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Announcement over medical marijuana initiative expected Thursday

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2016 file photo, a marijuana harvester examines buds going through a trimming machine near Corvallis, Ore.
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2016 file photo, a marijuana harvester examines buds going through a trimming machine near Corvallis, Ore.
Andrew Selsky, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A press conference related to private talks between legislative leaders and supporters and opponents of the Utah medical marijuana initiative is expected to be held Thursday.

As the Deseret News first reported Tuesday, the Utah Patients Coalition campaign to legalize medical marijuana via Proposition 2, the Utah Medical Association, which has been fiercely critical of the initiative, state legislative leaders and others have reached a tentative agreement on what medical marijuana policy should look like in Utah.

But it remains unclear how the agreement could affect the campaigning for and against the measure in the coming month.

Proposition 2 remains on the ballot and cannot be amended before Election Day. In November, voters will have a chance to say yes or no to the measure as it currently stands.

But regardless of the Election Day result, both sides appear encouraged by multiple specific policies agreed to in recent negotiations.

The pro-Proposition 2 Utah Patients Coalition has said the initiative's provision allowing people 100 miles or more from a dispensary to grow their own marijuana plants is off the table.

The Utah Patients Coalition also says groups on both sides have agreed they would like to tighten an initiative provision that would allow a person to defend themselves against criminal marijuana possession charges on the basis that they can show they would have been eligible for a medical cannabis card despite not having one.

Additionally under the tentative agreement, there is an attempt to "basically keep dosing consistent and regulated," Utah Patients Coalition Director DJ Schanz said Tuesday. The dispensary model as written in the initiative will also be affected, he said.