Utah announces medical marijuana board members

FILE- In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, marijuana buds are shown, in Akron, Ohio. Utah state officials say they will not release the names of medical marijuana license applicants right now but will likely make applicant information public as soon as licenses are awarded next month. Chris Hughes with Utah's Division of Purchasing said this week that releasing applicants' names before licenses are awarded could negatively sway the process or give potential growers an unfair advantage. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File )

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Senate has confirmed seven physicians for its medical marijuana Compassionate Use Board.

Tom Hudachko with the Utah Department of Health said Tuesday the board will be responsible for approving medical cannabis patient cards issued to applicants under the age of 21.

The board will also hear cases of applicants seeking medical marijuana to treat conditions not currently approved under the law.

Hudachko said the board includes a wide array of specialists including pediatricians, psychiatrists and neurologists.

Medical cannabis advocate Christine Stenquist said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the picks but wants to see a pain physician and patient advocate added to the board.

State officials legalized medical marijuana with the passage of the Utah Medical Cannabis Act in December. Utah will issue patient cards by March 2020.

The following physicians were appointed to serve as members of the board:
• Dr. Joel Ehrenkranz, internal medicine and expert in the use of medical cannabis.
• Dr. Ed Redd, internal medicine and past member of the Utah State Legislature.
• Dr. Angelo Giardino, pediatrician and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer of Primary Children’s Hospital.
• Dr. Nicholas Whipple, pediatric hematology-oncology at the University of Utah
• Dr. Meghan Ward, neurology and epilepsy, Intermountain Healthcare.
• Dr. Richard Segal, psychiatrist.
• Dr. Colleen Marty, pediatrician and hospice and palliative medicine

Three of the board members will serve an initial term of two years, and the remaining four members will serve terms of four years each.

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