Utah is surrounded by states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Unfortunately, the Beehive State still prohibits recreational marijuana possession (Utah Code 58-37-8) and sale even though voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana in 2018. Lawmakers have yet to compromise on expected amendments to the medical marijuana law after its Dec. 6, 2018 enactment date. However, the law will allow those with a physician’s recommendation to purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary (or grow their own medicine if they live more than 100 miles from the nearest dispensary). State law allows patients suffering from epileptic disorders to use cannabidiol (CBD) in limited concentrations for medical treatment (prior to the broader 2018 medical marijuana law).
As far as marijuana for recreational use, conviction for
selling pot in Utah constitutes a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, depending on the amount and location of the sale, and the criminal history of the seller.
For selling, under 1 oz. is a class B misdemeanor, 1-16 oz. is a class A misdemeanor, over 1 lb. to 100 lbs is a 3rd degree felony, over 100 lbs is a 2nd degree felony. These penalties can be enhanced for offenders with multiple offenses or if the transaction took place within 1000 ft. of school or if the sale was to a minor.
While state marijuana laws regulate pot within the state, marijuana possession, sale, and trafficking remain illegal under federal law by way of the Controlled Substance Act. So if you’re thinking of sneaking to Colorado to circumvent Utah’s marijuana ban, you should know that even if a state’s marijuana laws may say it’s legal, federal law will always trump state law if there is an overlap.
Most federal law enforcement agencies have left policing in-state marijuana cases to in-state authorities, but the federal government may still enforce prohibitions on interstate cases of pot possession, manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution.
Even if you’re caught with the smallest amount of marijuana in Utah, it can still land you in jail for up to six months. So, if you’ve been charged with violating Utah marijuana laws, your best option is to discuss your case with our case analyst today!