House panel passes medical marijuana research bill

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah researchers would be able study cannabis for medicinal use without federal approval under a bill that unanimously cleared a House committee Monday.

“This is the first step in what I think is the right policy direction for this state,” said Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, sponsor of HB130.

Daw said states that have “decreed” marijuana a medicine through legislation or initiative have gone about it backward. Studies need to precede deciding what is medicine and what is not, he said.

State lawmakers last week took legalizing medical marijuana off the table this year. Instead, they’re considering bills to allow studies and to create a production and distribution framework should use become legal in the future.

HB130 would permit the handling and processing of marijuana and/or cannabis in Utah for researchers conducting an institutional review board-approved study. The University of Utah and other organizations have such boards

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