Robert Gehrke: Rural Utah could lose access to medical marijuana if the state doesn’t make these changesPosted by On

For all the abuse — much of it deserved — that legislators took for tinkering with Utah’s medical marijuana initiative, there was one idea they came up with that made a lot of sense: Tapping into the network of county health departments to act as a dispensary network.

It solved a major problem hanging over the entire program, which was how to make sure that rural Utah has access to the product in the first place?

Left to the market, it’s easy to see that the seven licensed private dispensaries would set up shop in big metro areas. If you went to the time and expense of getting a dispensary license, would you look to locate in Salt Lake County, which has more than 1.1 million people, or Beaver County, which has about 6,500?

If you chose the latter, it’s a safe bet your venture would be short-lived. So distribution through the county health departments made a lot…

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