UDAF announces creation of medical cannabis and industrial hemp division

Salt Lake City — The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has created the Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Division. Formerly a program under the Plant Industry Division, the Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Division will continue to provide services for this up-and-coming industry in our state and will better serve the people of Utah. 

“Making cannabis and hemp its own division within our department will allow for further growth within the program so we can keep up with the demand for cannabis and hemp products in our state,” says Craig Buttars, UDAF Commissioner. 

Dr. Brandon Forsyth has been named as the director for the Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp division. Dr. Forsyth has worked as the UDAF Laboratory Services Director and will continue in that role as well as this new position.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve as the director of the Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp division,” says Dr. Forsyth. “I have worked closely with the program as the director of the UDAF laboratory, which performs quality assurance testing for medical cannabis and hemp products, for the past two years, and I feel well prepared to take on this new role. I look forward to working with Utah producers to ensure that patients and consumers of medical cannabis and hemp products have safe and secure access to the products they need.”

Cody James has been the program’s manager since it was created in 2019 and will continue to play a vital role in the division. For more information on industrial hemp or medical cannabis, please visit our website at