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Utah Medical Cannabis Market Analysis Published

Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has released its 2023 Utah medical cannabis market analysis, which shows illicit channels are still popular for sourcing medicines.

The analysis, based on responses from 197 participants that had indicated they were currently or previously enrolled in the state’s program, found 58% of patients reported supply of medical cannabis products was adequate and 74.5% of patients didn’t need to travel outside of the state to get the products they need.

Commenting on the results of the analysis, Dr. Brandon Forsyth, UDAF Director of Industrial Hemp and Medical Cannabis said:

“I am proud to see that overall, patients are able to legally access their medication within the state at a reasonable cost compared to other medical cannabis markets. However, we can clearly see that additional efforts are needed to bring more Utahns into the Medical Cannabis program from illicit sources.”

According to the findings, approximately 59.87% of total grams sourced were from illicit sources and based on the patient sample, only 8% indicated they exclusively obtain grams sourced from the regulated medical cannabis market in the past month.

Some of the persistence in sourcing from illicit channels is attributable to price. Patients were willing to pay a maximum price of $10.65 for a gram of cannabis from an adult-use dispensary, and $7.40 per gram from a dealer. A quarter of patients were still travelling outside of Utah to get cannabis products due to cost.

“The main goal of the Utah medical cannabis program is to ensure patients have access to a safe medical product,” states UDAF. “The program will continue to work to address the issues brought up in this analysis to make sure patients no longer feel the need to get their medical cannabis from illicit and unsafe sources.”

The full analysis report can be viewed here.

In its March 2024 report, Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services noted there were 83,421 patients registered for the state’s program. The most common conditions cannabis was being used for were pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and nausea.

Medical use of cannabis was legalized in Utah by ballot measure in November 2018, and the program launched in early 2020. While Utah allows for a variety of products including vaping, smoking cannabis is not permitted and law prohibits candies, cookies, brownies, and other edible products.

More information on Utah’s medical cannabis program can be found here.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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