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Medical Marijuana compromise bill revised

(Photo: JORDAN ALLRED/DESERET NEWS)

SALT LAKE CITY — As Proposition 2 inches closer to its effective date, lawmakers are updating the compromise bill intended to replace it.

Proposition 2 passed with 52% of the vote earlier this month and on Wednesday, lawmakers released a second revision of the “Utah Medical Cannabis Act”. Among the changes, it decreased the number of state-issued plant growing facilities from 15 to 10 but allows up-to 7 pharmacies to dispense cannabis, up from 5 in the last version.

Other components of the updated bill include requiring patients under 21 to get approval from a state-appointed board in addition to consent from their physician.

The bill would establish a Compassionate Use Board, compromised of seven appointed medical providers, including two with a board certification in pediatrics.

Cannabis cultivators would also be limited to 100-thousand square feet of indoor capacity or four acres outdoors but can be granted more space upon request and approval.

Proponents and Opponents Speak Up

Some of Proposition 2’s original supporters like the Libertas Institute, a libertarian think tank is supportive of the update.

“…[The changes] are mostly minor changes that are fairly consistent with previous modifications made to Prop. 2” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas Institute,  speaking to the Deseret News earlier this week.

Others, like the group “Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education” or TRUCE, are disapproving, writing on Wednesday on their Facebook page,

“[…]the replacement was still being written […]  a bill which will thus never be really read — let alone debated — by many legislators”

Opponents are vying continuously fight the compromise bill, earlier this month Walter Plumb, president of Drug Safe Utah, a staunch opponent of Prop 2 told the Deseret News any access to whole plant marijuana to minors was “totally ridiculous

Last month, Governor Gary Herbert announce plans for a special legislative session to take place regardless of the results of Prop 2. That special session is still set for December 3rd.