GARLAND – By Cari Doutre – Feb. 18, 2020
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, passed by voters in Utah on Nov. 6, 2018, altered the way cannabis can be used by patients in Utah. The road from there to now involves several moving parts and aspects behind the program.
As the March 1, 2020, deadline approaches for medical cannabis to be available for licensed pharmacies in Utah to sell patients, The Valley Headliner – BRVNEWS.com – will cover all aspects that paved the way for legal medical cannabis use in Utah.
This is the first article in a series about the medical cannabis program in Utah.
“Cultivators: Growing a start for medical cannabis in Utah”
Only eight of the 81 companies that submitted applications to the Utah Department of Agriculture in 2019 to legally grow cannabis for medicinally purposes in Utah were selected.
On July 19, 2019, the Utah Department of Agriculture, publicly announced those eight companies. They also stated at the time that two of the eight facilities licensed to grow cannabis in Utah would be in Box Elder County. Corinne was named one of those sites, but the second location wasn’t disclosed at the time.
That second location in Box Elder County is in Garland. And it’s here to stay.
Tyler, CEO of Medical Cannabis LLC and Matthew, COO of Medical Cannabis LLC, (last names withheld at their request) are the two men behind this business. They were among those eight companies carefully selected to become one Utah’s first cannabis growers.
Tyler and Matthew are cultivators of cannabis and follow strict regulations just as every cannabis growing facility in Utah does.
Their company, Medical Cannabis LLC, doesn’t hide the name of their operation behind their business. They’ve followed all the laws and regulations to get to Garland and it wasn’t an easy process.
“It’s highly regulated,” said Matthew. “There’s a lot of regulations that we have to abide by.”
Those regulations that must be met have taken months to get them to where they are now. There’s inventory control tracking, inspections, security measures and testing on the product they grow, just to name a few.
There are also several requirements for the location of these growing facilities. They must be more than 1,000 feet from a community location and more than 600 feet from a district that has been primarily zoned for residential use.
Medical Cannabis LLC has complied with all laws and requirements and obtained all the proper licenses to legally grow cannabis in Utah and in Garland City. Tyler and Matthew have met with the Garland City Council during public meetings and have maintained a good working relationship with the council and city staff.
The facility has already harvested product and is fully operational, meeting the state’s deadline.
“We are compliant with the March 1, deadline and we have plenty of product,” said Tyler.
All cannabis growing facilities in Utah work under the direction of the Utah Department of Agriculture.
“We are compliant with the Utah Department of Agriculture. That’s who we grow under. They issued our license. We work with them regularly with probably weekly communications with them and their staff to let them know how our operation is running. Ultimately, it’s abiding by the state laws,” Matthew said.
They are somewhat new to growing cannabis but they’ve learned through trial and error how to grow the best crop or product.
“They’re a little more-touchy,” Tyler said in describing the difference between growing cannabis versus other plants.
That’s Tyler’s way of saying cannabis is not an easy plant to grow and harvest, even for the most educated cultivators. It’s a long and tedious process that involves both science and technique to grow a successful product.
But it’s not something Tyler isn’t used to. He comes from a family involved in the commercial plant growing business and knows what it takes to thrive in that industry.
It’s that knowledge Tyler has on the growing side, and Matthew’s experience in the business world, that made this business venture possible.
“You have to understand nutrients and how to deliver it and the right applications and that’s where Tyler’s experience comes in,” said Matthew.
“You talk about being a grower, and there’s people out there all the time, but his experience on the commercial greenhouse side is what really set us apart in securing the license,” he added.
So why take on the business of growing medical cannabis?
They aren’t doing it to ruffle feathers or make a political point. Instead, they’re doing it for the exact reason the Utah Medical Cannabis Act was enacted – to help others.
“The goal is to provide medicine. It’s not just a cash crop for us,” said Matthew. “It’s something that’s going to help the patients.”
Tyler and Matthew know from personal experience how much medical cannabis is needed for patients in Utah.
“By keeping our costs low, we pass that savings straight to the patient. That’s really where our business model has been surrounded. We’ve had too many family members and friends that have been affected by cancer or opioid addiction,” added Matthew.
This is what brought them and Medical Cannabis LLC to Garland.
“We’re excited,” Tyler said about establishing the business in Garland.
“We’re agriculturally protected, and we aren’t going to make any more smells than a cow would,” added Tyler.
They decided on Garland for many reasons, one being that community connection they found here.
“We definitely wanted that,” said Tyler.
“At the end of the day we are here to provide jobs and hopefully be a good business impact to Garland,” added Matthew.
The exact location of that facility will not be published by The Valley Headliner – BRVNEWS.com. Tyler and Matthew will release that information at a future date, yet to be announced.
Photo courtesy of Medical Cannabis LLC.
Cannabis grown in Utah for medicinal purposes by select companies have already harvested successful crops ahead of the state’s March 1, deadline. One of those growing locations is in Garland City with a company that has successfully harvested medical cannabis for patients in Utah.