Utah rolled out its medical marijuana program on Tuesday by issuing registration cards for patients with epilepsy to access low-potency marijuana extract known as cannabidiol, which doesn’t trigger the characteristic high associated with the drug.
The drug can be accessed from other states in U.S. where it is legal, since Utah’s program doesn’t permit its distribution across the state. Under the program, which was approved and signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert this year and is set to expire in 2016, only patients with severe epilepsy that is difficult to treat with conventional medication will be allowed to access the drug. However, one must obtain consent from a neurologist, reported the Daily Herald.
The medical marijuana cards will cost $400 per year, with state regulators defending the high cost due to the startup costs and the limited number of families expected to enrol for the program.
The marijuana extract is derived from a strain called Charlotte’s Web, which is low in THC, the compound that gives users the characteristic high. However, it has higher levels of cannabidiol that is thought to combat seizures.
Doctors and activists have warned that there is no existing proof that the extract can effectively treat epilepsy. However, families are adamant that the drug will improve the quality of life of patients with severe seizures.
The cannabidiol will cost differently depending on the patient’s size and the dosage required. A 100-pound individual will part with $40 for a monthly starting supply, with the maximum dosage going up to $900 per month. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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