BRANCH COUNTRY, MI (WTVB) - More people in Branch County and Southwest Michigan are using medical marijuana. The state's list of registered medical marijuana users is growing and most of that is in a half-dozen counties in our part of the state. Michigan’s medical marijuana annual report shows a 49% increase in Branch County from 2011 to 2012 in the number of medical marijuana cardholders.
The figure jumped from 443 in the year before last to 663 in 2012. The other counties in the region showing the sharp increases were St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren and Kalamazoo. In fiscal year 2012, the state collected 9.9 million dollars in medical marijuana card fees. 2009 was the year that a law took effect in Michigan which allowed patients who have certain debilitating medical conditions to get a card with a physician’s approval. Statewide, the increase from fiscal year 2011 to 2012 was about 4% with the total at 124,175