Michigan Medical Marijuana System Overwhelmed; State Asks Patients For Patience

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Graphic: Reality Catcher
The Michigan Department of Community Health has been overwhelmed by the number of medical marijuana applications and calls.

​A lack of resources has left the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) unable to process medical marijuana permit applications within the 15-day time frame specified under state law, the agency announced today on the state website.

With an average of 66 applications received every day, the agency has fallen behind and says it is just now processing applications from late September.

MDCH is asking users of the system for patience while they work out the kinks in the system, Eartha Jane Meltzer reports at The Michigan Messenger.
“The statute currently allows for a copy of the application submitted to serve as a valid registry if identification if the card is not issued within 20 days of its submission to the department,” the MDCH explains. “At this time, we are unable to process the valid cards within the statutory time frame with the resources available to us.”

“We are reviewing and revising our processing methods in order to more efficiently process the valid cards,” the MDCH promises. “We anticipate processing to significantly improve by the end of the calendar year.”
From the sound of it, there have been quite a few disgruntled patients calling in about the status of their cards, overwhelming the ability of the MDCH to react. “The staff is diligently working to process the applications and is having difficulty responding to all the voicemails left on the Medical Marihuana Registry phone line,” the agency explains.
So they are asking patients to just chill. “We appreciate your patience and ask that applicants refrain from calling to inquire about the status of the application until at least 8 weeks has passed since the check or money order was processed by the issuing financial institution.”
The MDCH says 10,393 medical marijuana applications have been received since the state’s program began on April 6. So far, 5,873 patient registrations have been issued, along with 2,440 caregiver registrations (caregivers are allowed to grow marijuana for use by patients).
Of the 1,867 rejected applications, most were denied because of incomplete paperwork, according to MDCH.
Patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, nail patella, and chronic or debilitating diseases that produce cachexia (wasting), severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms are eligible for the Michican Medical Marijuana Program.
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