‘Trib Talk’: Marijuana could be a cash crop for the few Utah farmers who win a license to grow it

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Troy Young with hemp plants growing under LED lights at Moon Lake Farms in North Salt Lake on Friday July 12, 2019.

Eighty-one farmers have applied to receive one of 10 state licenses to legally grow cannabis and supply the state’s nascent medical marijuana program, giving each applicant roughly 1 in 8 odds of cultivating crops to meet the state’s demand.

But exactly how significant that demand will be is unknown, as Utah’s law restricts legal marijuana use to a smaller pool of qualifying patients than a ballot initiative approved by voters last year, and because many Utahns are culturally and ideologically skeptical of what is still an illegal drug under federal law.

On this week’s episode of Trib Talk, Moon Lake Farms co-founder Troy Young, cannabis law attorney J.D. Lauritzen and Tribune government reporter Bethany Rodgers join Benjamin Wood to discuss the selection process for Utah’s marijuana farmers and the status of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Click here to listen now. Listeners can also subscribe to “Trib Talk” on SoundCloud, iTunes and Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify and other major podcast platforms.

“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.