Yo, what’s up? I’m Dan, and let me tell you about how cannabis has become a major dough-maker in the US. This herb is now legal in many states and super popular among peeps, and it’s created thousands of jobs and made billions of dollars. According to a report by New Frontier Data, the legal marijuana market in the US was worth $17.5 billion in 2020, and it’s estimated to reach $41.5 billion by 2025. Damn, that’s a lotta green!
Now, in Utah, medical cannabis is also bringing in some serious cheddar. The state and eight growers who cultivate it, as well as the sellers, have turned it into a major cash crop. In fact, it made more money than any other state-grown crop in 2022 – a whopping $118,760,937! Bailee Woolstenhulme from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food says they run a tight ship to make sure everything’s under control.
This year, there are double the number of people taking medical marijuana than there were last year. That’s 61,991 peeps holding medicinal cannabis cards! The program has been running for four years now, with the Department of Health and Human Services in Utah working alongside eight licensed cannabis growers and 14 processors to make sure peeps have access to high-quality and safe products.
The growers are doing well because of the department’s regulations on their side of things. They produced 111,800 pounds of cannabis in 2022 compared to the predicted 98,632 pounds. While there are still some issues they’re ironing out, Woolstenhulme says patient numbers are rising, and clients are happy with the care they’re receiving.
But there are still some concerns about Utah’s cannabis market. One farmer who owns four medical marijuana fields near Cache County says that while it’s profitable, there’s also an illicit market component that exists. He’s cautious not to let too many peeps know about his farm since he doesn’t want it to receive too much exposure. Nevertheless, he believes that the market has a bright future.
Prices have decreased due to cutting back on staff and handling labor-intensive tasks on their own. Some product prices have plummeted by as much as 40%, with others declining too. The farmer is confident about providing quality care for patients at a low cost since he started cultivating marijuana for his mom who has health problems.
Medical cannabis is helping peeps with various medical conditions get relief from their symptoms. Almost 1.4 million goods made in Utah by 14 processors were shipped to pharmacies so customers could buy them – including vape carts, concentrates, flower, and gelatinous cubes. The UDAF Medical Cannabis Compliance Specialists inspect all manufacturing facilities regularly to ensure that all laws and regulations are being upheld.
While Utah’s medical cannabis program seems to be thriving overall, there are still concerns about the illegal market since it still exists. The farm owner emphasizes that regulation and oversight must continue to ensure that only safe and legal products are sold to patients.
One of the challenges facing the cannabis industry in Utah is the limited number of producers allowed to grow the crop – which can limit patient access and increase prices. Officials may need to reconsider these restrictions as the program evolves and consider expanding the number of producers or allowing home cultivation to meet growing demand carefully.
All in all, medical cannabis is a major cash crop in Utah with a growing number of patients seeking relief from their symptoms. Continued regulation and oversight efforts are crucial to ensuring safe and legal products are sold to patients while ongoing education and public awareness efforts can discourage people from purchasing cannabis illegally.