Does the Utah Department of Health release information about medical cannabis patients?

Only in very rare cases does the Utah Department of Health have the authority to release information about whether an individual holds a medical cannabis card without first obtaining written consent from the medical cannabis cardholder.  Here are some examples of the rare cases when the department is authorized to release identifiable information about a cardholder without the department obtaining written consent from the cardholder:
 
  • 1. Utah Code 26-61a-103 (4) provides that all Utah-licensed physicians, APRNs, Podiatrists, and PAs may access information about a cardholder if the cardholder is a patient the prescribing provider treats.
  • 2. Utah Code 26-61a-103 (2)(g) provides that state and local law enforcement may verify if an individual holds a medical cannabis card during a law enforcement encounter.  If state and local law enforcement wants to verify the medical cannabis card of an individual at a time other than during a law enforcement encounter, they must first obtain a warrant from a court judge for that information.  If state or local law enforcement wants a cardholder’s medical cannabis product purchase history, they must first obtain a warrant from a court judge for that information.
  • 3. Utah Code 26-61a-103 (5) provides that the department may release limited data collected about cardholders for the purpose of conducting medical and other department-approved research. In the future, it is possible that medical researchers from an accredited university may obtain approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct medical research.  In these cases, only limited data about cardholders would be released.
 
The Utah Department of Health is careful to ensure the protection of cardholder information. In the rare cases when it is legal to release the data, the department requires that the users of the cardholder information comply with strict standards to ensure its protection and to ensure its use is limited to the purpose for which it was released.
 
 

If you wish to withdraw your consent for your information to be used for external research, please email medicalcannabis@utah.gov to opt-out.