications for who could be a caregiver or guardian, offering employment protections for patients, and regulating how medical marijuana could be consumed. The legislature passed the compromise bill Dec. 3 2018, and Herbert signed it the same day. It was HB 3001, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act .
Utah has frequently tweaked its medical marijuana laws to loosen some restrictions and tighten others. For example, HB 195, signed in 2018, allowed terminally ill patients to try medicinal marijuana. HB 121, signed in 2020, allowed for the expungement of some cannabis-related convictions and required seed-to-sale tracking, among other things. HB 425, also signed in 2020, waived some ID card requirements to make it easier for patients to purchase medical marijuana during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is in charge of issuing patients medical cannabis cards, registering doctors recommending cannabis, and licensing dispensaries. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) handles cultivation and processing licenses and oversight.
Where is it safe to purchase?
There are six open medical cannabis pharmacies in Utah with another eight licensed and slated to open. Patients 18 and older, a parent or legal guardian of a minor patient, and designated caregivers may purchase medical cannabis. Each must have a medical cannabis card. All cards for patients younger than 21 must be approved by Utah’s Compassionate Use Board.
Cardholders can purchase up to 112 grams (3.95 ounces) of cannabis with up to 19 grams (0.67 ounces) of total THC within a 30-day period. Those are also the maximum possession limits.
Temporary rules in place during 2020 allow patients and caregivers to purchase cannabis from a pharmacy by presenting a letter from the patient’s doctor.
Where is it safe to consume?
Patients must consume their marijuana in private unless it’s a medical emergency. They can’t smoke cannabis anywhere or consume it while driving a vehicle.
In Utah, medical marijuana may be taken as a tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, skin patch, or a gelatin cube that can be chewed or dissolved. The state also allows the vaping of flower, resin, or wax.
Medical cannabis cardholders can possess up to 112 grams (3.95 ounces) of cannabis within a 30-day period. When transporting or possessing marijuana outside the home, a patient or caregiver must carry their state-issued medical cannabis card.
For those without state-issued medical cannabis cards, possession of less than 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor, while a third or subsequent conviction could result in a third-degree felony.
Possession of 1 ounce to 1 pound is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,500. Possession of more than 1 pound will result in a felony, even for first-time offenders.
View the CBD & cannabis laws & regulations for Utah.
Utah Marijuana Laws
Despite its conservative background, the voters of Utah embraced the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes by approving Proposition 2 in November 2018. The approval of medical marijuana prompted the Utah Legislature to quickly craft and pass a more restrictive bill less than a month later. Learn more about Utah marijuana laws below.
Recreational Marijuana Laws in Utah
Is marijuana legal in Utah? In short, no.
Utah marijuana laws state that the possession of marijuana in Utah is illegal. Therefore, anyone caught with any amount of marijuana (without a medical marijuana card) on their person in the state of Utah is subject to penalties, which can include fines and possible jail time.
What Are the Penalties if I Am Caught with Marijuana in Utah?
The penalties for getting caught with marijuana will change based on the amount of marijuana the individual has on them at the time. Here are the penalties for possession of marijuana according to Utah marijuana laws:
Caught with Less Than an Ounce of Marijuana
The penalty for getting caught with less than one ounce of marijuana in the state of Utah is a misdemeanor charge. It can result in up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Caught with Between an Ounce and a Pound of Marijuana
Persons caught with more than an ounce and up to a pound of marijuana face a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Caught with Between One and 100 Pounds of Marijuana
Possession of anywhere between one and 100 pounds of marijuana is a felony, which can result in up to five years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Caught with Over 100 Pounds of Marijuana
If an individual is caught with over 100 pounds of marijuana, Utah marijuana laws state that the individual will be charged with a felony and is subject to up to 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
The state of Utah does not have conditional release policies, which give first time offenders in other states a reprieve, or mandatory minimums in place.
In April 2019, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law House Bill 431, which creates a process for the automatic expungement and deletion of certain criminal convictions, including misdemeanor convictions for the possession of marijuana. The new law took effect on May 1, 2020.
Hash Laws in Utah
Hash is a potent type of marijuana that is made from the resin of the cannabis plant. Under Utah marijuana laws, the use, possession, and sale of hash are illegal, with the penalties for hash possession being identical to the penalties for marijuana possession.
Marijuana Paraphernalia Laws
Marijuana paraphernalia is any product that aids in the consumption and use of marijuana, including pipes, bongs, and other products. Under Utah law, marijuana paraphernalia is illegal to own or sell.
The possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor in Utah, and possession can result in individuals spending up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The sale of paraphernalia is also a misdemeanor, but a jail sentence can be up to one year and the fine can be up to $2,500. Finally, selling paraphernalia to a minor is a felony, and doing so can result in up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Utah
In a one-day special session on December 3, 2018, the Utah Legislature passed the Utah Medical Cannabis Act (House Bill 3001). Signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, the law replaced Proposition 2, the medical marijuana ballot initiative approved by state voters just one month earlier. In the lead-up to the election, Utah lawmakers, officials with the Mormon Church, and the campaign group responsible for Proposition 2 agreed to craft compromise legislation that imposes more restrictions.
The new law reduced medical marijuana pharmacies to only seven statewide and prohibits all marijuana edibles, with the lone exception being gelatin cubes. Utah marijuana laws now state that cannabis will also only be available in the form of a tablet or capsule, oil, or topical lotion.
Patients are only allowed to possess a one-month supply of medical marijuana at any given time, using their doctor’s specific prescription details to figure out how much marijuana a one-month supply consists of. The maximum amount that patients can possess is four ounces of marijuana flower or 20 grams of THC.
Is Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana Allowed?
Patients are not permitted to cultivate their own medical marijuana plants. While other states allow medical marijuana patients to plant and cultivate their own plants from the comfort of their home, Utah has banned all home cultivation of medical marijuana.
When Can a Doctor Recommend Medical Marijuana?
Under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, certain individuals can be prescribed medical marijuana and cannabis products. However, not just anyone is eligible for medical marijuana. Under Utah marijuana laws, a doctor can recommend medical marijuana to patients diagnosed with the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Epilepsy or debilitating seizures
- HIV or AIDS
- A condition resulting in hospice care
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) or persistent muscle spasms
- Nausea (persistent, not connected to pregnancy)
- Pain (lasting longer than two weeks and only if it is not managed by 1) a non-opioid medication, or 2) physical intervention like chiropractic care)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- A rare condition or disease that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States
- Terminal illness with less than six months life expectancy
Additionally, any patients approved by the Compassionate Use Board that has a condition not already covered by the list can qualify.
What Is a Medical Marijuana Caregiver?
A caregiver is a person designated by a medical marijuana patient as somebody who can buy, transport, and help the patient with medical marijuana. Under Utah marijuana laws, each patient is allowed to designate two caregivers to assist the patient in getting access to medical marijuana, even if the caregivers are not permitted to use medical marijuana.
CBD from Hemp Oil in Utah
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Hemp in Utah
The cultivation of cannabis for personal use remains illegal in Utah.
Hemp can legally be grown by individuals licensed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. In 2014, the state passed a bill that allows for the state’s Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. The program allows licensed growers to cultivate cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC.
Legal Status of Other U.S. States
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
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