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Legislators pass bill modifying Utah Medical Cannabis Act

By Emily Ashcraft, KSL | Posted - Mar. 13, 2019 at 4:40 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to modify the Utah Medical Cannabis Act passed through the Utah Legislature Tuesday with a unanimous vote in the House, and later in the Senate to approve changes.

The sponsor of SB161, Senate Minority Whip Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, said the bill makes technical changes and gives protection.

She said the amendment made in the House makes it clear courts will not treat parents using medical cannabis differently for custodial or child welfare questions.

Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, is the House sponsor for the bill. He said the bill also clarifies ambiguity with testing and transportation of cannabis.

"Given the circumstances under which (the Utah Medical Cannabis Act) was passed, it’s amazing that there’s so few things we have to do to kind of straighten it out," Daw said.

Changes also include allowing an affirmative defense for those getting access to medical cannabis from out of state and gives protections to state employees when handling cannabis.

"(The) challenge you have here is, where cannabis is illegal under federal law, we have to be careful what we do here," Daw said.

The bill will now go to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk.

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