Michigan's medical marijuana profit: $8 million

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FruityBud

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Medical marijuana aimed at helping Michiganders with their pain turns out to be a helpful prescription for the state's challenged budget, as well.

In its first two years of operation, state licensing of marijuana patients and their caregivers has turned more than an $8-million profit -- generating nearly $9.7 million in revenue against $1.5 million in expenses, according to a new state report.

Marijuana fees topped $4.8 million between just Oct. 1, 2010, and March 31. And the growth continues at a rapid pace, said program manager Rae Ramsdell.

More than 100,000 Michiganders are registered to use and provide medical marijuana, Ramsdell said, far exceeding projections made after state voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana in 2008.

But Ramsdell said costs are growing, too. The office she supervises was initially staffed by three people and now has 17, she said.

Still, delays of four months or more in processing applications remain common.

Marijuana patient advocates contend that the licensing fees (currently set at $100 a year) were supposed to be set only high enough to run the program.

An Oakland County marijuana patient, who asked that his last name not be used for fear of being targeted by police, said the state's profit at the expense of legal marijuana users was predictable.

"They should have known this would happen," he said. "I know they're trying to keep up, but they need to get rid of the backlog."

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Roddy

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I also saw where they were trying to figure out a way to crack down on the bogus prescriptions...those who don't actually need it.
 
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Roddy

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ADRIAN, Mich. —
An Adrian brother and sister busted for indoor marijuana-growing operations were arraigned Wednesday in Lenawee County District Court on felony counts. Jason Robert Herron, 26, and Jennifer Rena Herron, 28, remain free on personal recognizance bonds pending preliminary examinations on June 20. They face up to seven-year prison terms.

The OMNI Team 3 drug unit found indoor grow operations at a vacant house in Dover Township and at Jason Herron’s home in Adrian, said Michigan State Police Lt. Steve Galbreath. The brother and sister are both charged with growing 65 plants found at the Dover Township house, he said Jason Herron is also charged with growing 57 plants at his house and with maintaining a drug house.

The two have medical marijuana cards, Galbreath said, and were believed to be using “straw patients” who do not need medical marijuana as a cover to grow marijuana that was being illegally sold to other individuals.

Michigan’s medical marijuana law allows card holders to grow up to 12 plants. They can also be certified as caregivers for up to five other card holders and grow 12 plants for each of them.

Galbreath said he believes there are “quite a few” growers using the medical marijuana law as a shield for illegal operations.

hxxp://www.lenconnect.com/news/police_and_fire/x1043747820/Siblings-busted-for-indoor-marijuana-growing-operations
 
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Roddy

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ROME TWP., Mich. —
An anonymous tip led to the confiscation of an estimated $8 million worth of marijuana from a Rome Township couple’s rural home.

Edwin and Linda Schmieding, both 60, remain in the Lenawee County Jail after bonds were set at $1.5 million for him and $1 million for her Tuesday afternoon in Lenawee County District Court. Both are charged with manufacturing more than 200 marijuana plants and with conspiracy. Edwin Schmieding also faces a felony firearm charge stemming from numerous handguns and long guns police seized from the home at 12501 Rome Road.

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The couple are accused of growing more than 8,000 marijuana plants on their Rome Road property west of Hawkins Highway that had been a commercial flower farm. Doug Hartung, assistant Lenawee County prosecutor, said local officials are also talking with federal authorities because an operation of this size is far beyond personal use.

The raid was carried out by members of the Michigan State Police Office of Monroe Narcotics Investigation (OMNI) Team 3, which includes officers from some Lenawee County police departments. The Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team also assisted.

OMNI officers and other law enforcement officials spent Monday night and much of Tuesday harvesting plants. Michigan State Police Lt. Steve Galbreath said the final count is 8,023 marijuana plants. They were in various stages of growth in several locations on the property.

Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said the plants ranged from seedlings to fully grown, 6-foot-tall stalks, leading officials to suspect a potential wider range for their investigation.

“This is probably the most extensive marijuana growing operation that I can remember in the Hillsdale and Lenawee area,” Adamczyk said. “This will put a crimp in some marketing somewhere.”

Calculating a potential one pound of marijuana per plant, officials estimated the street value of the bust to be more than $8 million. The price is $1,000 per pound on the street, Galbreath said.

The growing operation, which appears to have been going on for several years, included a greenhouse and several fields. Many of the plants were hidden among pine trees on the property, he said.

“This was well-hidden. It is a very rural environment,” Adamczyk said. “If you drove past it, you wouldn’t be able to see anything.”

