A compromise was hammered out by parties involved in the contentious debate over medical marijuana in Utah, guaranteeing that the initiative will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot in Utah.
Supporters of legalization of MMJ, such as the Utah Patients Coalition as well as opponents, have agreed on a more restricted measure to be enacted by legislators after the election.
The compromise measure, according to the Salt Lake Tribune and the Associated Press would initially limit the number of dispensaries (being called pharmacies) to five statewide, with a licensed pharmacist at each. A single, state-owned central pharmacy will supply health departments with MMJ products, with certain dosage limits.
MMJ consumption will be in the following forms: tablet, capsule, concentrated oil, liquid suspension, topical substance, a skin patch, a sublingual pill, a chewable or dissolvable cube, or unprocessed marijuana flower packaged in a blister pack in which each blister contains no more than 1 gram.
Home cultivation is banned.
Cannabis resin or wax can be used in limited circumstances, according to the Deseret News.
Chronic pain, which is the most common ailment among MMJ patients, would remain a qualifying medical condition under the agreement.
Medical marijuana advocates say they’re backing the compromise to avoid continued fighting and uncertainty.
“We are nervous and concerned from the very beginning that legislators were going to completely modify or gut Proposition 2 once it passed," said DJ Schanz, director of Utah Patients Coalition.
He said he believes the compromise agreement is a big win.
“If it passes, they are minor modifications, If it doesn’t pass, it’s a new bill with Prop 2 wrapped in it with some of these modifications,” Schanz said.
The Mormon Church joined lawmakers, the governor and advocates in backing the compromise, according to the Daily Herald.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert said at the press briefing he would call for a special legislative session in November to enact the compromise agreement, regardless of the vote on the ballot initiative.