Posted May 22, 2018 | Uncategorized
The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic across the country. Various states are beginning to reduce bans on marijuana and allow the use of medical or recreational marijuana. A new eatery in Utah is releasing a menu on which the main item is a “legal” pot pie. The owner designed the restaurant to provide a natural high with interactive art and games. Marijuana is still illegal in Utah; however, it does introduce one of the topics in the marijuana legalization movement: cannabis-infused food and whether it is safe to consume.
Using or distributing marijuana is illegal in Utah. The same cannot be said for Utah’s neighbor, Colorado. The only people who can legally use marijuana in Utah are those who suffer from epilepsy. If you do not have the proper medical requirements and law enforcement catches you selling or using marijuana, you may face a felony penalty of up to 15 years in prison. The severity of your punishment depends on the amount and location of the marijuana sale and your criminal history.
Possessing less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a penalty of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. A second conviction leads to a class A misdemeanor and a third conviction leads to a third degree felony.
Having between one ounce and one pound of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable with one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. Possessing one pound to 100 pounds is a felony with a punishment of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. More than 100 pounds is a felony and you could face one to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
Selling any amount of marijuana is a felony punishable with five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The court will increase the penalty if you sell it in the presence of a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school or designated public area.
Not only is using or possessing marijuana illegal in Utah, possessing or selling marijuana paraphernalia is also illegal. Possession of paraphernalia is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. Selling paraphernalia is a class A misdemeanor. You may face up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Edible cannabis products are becoming popular across the country — in states with and without legalized marijuana. People of all ages are beginning to eat cannabis-infused food. Some have expressed concern that the THC in marijuana has a negative impact on the food.
The FDA does not consider products infused with marijuana legitimate so they are not currently regulated by the same federal laws as other food products. However, states each have specific regulations regarding food infused with cannabis.
One of the concerns is the acid found in cannabis. Dispensaries heat the cannabis ingredients to turn the acid forms into neutral forms that are less harmful. However, states are still waiting for information on how the THC in marijuana impacts the pH of the processed foods.
Labs that focus on analyzing marijuana-infused foods do not currently have any standards or certifications available to prove they are using thorough and safe methods.
Some of the health impacts of cannabis-infused foods depend on the person consuming the food. Different people have different sensitivities and abilities to metabolize the various THC levels used in the infused foods.
Research on the use of marijuana in foods is still developing. As legalization becomes more widespread, lawmakers will create more regulations and rules for analysis of labs and food manufacturers to ensure cannabis-infused foods are safe to consume.
Consuming foods infused with cannabis can put people at risk for driving under the influence of marijuana. The more present marijuana is in society, the higher the chances someone will consume food infused with cannabis and get into an accident, potentially injuring another person.