Gov. Herbert calls special session; goal is to make cannabis available in 6 months

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has issued a call for a special session of the Utah State Legislature for Monday, Sept. 16, that will focus on issues related to medical cannabis, especially how it will be dispensed now that the State of Utah will no longer be involved, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office.

Lawmakers will also consider appropriating census funding, and making several other technical adjustments.

“My administration is dedicated to ensuring that quality, medical grade cannabis products are accessible to patients by March of 2020,” said Herbert. “Removing the requirement for a state central fill pharmacy will provide efficient and timely distribution of this substance for those who need it.”

Senate President J. Stuart Adams and Speaker Brad Wilson both emphasized that this session will allow legislators to make needed adjustments before the general session, according to the Governor’s Office.

“A special session provides the opportunity to consider adjustments and improvements as circumstances change,” said Adams. “Legislators will convene to discuss and hear public comment on issues, deliberate on matters and take possible action.”

“Utah is one of the best managed states in the country. Our success isn’t an accident. It’s a collaborative process,” said Wilson. “Special sessions provide part-time lawmakers an opportunity to make needed changes to complex legislation in a way that best serves our community.”

Issues to be addressed during the special session include the following:

Amendments to medical cannabis laws to repeal requirements regarding a state central fill pharmacy and other amendments necessary to ensure the efficient and safe implementation and operation of the state’s medical cannabis program; amendments to the Utah Election Code regarding the date of the 2020 primary election and technical amendments; amendments to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act regarding the transportation and storage of certain heavy beer prior to Nov. 1; legislative approval of and appropriations for the settlement of lawsuits against the state; amendments to certain tax incentives regarding the review required by an independent certified public accountant and technical amendments; appropriations for the 2020 United States Census and for the Senate to consent to appointments Herbert made.

Proposed amendments to medical cannabis legislation will be uploaded to le.utah.gov.