Davis County attorney advises health department to not distribute medical cannabis

(Morgan Smith | AP file photo) Darren Johnson, a hemp processor, holds raw hemp that will be used to make CBD oil at his processing facility, Wasatch Extraction, in Salt Lake City on July 2, 2019.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings is advising the county’s health department to not distribute medical cannabis under a state-run program crafted by the Utah Legislature.

Rawlings told FOX 13 in an interview Monday that he fears if the county does participate, the health department could lose out on federal grant money and that he couldn’t protect public employees who could be prosecuted under federal drug laws.

“The federal Controlled Substances Act is directly in conflict with what the state statute requires health departments to do,” he told FOX 13. “There is no exemption in federal law for being basically a marijuana distributor — a dealer — for a county. There is no exception.”

Utah officials recently selected eight companies to grow the state’s first legal cannabis crop, a sign that the state’s medical cannabis program is moving forward. But Rawlings’ decision could leave Davis County without a cannabis dispensary and could be a sign of trouble to come for the system.

Six companies that say the state granted licenses to unqualified cultivators and had inappropriate interactions with applicants, among other claims, have appealed.

Read more at FOX 13.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.