Michigan’s medical marijuana business

Marijuana AdvertisingCrain’s Detroit has an article on the state’s medical marijuana business from the grow side to the physicians. The article says that there have been 344,000 patient applications in the state since 2009 and that doctors often charge around $150 to certify patients, that’s $51,600,000 in revenue for the docs. Here’s a little from the article about one of them:

“I discovered the medical benefits of marijuana in 2007 when I was doing suboxone therapy for narcotics addiction,” said Townsend, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Michigan State University and a medical degree from the Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in North Miami Beach, Fla.

“I began to notice that as I was weaning people off of narcotic pain medications, those that were using marijuana illegally, and then with medical marijuana cards after 2008, weaned very, very well.”

After seeing thousands of patients over the past five years, Townsend has concluded that marijuana has a deserved place in a doctor’s black bag.

“I discovered that people were coming off using handfuls of Vicodin a month — high doses of Vicodin every day — strictly through the use of medical marijuana,” said Townsend, who termed himself one of the biggest advocates for it in the state — but never has used it.

“It’s very good for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, excellent for nausea, very useful for treatment of glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease,” he said. “I’ve seen it stop a seizure in front of me.”

Of the approximately 30,000 active doctors in Michigan, only about 1,900 have written a single medical marijuana certification, Townsend said. When analyzed further a year ago, 55 doctors in Michigan wrote 70 percent of the certifications, with Townsend being in that group.

55 docs wrote 70%? Let’s see, 70% of $51.6 million is $36,120,000 and let’s divide that by 55 docs. That’s $656,727.27 per doc!

I wonder what other kinds of care they provide to these patients?