Medical marijuana pharmacies turn away patients

Mar 4, 2020, 6:50 PM
Several Utahns say they have been turned away from medical marijuana pharmacies days after the state's first officially licensed pharmacy opened.

SALT LAKE CITY – Just days after Utah’s medical marijuana pharmacies opened, patients across the state are being turned away. It’s a situation that is frustrating for both pharmacists and patients and has lawmakers scrambling to fix the problem.

The main issue is many patients do not have their medical marijuana cards due to glitches in the state’s online portal that helps people sign up for those cards.

Both patients and doctors have reported problems accessing the online portal or going through the paperwork.

Kevin Baumgartner, the chief pharmacist at Dragonfly Wellness in Salt Lake City, says they have had to turn away people who have come to the pharmacy with just their doctor’s recommendation.

Baumgartner says it’s been heartbreaking.

“Yesterday, we had a Stage 4 cancer patient that had their [doctor’s recommendation] letter but we were not able to get them the medication they need to help their pain,” Baumgartner says.

He also says it has hurt business.

“The first day [we were open] we were able to serve around 13, 14 patients. Today, we’ve had about five patients,” Baumgartner says.

Some Utah lawmakers will speed a bill to let people use their doctor’s recommendations.


More on Medical marijuana pharmacies:

Governor signs bill clarifying medical marijuana law

Department of Health announces 14 medical marijuana pharmacies to open in Utah

Layton considers zoning changes to make way for medical marijuana

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Medical marijuana pharmacies turn away patients