Edwin and Linda Schmieding appeared distraught during a video arraignment from jail Tuesday afternoon. District Judge James E. Sheridan had to repeat several portions of the arraignment for them. Both said they are receiving Social Security disability and do not have money to hire their own attorneys. Public defenders were appointed.

“I don’t think either one of us are a great flight risk,” Edwin Schmieding said while Sheridan was setting bond.

He set bond at $500,000 per count. The couple face maximum 15-year prison terms and $10 million fines on the marijuana and conspiracy counts. Edwin Schmieding faces a mandatory two-year prison term if convicted of the felony firearm count.

Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh said the investigation began with an anonymous tip to a detective, who alerted the drug enforcement team. OMNI officers went to the scene to begin the investigation and noticed the smell of marijuana. That was enough evidence to secure a search warrant, said Hartung.

When they continued to investigate, officers found nearly 1,000 plants in a greenhouse. The search turned up an extensive growing operation that included lights, a watering system and ventilation equipment.

State police Lt. Tim Gill said officers also confiscated several handguns which were in a locked safe along with about $2,500 in cash. The property is subject to forfeiture, Gill said.

The Schmiedings did not resist and did not have criminal records, said Adamczyk.

OMNI Team 3 is a multi-jurisdictional task force made up of officers from the state police, Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department, Raisin Township Police Department the Adrian Police Department.

Daily Telegram staff writer Dennis Pelham contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Daily Telegram. Some rights reserved

hxxp://www.lenconnect.com/news/police_and_fire/x1841753048/-7-million-in-Rome-Township-marijuana-plants-seized
 
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Roddy

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Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh said the investigation began with an anonymous tip to a detective, who alerted the drug enforcement team. OMNI officers went to the scene to begin the investigation and noticed the smell of marijuana. That was enough evidence to secure a search warrant, said Hartung.

I call ** to the part of smelling the MJ.....been on the property and drive past every day....no smell ever. The plants (aside from the 1000 in greenhouse...which isn't close to road) were spread out over a few acres, as I understand.
 

NorCalHal

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Roddy said:
I also saw where they were trying to figure out a way to crack down on the bogus prescriptions...those who don't actually need it.

Dude....ur killin' me. EVERYONE needs it, and it is up to a Medical Doctor to give the reccomendation. There are NO bogus recs....ever bro. It is between the Doc and the "patient". If you beleive otherwise...your just l;ike the cops.

Who is ANYONE to say that MJ does or doesn't help folks for any reason. Again Roddy....your falling into the Gov hype.
 

Locked

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Roddy said:
I also saw where they were trying to figure out a way to crack down on the bogus prescriptions...those who don't actually need it.
Gotta agree with NCH...you seem to worry a lot about people and thier medical conditions that allowed them to get a script in the first place. Who is anybody to question someones need? I don't care if someone has a hang nail and gets a script for MMJ. That is between them and their doctor. jmo
 

powerplanter

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This is why Jack Herer never indorsed a MMJ bill. It needs to be legal for all. To relax after a hard day, or what ever.
 

Irish

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thier estimates are not correct. (and im no mathmetician) they say one pound per plant at a thousand a plant = 8 mil? :doh:

now what will they do with the 8 mil made off licensing in michigan? the law was written with specifics stating there was to be no profit. they were only supposed to charge enough to cover operating costs!

i think they should have to spend that on mmj specifically. bet they build a bridge!:doh:
 
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Roddy

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NorCalHal said:
Dude....ur killin' me. EVERYONE needs it, and it is up to a Medical Doctor to give the reccomendation. There are NO bogus recs....ever bro. It is between the Doc and the "patient". If you beleive otherwise...your just l;ike the cops.

Who is ANYONE to say that MJ does or doesn't help folks for any reason. Again Roddy....your falling into the Gov hype.
You just don't get it, do you?? To some of you, it seems this truly is just a bogus deal, go see the doc, complain about an ache and all is good. While I would be most pleased if and when ALL of us can use as we wish without need for the pretense of MMJ, this is a STEPPING STONE, a very BIG stepping stone. Screw it up now and we're back to the beginning.

Hype, not hardly!

The boldened part...yep, that's the problem all right! Every teen and young adult around here are jumping to see the doc...give him a story and some money and you're smoking pot and laughing at the cops in weeks...sad! Using the law in this manner is a black eye to ALL of us hoping to legalize this stuff.

