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First Medical Cannabis Pharmacy Opens In Utah


Utah’s first medical cannabis pharmacy opened in Salt Lake City on Monday. For the first time, Utahns in need of medical marijuana will be able to legally purchase the substance in the state. 

Phil Wright has used medical marijuana in Nevada said says it decreases his anxiety and inflammation as well as improves his sleep. He said he is looking forward to having this option now available to him in his home state. 

“I'm hoping that it will help decrease the amount of medication I'm on and increase the comfort,” Wright said.

On Monday, Wright was one of many people to attend the opening of Utah’s first medical cannabis pharmacy in Salt Lake City. Richard Oborn, the director at the health department’s center for medical cannabis, said in the next two months two more pharmacies should open up and that by July another eight should be in business, including one in Cache County.

Sunday was the first day patients could apply for the medical cannabis cards that are required by state law to purchase and possess the substance. Oborn said because the system was new, there were some glitches that had to be resolved. 

“By the end of the day, we were able to have some patients that received cards. Right now there's 14 medical cannabis cards that have been issued. And there's more to come later today. And there's a lot of applications that are pending the approval of their physician,” Oborn said.

Mario Enriquez is a member of Utah Patients for Cannabis and Natural Choices. He helped with the ballot initiative process for medical cannabis and says Monday was a “green dream come true” for him. 

“I haven't slept all week. I’ve cried a few times. This is so amazing watching people get their firm defense letters and now taking the next step getting their medical cannabis cards to be able to come into a medical cannabis dispensary,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez said he does anticipate there are still details of medical cannabis that will need to be worked through in the state, such as ensuring there is enough product available for everyone who needs it, but he is excited to see how it helps him and his family.