Michigan: State has Huge Backlog of Medical Marijuana Applications

Michigan Medical Marijuana Program behind on about 8,000 applications, officials say


April 06, 2010 – It has been one-year since the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program started on April 4, 2009 and officials are behind on reviewing about 8,000 applications.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, which oversees the program,  22,754 original and renewal applications have been received in the past year.

View full sizeAP Photo | Eric RisbergCeleste Clarkson, MDCH compliance section manager, said about 8,000 of the applications received are “backlogged,” due to the increasing number of applications being received.

The department, which has three full-time employees reviewing applications, is currently issuing registry identification cards for valid applications received at the end of December.

“Beginning in November, the number of applications has risen dramatically,” said Clarkson, adding almost 4,900 applications — averaging about 160 a day — were received last month.

MDCH has issued 11,835 patient cards and 5,081 caregiver cards, according to the department’s Web site. Almost 3,500 applications have been denied, primarily due to incomplete applications or missing documentation.

Applicants must complete a form, have a physician certify them as a “qualifying patient” and pay an application fee of $100, or $25 if enrolled in a Medicaid health plan or receiving Supplemental Security Income.

Applications and renewal applications are available at www.michigan.gov/mmp.

The patient or caregiver once possessing the medical card can have up to 2.5 ounces of ready-to-use marijuana on them and/or 12 plants in an enclosed, locked facility.

Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, a qualifying patient is “a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.”

MDCH can’t release any information about patients who have applied, but is working on a program to keep track of what counties the medicinal marijuana cards are being issued to, Clarkson said.  By Michael Wayland. Source.

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