Session called to scrap state-run medical marijuana system

In this Sept. 25, 2018 photo, marijuana plants are shown growing in a massive tomato greenhouse being renovated to grow pot in Delta, British Columbia, that is operated by Pure Sunfarms, a joint venture between tomato grower Village Farms International, and a licensed medical marijuana producer, Emerald Health Therapeutics. On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is calling a special legislative session to scrap an unusual plan for a state-run medical marijuana dispensary system following concerns that it could put public employees at risk of being prosecuted under federal drug laws.

Herbert said in a statement Thursday he wants to make sure the program rolls out on time in March 2020, and removing the requirement would make it more efficient. The special session will be September 16.

Lawmakers have said they’ll switch to distributing medical cannabis through up to 12 private dispensaries instead.

The law had called for a distributing some through private dispensaries and the rest through publicly run state health departments.

Advocates have cheered the move away from a state-run central fill, but some worry the state will need more private dispensaries.

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