Utah is known for its unique landscape that ranges from the snow-capped peaks of the Wasatch Mountains, to the red rock canyons of Bryce and Zion National Parks. It is also home to some of the most exciting ski resorts in the world, like Park City and Alta. With its abundance of outdoor activities, it’s no surprise that the state motto is “Life Elevated.” With a strong presence of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) faith, you may expect no weed in the Beehive State. But don’t worry, there are some allowances. Read on to find out.
Is Weed Legal in Utah? Straight to the point.
- Recreational THC: No
- Medical THC: Yes
- CBD: Yes
- Delta-8: No
Medical Weed Laws
Medical marijuana became legal in Utah in 2018, which allows individuals with certain qualifying medical conditions to possess and use cannabis with a prescription from a licensed physician. The age limit for medical marijuana use is 18 and above, with the exception that minors may use medical marijuana if they have written consent from their legal guardian and a physician. To obtain a medical marijuana card, individuals must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a licensed physician and register with the state.
Qualifying conditions include:
- HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Persistent nausea that is not significantly responsive to traditional treatment, except for nausea related to:
- cannabis-induced cyclical vomiting syndrome
- cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Epilepsy or debilitating seizures
- Multiple sclerosis or persistent and debilitating muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is being treated and monitored by a licensed health therapist (defined here), and that:
- has been diagnosed by a healthcare provider by the Veterans Administration and documented in the patient’s record; or
- has been diagnosed or confirmed by evaluation from a psychiatrist, masters prepared psychologist, a master’s prepared licensed clinical social worker, or a psychiatric APRN
- A terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months
- A 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
- Persistent 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 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
Patients are allowed to possess up to 113 grams of cannabis flower and up to 20 grams of THC in other forms. See below for more information on how to obtain a medical marijuana card in Utah.
Recreational Weed Laws
Trends show that many states with medical marijuana programs usually move towards adult-use recreational legalization. However, recreational weed’s regulatory environment tends to be far more complex. Although many states maintain their medical programs to support patients, the same rules do not apply to the general public once recreational marijuana is legalized. Possession limits may vary, as well as the consequences for using marijuana outside of the state-mandated guidelines. See below for more information about the current legal status and recreational legalization efforts.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Utah?
No, marijuana is not decriminalized in Utah. Possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana are still considered criminal offenses and can result in fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. However, in March 2020, the Utah legislature passed a bill that reduced the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana from a criminal charge to a civil infraction, similar to a traffic ticket.
This change took effect on November 3, 2020, and under this law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $100 with no jail time. Possession of more than one ounce but less than 16 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail.
Cannabinoid variants include a vast number of compounds like CBD, Delta-8, HHC, and THC-O. These cannabinoids are usually made from the hemp plant and have varying regulations per state.
Is CBD legal in Utah?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products.
The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution. In Utah, the use and possession of CBD is legal, as long as it follows all regulations set forth in the Farm Bill. CBD is legal in Utah.
Is Delta-8 legal in Utah?
No, Delta-8 is not legal in Utah. In August 2021, the state of Utah banned the sale, possession, and use of Delta-8 THC and other alternative cannabinoids, making it illegal to sell, possess, or use the substance in the state. This ban was put in place due to concerns about the safety and potential health risks associated with Delta-8 THC.
Is Delta-10 legal in Utah?
No, Delta-10 is not legal in Utah. Tetrahydrocannabinols, their synthetic equivalents, derivatives, and isomers are all prohibited under Utah’s Controlled Substances Act.
Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Utah?
In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers.
For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Utah?
No, according to Utah state law, you are not permitted to buy any Delta-10, THC-O, or HHC and HHC-O products that are made from hemp or marijuana.
In Utah, individuals with a medical marijuana card are allowed to grow a limited number of cannabis plants for personal medical use with a prescription from a licensed physician. However, there is no specific limit on the number of plants that a patient can grow. Patients are allowed to possess up to 113 grams of cannabis flower and up to 20 grams of THC in other forms.
If you want to grow marijuana to sell, you must obtain a license from the state. The process to obtain a license to grow marijuana for a dispensary is more complex and involves meeting certain requirements set by the state.
