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Agriculture Department wants input on new marijuana policies

SALT LAKE CITY — State officials expect people to have a lot of questions about new medical marijuana bills that were signed into law this year.  They also say they need the public’s help figuring out how they’ll best manage the cultivation of marijuana and hemp.

Take House Bill 197, for example.  It lets the Department of Agriculture and Food manage the cultivation of marijuana for terminally ill patients.  But, should the state grow it?  Should a third party contractor do it?

Department Spokesman Jack Wilbur says, “There are a lot of things we have to figure out. What we want to make sure of is that we get this right.”

Plus, there’s House Bill 302, which has to do with the cultivation of industrial hemp.  There’s also Senate Bill 130 which impacts how the state monitors oils made by marijuana and hemp.

Wilbur says, “What that one will do is it’s going to regulate those oils so that we can verify what’s in them, make sure they’re pure.”

The laws will technically go into effect in May, but, the department still has time after that to determine what policies they will adopt to make sure they can comply with these new laws.  However, they’re asking for public comment to better determine what those policies will be.

“We anticipate people being very interested in this.  So, we’re going to have a series of meetings on April 19th,” Wilbur says

If people can’t make those meetings, they can submit their comments to the department’s main email address, which is agriculture@utah.gov.