SALT LAKE CITY — As the ribbon was cut at Dragonfly Wellness, someone shouted: “Let’s sell some weed!”
Utah’s first medical cannabis dispensary is open and the state’s medical cannabis program is finally up and running. Dragonfly Wellness, at 700 S. State St., is the first “pharmacy” licensed by the state.
“We can be confident the products that we are providing to our patients and our community are 100% safe,” said Narith Pahn with Dragonfly Wellness, who gave a tour to medical cannabis patients and advocates, media and state officials on Monday.
For many, Monday’s opening has represented a huge hurdle in the battle for medical cannabis in Utah. Voters approved Proposition 2 in 2018, only to see the Utah State Legislature replace it with a state-controlled system. Last week, the legislature pushed through a bill to meet a mandated March 1 deadline to have a working cannabis program up and running.
“All of our hard work has paid off. Not fully. This isn’t the end,” said Desiree Hennessy, the director of the Utah Patients Coalition, which sponsored Prop. 2. “This is the beginning, but we are seeing a beautiful beginning today.”
Dragonfly Wellness is the first to open. A full variety of product is not yet ready as testing is completed on marijuana flower and packaging requirements are met (for example, Utah does not allow “gummies” but they must be labeled “cubes”).
As of Monday morning, 14 patients had been approved for medical cannabis cards. Another 300 were in process, said Rich Oborn, the Utah Department of Health’s cannabis coordinator. The website to get patients registered with the state has had some minor glitches. The bigger hurdle was getting physicians to register with the state so qualifying patients can get medical cannabis cards, Oborn told FOX 13.