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Marijuana Program A Windfall For Michigan Government

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Medical marijuana is turning out to be a windfall for Michigan state government.

“They’re growing marijuana and they’re selling it and lots of people are applying for it under the Medical Marijuana Law to the tune of, check this out, $10 million,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.

A report says nearly $10 million in revenue was collected from applicants — more than double the cost of running the program. The report covers the state’s last budget year, which ended on Sept. 30.

A medical marijuana application costs $100. Caregivers who grow marijuana for people also pay a fee.

More than 130,000 people have marijuana cards in Michigan, and another 25,000 are registered as caregivers.

According to the report, the most common condition cited by medical marijuana patients in Michigan is severe and chronic pain (79,313), followed by severe and persistent muscle spasms (22,250), severe nausea (9,084), and cancer (2,526).

The report shows that Wayne County is the most popular in the tri-county area for medical marijuana, with 14,736 patients and 5,515 caregivers registered. In comparison, there’s 8,319 patients and 3,542 caregivers registered in Macomb County, and 11,117 patients and 4,425 caregivers registered in Oakland County.

The report shows the number of registered marijuana users was up 44 percent in Muskegon County last fall compared to the previous 12-month period. Kent and Ottawa counties were up at least 20 percent. In Michigan’s southwestern corner, the number of registered marijuana users was up 56 percent in Cass County and 37 percent in Berrien County.

“This proposal and this story will probably feed into legislative efforts somewhere down the road, and that could be sooner than later, to legalize all marijuana and tax it and bring in even more than $10 million,” said Skubick.

The use of marijuana to alleviate side effects of certain illnesses, such as cancer or chronic pain, was widely endorsed by voters in 2008. Under the state’s current law, people can possess up to two ounces of ready-to-use marijuana and have up to 12 plants in a locked area.

RELATED: Appeals Court Rules No Crime In Sharing Medical Pot

Parkinson’s May Be Added To Medical Marijuana List

Lawmakers Make First Changes To Michigan Marijuana Law

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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