Utah medical cannabis cultivation licenses may cost $100,000 a year

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Becoming one of Utah’s 10 approved medical marijuana growers in the state’s new program won’t be cheap.

The state plans to charge a $10,000 application fee and an additional $100,000 annual licensing fee for cultivators that are chosen, according to draft rules for Utah’s new medical marijuana program.

State officials told the Salt Lake Tribune the license fees are meant to offset the expense of adding personnel and equipment to inspect the growing facilities.

Medical marijuana advocates say the proposed cost to become a grower is steep but shouldn’t deter people serious about entering the business.

The draft rules also set detailed guidelines on security, pesticide use, cannabis waste and other issues concerning growers.

In addition, cultivators must grind down leaves and trimmings and mix them with trash to render the cannabis unusable and install video surveillance.

Agriculture officials will accept public comment on the draft over the next few weeks, and they are holding a public hearing on the proposed rules June 5. The rules are expected to take months to finalize.

Utah’s governor signed an MMJ bill into law in December 2018.

– Associated Press