Republican lawmakers plan to introduce a bill that would legalize marijuana in Utah and allow goats to use the plant for medicinal purposes, as long as they abide by state laws.
The bill would make Utah the first state in the nation to allow the cultivation, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana for medicinal use, said Rep. Jeff Knox, a Republican who represents Salt Lake City.
The bill would also create a new state excise tax on marijuana.
“I think that we’re in a position where it’s not really that far off,” Knox said at a news conference Tuesday.
“We’re still not there, but we are very close.”
Gary Herbert and Democratic Gov.
Bron Bernadine are expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the year.
Utah has more than 1,000 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and more than 20,000 registered growers.
The state has not had an adult-use marijuana market since January 2015.
The only licensed recreational marijuana market in the state is in Nevada, which was one of the first states to legalize recreational use of the drug in 2012.
More:The bill has been circulating among Utah’s Republican leaders, who say it is needed to legalize the cannabis crop in the states that have legalized it.
Utah’s Senate and House are expected this week to pass a bill to allow for the use of marijuana by animals, as well as other plants.