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What is a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah?
Per Section 26-61a-102 of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, a medical cannabis card refers to a medical cannabis patient card, a medical cannabis guardian card, or a medical cannabis caregiver card. Utah defines the cards in the following ways:
- Medical cannabis patient card: This is the official medical cannabis patient registry ID card issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to an individual with a qualifying condition under the state's medical cannabis program
- Medical cannabis guardian card: This is the official card issued by the DHHS to the parent or legal guardian of a minor with a qualifying condition
- Medical cannabis caregiver card: This is an official card issued by the Department of the Health and Human Services to an individual whom a medical cannabis patient cardholder or a medical cannabis guardian cardholder names as a designated caregiver
A Utah medical cannabis card protects the cardholder from arrests related to possessing, purchasing, transporting, and using marijuana within the accepted limits stated in the Utah Medical Cannabis Act.
Who Can Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah?
Only individuals suffering from one or more qualifying conditions recognized by the state’s medical cannabis program may apply for a Utah medical cannabis card. However, the state also allows out-of-state patients, with medical cannabis cards from their home states, who have Utah qualifying conditions to obtain temporary medical cannabis cards while in Utah.
Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah?
Yes. However, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services does not issue standard patient cards to minors. Patients under the age of 18 who have qualifying conditions are only issued provisional patient cards. These cards are usually issued in conjunction with guardian medical cannabis cards since minors are required to have parental consent or approval from their legal guardians to use medical cannabis. Note that the Compassionate Use Board (CUB) approves applications for provisional patient cards.
What Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis Cards in Utah?
The conditions for which medical cannabis cards may be issued under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act are:
- HIV or AIDS
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer's disease
- Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to:
- Cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome
- Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Epilepsy or debilitating seizures
- Multiple sclerosis or debilitating muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) being treated and monitored by a licensed health professional, and that:
- Has been diagnosed by a healthcare professional by the Veterans Administration (VA) and documented in the patient's record; or
- Has been diagnosed or verified by evaluation from a psychiatrist, a masters prepared licensed clinical social worker, a masters prepared psychologist, or a psychiatric APRN
- A terminal illness where the patient's life expectancy is less than 6 months
- A condition resulting in the patient receiving hospice care
- A rare condition affecting less than 200,000 individuals in the United States, and that is not adequately managed despite treatment attempts using physical interventions or conventional medications (other than opioids or opiates)
- Persistent pain lasting longer than 2 weeks that is not adequately managed, in the QMP's opinion, despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other or physical interventions
- Acute pain expected to last for 2 weeks or longer for an acute medical condition, including a surgical process, for which a medical professional may prescribe opioids for a limited duration
How Do I Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah in 2024?
To apply for a Utah medical cannabis card, you must visit a licensed healthcare provider to verify that you have a qualifying medical condition and then obtain a medical cannabis certification from the provider. Thereafter, you must visit the Utah online medical cannabis application portal to register for inclusion in the program. Note that the state allows individuals whose medical conditions are not included in the state-approved list of qualifying medical conditions to obtain medical cannabis cards.
However, such patients must submit medical cannabis card applications, petition the Compassionate Use Board, and be approved by the CUB and the Utah DHHS before a medical cannabis card may be issued. The CUB consists of 7 healthcare providers who meet to review medical cannabis card applications for medical cannabis cards on a case-by-case basis.
How To Apply For A Medical Cannabis Card In Person In Utah
Utah only makes provision for online applications for medical cannabis cards. There are no stated means to apply for a medical cannabis card in person on the Utah medical cannabis website.
How To Apply For A Medical Cannabis Card By Mail In Utah
There are no provisions to apply for a medical cannabis card by mail under the Utah medical marijuana program.
How Does a Primary Caregiver Get a Utah Medical Cannabis Card?
A caregiver can get a Utah medical cannabis card by applying to the Utah Department of Health via the Electronic Verification System. To register on the EVS, you must have a Utah ID username and password. Visit the Utah ID website to create an account before proceeding with the caregiver card application.
