Utah Patients Coalition collects signatures for 2018 medical marijuana initiativeThe Utah Patients Coalition has received approval from Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. After holding 10 public hearings across the state and meeting with various state departments and stakeholders, the Utah Patients Coalition can now proceed in attempting to collect the more than 113,000 required signatures to place doctor-approved access to medical marijuana on the ballot. It will begin printing petition packets and organizing signature-gathering efforts and will announce volunteer training and petition events in the coming weeks.

In response to feedback from state officials, Utah Patients Coalition made two technical changes to the initiative language. It struck a short tax deduction provision that would have required federal tax law to be interpreted and implemented by state tax authorities, an issue that advocates plan to revisit with the State Tax Commission and the legislature after the initiative becomes law. It also established a limit on the amount of medical marijuana that a patient or caregiver can transport, bringing it in line with a common 30-day restriction on pharmacy drugs.

“We plan to gather the first signatures by next week and be finished prior to the 2018 legislative session in January,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for the Utah Patients Coalition. “Our volunteers — many of them patients or caregivers themselves — have been ready and eagerly waiting; it feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this.”

Information for those wishing to donate or help gather signatures will be posted at utahpatients.org.

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