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AM Brief: Jenny Wilson endorses Evan McMullin, incoming snow & ongoing Mountain West Jan. 6 trials

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson
Salt Lake County

Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2022

State

Bills to expand Utah’s medical cannabis program

A range of bipartisan bills on medical cannabis got the state legislature’s approval — from clearer protections for patients to expanded access for qualifying conditions and more regulatory labeling. Christine Stenquist, with TRUCE, a patient advocacy group in Utah, said they’re hopeful about some of the legislation that passed this year and are excited about the working group. "I'm hoping that the Cannabis Commission creates something that can address and enforce the law. What we don't see currently in our state is enforcement of what things should or shouldn't be," she said. Many of these laws are expected to be enacted later this year or next if they are signed by the governor. — Ivana Martinez

New grants for specialty crop projects

Utahns can now apply for grants for specialty crop projects — including tree nuts, fruits, vegetables and flowers, like grapes, almonds and olives. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will distribute more than $300,000 to these projects. The grants aim to increase the competitiveness of Utah’s specialty crop market by improving production and the efficiency of distribution as well as implementing workforce training, and more. — Leah Treidler

Northern Utah

Evan McMullin’s Senate run picks up an endorsement

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson has endorsed independent candidate Evan McMullin for U.S. Senate. McMullin is a former CIA officer and chief policy director for Congress. In a statement, Wilson said she’s drawn to what she cites as McMullin’s ethical leadership and strong fundraising performance so far, outraising Mike Lee by 58% in the last quarter. She said her constituents want a new voice in Washington D.C. and a voice that represents all Utahns. She said she hopes voters will put aside their partisan politics and support a candidate who prioritizes the state over party. — Leah Treidler

More snow for the Wasatch Front

Another winter storm is bearing down on the Wasatch Front and the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that kicks in at 11 p.m. Tuesday and lasts until 5 a.m. Wednesday. Residents should expect two to six inches, with more possible along eastern valley benches. A winter storm warning has also been issued for the Wasatch mountains I-80 North with 10 to 20 inches expected. The National Weather Service said the snow will impact the Wednesday morning commute and urges drivers to slow down. Forecasters expect the skies will clear up Thursday. — Leah Treidler & Pamela McCall

Region/Nation

Many Mountain West residents on trial for Jan. 6 riot

Court cases for the hundreds of Jan. 6 capitol rioters are ongoing, with more than 40 of those charged coming from the Mountain West. Twelve of the charged rioters came from Colorado, eight from Arizona, six from Idaho and seven from Utah, according to a U.S. Department of Justice database. But as sentences are doled out in the next months and years, how it will impact the extremist movements that brought these people to the Capitol is unclear. Experts said that depends on how deep into an extremist network or conspiracy theory someone has gone. If they haven’t been too involved, the trials may keep them from going any deeper — but others are in so deep that they view rioters as either heroes or part of a larger conspiracy. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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