Rick Bowmer, Associated Press
In this Feb. 6, 2018, photo, shows Democratic Sen. Luz Escamilla speaking during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Utah Republican lawmakers shut down discussion of a bill Tuesday, Feb. 13, that would study whether women working in some state government offices are paid less than men. Escamilla would ask the state to spend $125,000 to have a university take an in-depth look at whether men and women with similar jobs and backgrounds are paid differently. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to modify the Utah Medical Cannabis Act passed through the Utah Legislature Tuesday with a unanimous vote in the House, and later in the Senate to approve changes.

The sponsor of SB161, Senate Minority Whip Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, said the bill makes technical changes and gives protection.

She said the amendment made in the House makes it clear courts will not treat parents using medical cannabis differently for custodial or child welfare questions.

Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, is the House sponsor for the bill. He said the bill also clarifies ambiguity with testing and transportation of cannabis.

4 comments on this story

"Given the circumstances under which (the Utah Medical Cannabis Act) was passed, it’s amazing that there’s so few things we have to do to kind of straighten it out," Daw said.

Changes also include allowing an affirmative defense for those getting access to medical cannabis from out of state and gives protections to state employees when handling cannabis.

"(The) challenge you have here is, where cannabis is illegal under federal law, we have to be careful what we do here," Daw said.

The bill will now go to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk.