MEDICAL CANNABIS

WHAT IS MEDICAL CANNABIS?
Medical Cannabis (also known as Medical Marijuana), is a term for the derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant that are utilized for medical purposes. The Cannabis sativa contains many different compounds, these compounds are known as cannabinoids. The best known cannabinoids are known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Numerous studies have shown that the compounds in Medical Cannabis may provide benefits for a variety of different medical conditions.

 

WHY CHOOSE MEDICAL CANNABIS?
Research has shown that cannabinoids may be helpful in treating certain medical conditions such as persistent nausea or vomiting, appetite loss related to cancer and/or other disease processes, seizure disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pain, and certain neurologic disorders. You may be a candidate for medical cannabis if you have a qualifying medical condition and would like to explore additional treatment options. Book an appointment with RUMA’s Qualified Medical Providers (QMPs) who are registered with the Utah Department of Health and can recommend Medical Cannabis.

FAQ

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE A MEDICAL CANNABIS CARD?

  • You must be a Utah resident.
  • You must have a qualifying medical condition, and provide supporting documentation.
    • Documentation may include medical records, office visit summaries, a letter from your doctor stating your diagnosis, prescription pill bottles, etc
  • Submit an online application with the state of Utah through the Electronic Verification
    System (EVS).
  • Schedule a consultation to meet in person for your initial visit with a Qualifying Medical
    Provider (QMP) who is registered with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) that can assess if you are a candidate for medical cannabis.
  • Qualifying Medical Provider (QMP) has certified your eligibility for a medical cannabis card.
  • Pay the $15 online application fee to the state of Utah.

You can watch a video about the application process here

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS?

Qualifying Conditions per Utah Code 26-61a-104 

  • Pain lasting longer than two weeks that is not adequately managed, in the qualified medical provider’s opinion, despite treatment attempts using conventional medications other than opioids or opiates and/or physical interventions.
  • Acute pain that is expected to last for 2 weeks or longer for an acute condition, including a surgical procedure, for which a medical professional may generally prescribe opioids for a limited duration.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is being treated and monitored by a licensed mental health therapist and that:
    • has been diagnosed by a healthcare provider or mental health provider by the VA and documented in the patient’s record; or 
    • has been diagnosed or confirmed by evaluation by a psychiatrist, master’s level degree psychologist, a master’s level degree licensed clinical social worker, or a psychiatric APRN.
  • Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment except for nausea related to:
    • Pregnancy
    • Cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome
    • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome 
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis 
  •  Epilepsy or debilitating seizures 
  • Autism
  • HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) 
  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer 
  • Cachexia 
  • Multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms 
  • Terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than 6 months
  • Condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care
  • A rare condition or disease that affects less than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., as defined in federal law and that is not adequately managed despite treatment attempts using conventional medications (other than opioids or opiates) or physical interventions.

WHAT TYPES OF MEDICAL CANNABIS ARE PATIENTS ALLOWED TO PURCHASE AND USE?

Under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, medical cannabis is available in the following forms:

  • Aerosol
  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Concentrated oil
  • Liquid suspension
  • Transdermal preparation
  • Gelatinous cube
  • Unprocessed cannabis flower in a tamper-evident and a resistant container that is opaque that contains a quantity that varies no more than 10% from the stated weight at the time of packaging
  • Wax or resin
  • Medical cannabis devices such as a vaping pen that warms cannabis material into a vapor without the use of a flame and that delivers cannabis to an individual’s respiratory system
  • Smoking cannabis is not permitted.
    • The law prohibits candies, cookies, brownies, and other edible products.

HOW LONG IS A MEDICAL CANNABIS CARD GOOD FOR?

  •  As of January 3, 2022, a patient’s first medical cannabis card is active for 6 months from the date it was issued.
    • Subsequent card renewal cycles are six months or one year.

WHERE CAN A MEDICAL CANNABIS CARDHOLDER PURCHASE MEDICAL CANNABIS IN UTAH?

Medical cannabis card holders may visit a medical cannabis pharmacy to purchase products.

  • A list of pharmacies can be found here

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD AND THC?

“Cannabis” refers to all products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. 

These substances are collectively known as cannabinoids, and there have been more than 100 different cannabinoids identified. 


The 2 main cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis product with less than 0.3% concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is legal under federal law.

 CBD does not impair mental state.

 CBD is thought to have medical benefits including decreasing seizures, reducing inflammation, and improving pain.

 

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive ingredient that is responsible for the effects on a person’s mental state. While some cannabis plants contain very little THC, other cannabis plants contain more THC. THC is thought to have medical benefits including muscle relaxation, pain relief, and stimulating appetite.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MEDICAL CANNABIS?

Utah Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Medical Cannabis

https://medicalcannabis.utah.gov

The Health Effect of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 12.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

Utah Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Medical Cannabis

Patient Resources

https://medicalcannabis.utah.gov/patients/

REFERENCES

https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/480971.pdf
Practical considerations in medical cannabis administration and dosing
MacCallum, Caroline and Russo, Ethan
European Journal of Internal Medicine 49 (2018) 12-19

 

Utah Code 26-61a-104
https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title26/Chapter61A/26-61a-S104.html?v=C26-61a-S104_2022032420220324

 

The Health Effect of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 12.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/

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