These requirements may include:
- Having a clean criminal record
- Having a certain amount of financial assets
- Meeting specific security and safety requirements
- Passing an inspection by state regulators
- Demonstrating experience in growing marijuana or running a business
- Completing a formal application process
- Paying a license fee
The rules and regulations for obtaining a license to grow marijuana for a dispensary can vary from state to state, you can check out the Cannabis License Experts website for the 411 on getting a dispensary license.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Utah
To obtain a medical marijuana card in Utah, an individual must first be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a licensed physician. Once an individual has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, they must then register with the state by submitting a completed application, which can be found on the Utah Department of Health’s website. The application will require the following information:
- Patient’s name and contact information
- Physician’s name and contact information
- Diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition
- Patient’s photograph
- Payment of an application fee
After the application has been submitted, the state will review the application and, if approved, issue a medical marijuana card to the patient. The card will need to be renewed annually and the process to renew the card will be similar to the initial application process.
It’s important to note that a medical marijuana card does not give an individual the right to possess or use marijuana for recreational purposes, only for the medical use, and it’s also important to check with the state authorities and/or a legal professional before obtaining a medical marijuana card.
Where to Buy Weed in Utah
Utahns with medical cards are the only folks allowed to buy legal weed. Fortunately, there are a few to choose from.
In Utah, medical marijuana can be obtained from dispensaries that are licensed by the state. These dispensaries are the only legally authorized places to purchase marijuana for medical use. Currently, there are only 14 dispensaries operating in Utah, and their locations are determined by the state. Here is an easy place to find a dispensary close to you.
Delivery of medical marijuana is also allowed in Utah, but it must be done by a licensed dispensary and only for medical marijuana patients.
Direct to Consumer
Direct to consumer sales allow customers to purchase cannabis from their favorite brands without visiting a dispensary. This is often a time saving and convenient option, but unfortunately, is not legal in Utah.
Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.
Efforts to Legalize Recreational Weed in Utah
There have been efforts in Utah to legalize recreational marijuana. In November 2020, a group of activists and advocates submitted a petition to the state of Utah to put the question of legalizing marijuana for adult use on the ballot in that year’s election. However, the petition fell short of the required number of signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The Utah legislature approved a bill in 2021 to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, but not for recreational use. After being approved by the governor, the law became effective on December 1, 2021.
A bill that would have legalized and regulated the possession, sale, and use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 was introduced in the Utah legislature in 2021, but it was not passed. There have also been other attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The use of recreational marijuana is not currently supported by any legislation.
Where can you smoke weed in Utah?
In Utah, smoking marijuana is only legal for individuals with a valid medical marijuana card. However, it’s important to note that smoking marijuana in public places is still illegal, and doing so can result in fines and/or arrest. The use of marijuana is restricted to the card holder’s personal residence.
Can you smoke weed in public in Utah?
No, smoking marijuana in public is illegal in Utah, even for patients. Smoking marijuana in public places can result in fines and/or arrest.
When was medical weed legalized in Utah?
Medical marijuana was legalized in Utah in 2018 with the passage of Proposition 2, a ballot initiative that was approved by voters during the November 2018 general election. Proposition 2, also known as the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, went into effect on December 1, 2018.
Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ
What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?
In Utah, the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing marijuana are severe and can include fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record.
Selling, gifting, transporting, or importing marijuana is considered a criminal offense and can result in:
Class A misdemeanor for selling less than 100 pounds or less than 10 plants, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Third-degree felony for selling 100 pounds or more, or 10 plants or more, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
It’s important to note that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so the penalties for these crimes can also include fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record under federal law.
What is the penalty for selling to a minor?
Selling marijuana to a minor (someone under the age of 18) is a crime in Utah, and violators face harsh penalties. Selling marijuana to a minor is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence as well as a $10,000 fine.
What is possession with the intent to sell?
In Utah, possession with the intent to sell is a criminal offense that occurs when an individual has marijuana in their possession with the intent to sell or distribute it. This can include possession of marijuana in large quantities, possession of marijuana packaging materials or paraphernalia, or possession of large amounts of cash or other indicative of sales.
Possession with intent to sell is a criminal offense that is punishable by severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The penalties can vary depending on the amount of marijuana involved, but they can range from:
Class A misdemeanor for possession of less than 100 pounds or less than 10 plants, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Third-degree felony for possession of 100 pounds or more, or 10 plants or more, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
When is possession a crime?
In Utah, possession of marijuana is considered a crime when it is done without a valid medical marijuana card and a prescription from a licensed physician, or when it is done for recreational use, as marijuana is not legal for recreational use in Utah.