After creating a Utah ID account, follow these steps to complete a caregiver application:
- Visit the Utah EVS website and enter your Utah ID username and password
- Select "Caregiver Registration" on the right-hand side of the screen and provide the required information such as Utah ID, first name, last name, suffix, last four digits of your Social Security Number, date of birth, and email address
- Select the "Register" button
- Login to the EVS Website again
- Select the "Caregiver" menu under the "Tracking Inbox" tab
- Click on your name and complete all required information
- Select the "Save and Submit Registration" button
- Once the status of the application changes to "Awaiting Payment," you can pay the applicable fee to complete the application
For more information on completing a caregiver application, see the Caregiver EVS Guide.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Utah Medical Cannabis Card?
The processing time for adult patients aged 21 years or older with qualifying conditions is approximately 15 days. However, for patients under 21 years and adult patients without qualifying medical conditions, the application review process may extend up to 90 days.
Getting a Utah Medical Cannabis Card Online
To apply for a medical cannabis card in Utah, follow these steps:
- Find a Healthcare Provider Authorized to Issue Medical Cannabis Recommendations: You should speak with your current primary healthcare provider to see if they can issue medical cannabis recommendations under the Utah medical cannabis program. Note that the program requires a physician-patient relationship between the patient and the healthcare provider for the recommendation to be valid. However, under Utah laws, a physician-patient relationship may be established in one in-person appointment with the patient \
Utah only allows QMPs who are doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, doctors of podiatric medicine, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses with valid Utah controlled substance licenses to issue medical marijuana recommendations. If your healthcare provider is not a qualified medical provider, you can use the non-exhaustive list provided on the Utah medical cannabis website to find providers registered with the state who can issue valid medical cannabis recommendations
- Meet the QMP in Person: Per Utah medical cannabis regulations, the first meeting between a patient and a qualified medical provider must be in person. Therefore, you cannot obtain a medical cannabis recommendation via telemedicine in a first-time visit. The QMP will determine if you are eligible to use medical cannabis to treat a qualifying condition. The provider will also ensure that you are aware of the impact of using cannabis to treat the qualifying condition. Upon determining that you have a qualifying condition, the QMP will issue your medical cannabis recommendation
- Create a Utah ID account: If you do not already have a Utah ID account, you need to create one by visiting the Utah government website. A Utah ID account is required to complete a medical cannabis card application on the Utah DHHS medical cannabis application portal. For more information on creating a Utah ID account, see the Utah ID account creation guide
- Review the EVS User Guide: The Utah medical cannabis program provides a patient user guide for medical cannabis card applicants applying through its Electronic Verification System (EVS). The EVS is the database used to issue and manage medical cannabis card applications and AMPs. Applicants are required to be registered in the EVS to participate in the Utah medical cannabis program
- Initiate Application on the EVS: Once you create a profile in the Utah EVS, the system will place your account in the "awaiting certification" mode. When in this mode, your QMP will enter a medical cannabis certification and recommendation. If you have been diagnosed with a non-qualifying condition, the QMP must complete the CUB petition form
- Pay the Application Fee: After your QMP has entered your medical cannabis recommendation, you must pay the applicable medical cannabis card application fee on the EVS. Applications are not considered complete without paying the application fee
For specific information on applying for a Utah medical cannabis card by non-Utah residents and guardian and provisional patients, see the Non-Utah resident EVS Guide or the Initial Guardian or Provisional Patient Application EVS Guide on the Utah medical cannabis website.
How Much Does a Medical Cannabis Card Cost in Utah?
The cost of a Utah medical cannabis card varies depending on the card type. The following fees apply to Utah medical cannabis cards:
- Patient Card: $15
- Guardian Card: $68.25
- Caregiver Card: $68.25
- Non-Utah Resident Card: $15
Also, note that patients will be required to pay consultation fees during their visits to the qualified medical provider to obtain a medical marijuana card. The Utah medical cannabis program does not set a specific fee for this service, as it is left to QMPs to determine the applicable fees. You may be charged up to $250 by the QMP for a medical cannabis recommendation.
How Do I Renew My Medical Cannabis Card In Utah?
The Utah medical cannabis card is usually valid for only 1 year. However, QMPs can select shorter expiration dates of 3 or 6 months for new patients requiring more frequent follow-ups. In order to avoid denial of access to medical cannabis, Utah medical cannabis patients are advised to renew their cards within 30 days of their expiration dates.
Prior to renewing a Utah medical cannabis card, you must be re-evaluated by your certifying QMP to verify if continued marijuana use is recommended for the treatment of your qualifying condition. This meeting with the QMP for recertification purposes may occur via telemedicine. The QMP will also charge a consultation fee, usually between $5 and $250.
