Michigan’s medical marijuana program is already proving to be a new source of income for the state, generating $6.3 million in profit in the last fiscal year out of the $9.9 million collected in application and renewal fees. The state says it will invest much of that back into the program, which employs 16 full-time workers, one manager, and seven temporary staff, according to Michigan Live. Medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan by ballot inititiave in 2008.
As in the 18 other states where medical marijuana is legal, Michigan’s system sits under a cloud of threatened federal prosecution. Although Michigan has not been at the center of high-profile crackdowns, several growers who were seemingly engaging in activity legal under state law were federally prosecuted and given jail time.
Now, as the state considers expanding the medical conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana card, it may also take up a bill to remove criminal penalties for any marijuana use, as a few particular cities have already done. Several recent court victories have rolled back attempts to limit the application of both the state’s medical marijuana law, and local decriminalization measures.