TALORSVILLE – Even with legalized cannabis in Utah, about 60 percent of medical marijuana users are getting weed from illicit sources according to a new study.

Cannabis leaf

Most Utah patients did not feel the need to travel outside of the state to get the medical cannabis products they need

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) recently had a market analysis performed on the state’s Medical Cannabis program. The findings were just released for the 2023 Utah medical cannabis market to determine patient demand and medical cannabis availability throughout the state.

The UDAF had a third party do the market analysis. Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC) was asked to conduct the study to ensure a fair and accurate analysis.

“A market analysis is completed every year to evaluate whether or not the Utah Medical Cannabis program is fulfilling its duty to ensure that medical cannabis patients have adequate access to the medicine they need,” said Dr. Brandon Forsyth, UDAF Director of Industrial Hemp and Medical Cannabis. “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.”

UDAF officials could clearly see that additional efforts are needed to bring more Utahns into the Medical Cannabis program from illicit sources.

Medical marijuana in Utah is used to help patients with prescriptions from a medical professional. Recreational use is still prohibited by law, and there are strict penalties for possession, growing, and distributing marijuana.

The CPPC surveyed nearly 200 participants who are currently or had previously been enrolled in the Utah medical cannabis program.

Here are some take-aways from the market analysis:

• Utah’s medical cannabis patients pay less for medication, falling in the bottom ten states for amount paid monthly on cannabis

• 58% of patients reported there was plenty of supply of medical cannabis products

• 74.5% of patients did not feel the need to travel outside of the state to get the medical cannabis products they need

Areas of concern from market analysis:

• 41% of patients reported having a limited or very limited supply of medical cannabis products they wanted to purchase

• 25% of patients are still traveling outside of Utah to get cannabis products due to cost

• 59% of cannabis products were acquired from illicit sources rather than regulated Pharmacies.

One of the main goals of the Utah medical cannabis program is to ensure patients have access to a safe medical product. 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.

For more information on the Utah medical cannabis program, visit medicalcannabis.utah.gov.

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