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Gov. Herbert criticizes federal 'lack of action and attention' to marijuana reform

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FILE - This March 22, 2019 file photo shows a bud on a marijuana plant at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. U.S. retail sales of cannabis products jumped to $10.5 billion last year, a threefold increase from 2017, according to data from Arcview Group, a cannabis investment and market research firm. The figures do not include retail sales of hemp-derived CBD products. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's governor has criticized federal lawmakers for moving too slowly on marijuana policy reform.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday that Gov. Gary Herbert says the federal classification of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug interferes with research into its potential medicinal uses and prevents regular pharmacies from dispensing it.

The classification puts marijuana in the same category as heroin and LSD.

The Republican says the federal government "oughta be ashamed" for the "lack of action and attention" to the issue.

Utah voters passed a ballot initiative in 2018 to create a medical cannabis program and state legislators followed by instituting their own marijuana law.

Herbert says the state's medical marijuana program faces policies that hinder doctors and federal banking restrictions forcing marijuana vendors to operate as cash-only businesses.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

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