Utah drops residency restriction for medical cannabis growers

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Utah regulators eliminated a proposed residency requirement for the 10 medical marijuana cultivation licenses the state is set to award in late July, which could result in possible out-of-state ownership.

The announcement came in a bulletin dated July 15, although the proposed rule change itself was filed June 30, according to documents.

A spokesman for Utah’s agriculture department told The Salt Lake Tribune the state decided a residency requirement could be illegal.

It’s unclear how the change could impact the initial licensing round.

State regulators recently announced a delay in awarding grower licenses.

Jack Wilbur, spokesman for the state agricultural department, told the Tribune that out of the 81 applicants, eight had reported out-of-state addresses.

But he noted that some of the other 73 could include out-of-state interests with a Utah address or local partner.

Wilbur said applicants displaying “positive connections to a local community” will receive credit, but it is unclear how much.

Local farmers have reported they hoped cannabis grower licenses would go to in-state businesses.

Medical cannabis sales in Utah are expected to start sometime next year.