House Democrats Support Medicinal Marijuana Initiative over Republican Alternative

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2018

Ross Chambless, Communications Specialist                  
Utah House Democratic Caucus
(801) 326-1568 |

House Democrats Support Medicinal Marijuana Initiative over Republican Alternative

Salt Lake City - Today the House of Representatives voted 38 to 32 to pass H.B. 197, “Cannabis Cultivation Amendments.” The bill would allow the state Department of Agriculture and Food to cultivate and process cannabis in the state for academic or medical research purposes beginning in 2019.  The bill is a companion bill of H.B. 195 “Medical Cannabis Policy,” that passed last week, which would allow a few terminally-ill patients the “right-to-try” medical cannabis under recommendation from their physician.  Most House Democrats voted against the H.B. 197, and instead support the pending statewide medical marijuana ballot initiative over these Republican alternative measures.  

Rep. Brian King said, “Don’t be fooled, this is an attack on the ballot initiative that has support from over 76% of Utahns. These bills have weak regulatory oversight, restrictive provisions on physician and patient options, and complete government takeover of the market. The legislature is insistent on playing the role of the nanny-state and telling Utahns what is ‘best’ for them, rather than listening to the will of the people.”

Rep. Angela Romero stated, “The legalization of medicinal marijuana is inevitable. However, we need to be sure that the regulatory framework we create is controlled, beneficial for patients, and conducive to a fair and competitive market. This bill does the opposite by creating a state monopoly on medicinal cannabis and restricting access to all terminally-ill patients.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.