Medical cannabis cards may only be renewed online as the DHHS does not accept in-person and mail applications.
The renewal fee for a 1-year card for a standard patient card, a 6-month patient card, and a non-Utah resident card is $15. The renewal fee for a guardian card or caregiver card is $68.25, while the renewal fee for a 6-month guardian card and a 6-month caregiver card are $24 and $14, respectively.
To renew a Utah medical cannabis card, follow these steps:
- Log in to the Utah EVS and navigate to your patient profile
- Hover over the Tracking Inbox tab on the top left-hand corner of the page and select Patient (not New Patient)
- Select your name
- Scroll to the bottom of the Patient page and select the ‘Save and Submit Registration’ button
- Your status will change to “Awaiting Certification”
- Your QMP must now enter a new medical cannabis certification for you. Contact and inform your QMP that you are awaiting the renewal of your certification
After your medical provider has renewed your medical cannabis certification, your status in the EVS will change to “Awaiting Payment.” Now, you may pay the renewal fee.
- Log in to Utah EVS and navigate to your profile
- Hover over "Tracking Inbox" in the top left-hand corner of the screen and select Patient (not New Patient).
- Select your name
- Select the 'Payment' tab
- Select “+New,” then “Click Here to Make Payment.” A new window will open
- Enter your payment information and click submit
- Once you receive confirmation, you will be automatically redirected to the Electronic Verification System
- Hover over Tracking Inbox in the top left-hand corner of the page and select Patient (not New Patient).
- Select your name
- View your profile. Your status will now read “Renewal Completed” or “Awaiting State Review”
If your status is “Renewal Completed,” you have completed the process. You must continue to use your current card until its expiration date. You will receive a new medical cannabis card the day after your current card expires. If your current MMJ card is expired, you will get your new card the day after making the application fee payment. If your status reads “Awaiting CUB Review," contact the CUB at email@example.com to continue your renewal process.
What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah?
The following documents are required when applying for a medical cannabis card in Utah:
- Patient Proof of Identity, such as a Utah driver's license or another State of Utah-issued ID
- Patient petition to the Compassionate Use Board, if applicable
- Patient photo ID
- Patient proof of residency document
- Patient medical marijuana certification (the certifying medical provider will upload this)
Are My Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Utah?
The Utah medical cannabis program keeps patient data and information confidential in line with the provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Only in rare cases does the DHHS release information about whether an individual holds a Utah MMJ medical cannabis card without first obtaining written consent from the cardholder. Per Section 26-61a-103 of the Utah Code, some of the circumstances where patient information may be released without the cardholder’s consent include:
- Utah-licensed physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, and APRNs may access information about a medical cannabis cardholder if the cardholder is a patient the prescribing healthcare provider treats
- Local and state law enforcement may verify if an individual holds a Utah medical cannabis card during a law enforcement encounter. If local or state law enforcement intends to verify the medical cannabis card of a patient at a time other than during an encounter with law enforcement, they must first obtain a warrant from a court judge for the information. If local or state law enforcement wants an MMJ cardholder's medical marijuana product purchase history, they must obtain a warrant from a court judge for the information
- The DHSS may release limited information collected about cardholders to conduct medical and other department-approved research. Utah law also provides that in the future, it is possible for medical researchers from an accredited university to obtain approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct medical research. In such instances, only limited information about cardholders would be released. Persons who wish to withdraw consent for their information to be used for external research may email firstname.lastname@example.org to opt out
What Information Appears On A Utah Medical Cannabis Card?
A Utah medical cannabis card contains the following information:
- The patient's first and last name
- Patient's date of birth
- Patient's passport-style photograph
- The patient's Utah medical cannabis registration ID number
- The medical cannabis card's issue date
- The medical cannabis card's expiration date
Can Someone Track Me Down Through the Utah Registry?
It is unlikely for anyone to track you down through the Utah medical cannabis patient registry. The DHHS keeps patient data confidential by protecting the information of applicants and enrollees in the medical cannabis program. In the rare cases when it is legal and required to release the data, the DHHS ensures that the users of the cardholder information comply with strict confidentiality standards and requires that information use is limited to the purpose for which it was released.