Everyone needs it....NOT HARDLY! Everyone WANTS it....be real to yourself and everyone else. If YOU believe otherwise, you're part of the problem! Period!
 
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Roddy

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Hamster Lewis said:
Gotta agree with NCH...you seem to worry a lot about people and thier medical conditions that allowed them to get a script in the first place. Who is anybody to question someones need? I don't care if someone has a hang nail and gets a script for MMJ. That is between them and their doctor. jmo
Between them, the doctor and the people watching to see if this law works...you mean?

Need is right....want is another thing altogether. 15 years or so ago, I used for recreation and didn't pretend otherwise. Had the MMJ been around then, I wouldn't have even tried, I hadn't any real reason. Of course, since all you need to do is go and basically tell him where it hurts (never mind if the pain is merely tired muscles or a hangover), everyone is doing this now. I suppose a major share of this problem also goes to the doctor who will prescribe to anyone with $125.

I feel everyone should be able to use. HOWEVER, when the bending and skirting of the law could potentially set everyone back, I say stop.
 

Hick

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roddy... "chill"... dude. Don't let your panties get all wadded up. I'm tellin' ya', It "will" chaffe! :p

I understand where you're coming from. I saw/see it here. And I registered a lot of the same complaints, arguements that you have.
But the simple fact is, CA is a step or two ahead of the rest of the country and the mmj states. They have been pushing the line since day one. If it weren't for them, you 'n I wouldn't be privileged to be legally (by state and local law) participating in mmj. Give them their due credit.
As in most new things, there is a learning curve. I'm sure legislators are watching CA and hopefully, learning from it's beneficial aspects as well as it's pitfalls.
I think we all want to see 'decriminalization', at least. Allow "adults" to make their own decision. Not be labled a criminal for paraking of mj, be it medical or not.
 
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Roddy

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Some neighbor kids were arrested the other day, selling to other kids. Funny thing, they had their cards (the sellers)....that surely looks good for the system. Brains could be used, I think. These same kids could have easily sold to the dispensary if they needed money, but they got busted instead....selling to kids on the street.
 
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Roddy

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Hick said:
roddy... "chill"... dude. Don't let your panties get all wadded up. I'm tellin' ya', It "will" chaffe! :p

I understand where you're coming from. I saw/see it here. And I registered a lot of the same complaints, arguements that you have.
But the simple fact is, CA is a step or two ahead of the rest of the country and the mmj states. They have been pushing the line since day one. If it weren't for them, you 'n I wouldn't be privileged to be legally (by state and local law) participating in mmj. Give them their due credit.
As in most new things, there is a learning curve. I'm sure legislators are watching CA and hopefully, learning from it's beneficial aspects as well as it's pitfalls.
I think we all want to see 'decriminalization', at least. Allow "adults" to make their own decision. Not be labled a criminal for paraking of mj, be it medical or not.
My friend, this is exactly what I've been saying. The USA is watching California and other states hard. Give them credit?? I praise the local govt for this, they worked hard and long to get us where we are today. I personally just hate seeing the pitfalls coming up and nipping us in the bud...so to speak!

When someone tells me stuff like EVERYONE needs it?? If I were standing in front of the medical board, the world of legal MJ was in my hands...that's the LAST argument I would use. :)

Ahh Hick, this isn't even close to getting to me, it's a good debate imho! The boldened part....I can't wait! To think, years ago, I was locked up and hounded for my use...I have already seen myself able to legally use, can't wait until all can!
 

NorCalHal

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Roddy.....the cat is allready out of the Bag man....they can't put it back.
It IS NOT just about helping sick and deathly folks get herb, it's about protecting everyday citizens from arrest.....and if you don't believe that, then you are the problem.
From your comments it sounds like you want to raise the age limit too. crazy.

What you don't understand is the pretense of "medical" my friend. Who are you to say that this person is deserving of a rec and this person is not???
Are you a Doctor??
That is the fight....don't you see?? Your MMJ Recis between you and your Doctor man, not you or anyone else. The Doctor has the ability to give the rec, he/she was the one who went to skool for years and has thier Medical License on the line when they Rec herb to someone. Who are you to Judge?

That's what we have to DRILL into LEO, it is out of thier hands man, it is now in the hands of the citizens and thier Doctors who believe in MMJ and want to protect thier folks. That is the fight.

You say you can't wait until everyone is legally able to use, but yet you want to restrict and talk crap about folks who get thier Rec. ???What??
Again, you just don't get it, you are on the Gov's bandwagon and think that it should only be for folks who you consider "sick". Wake up bro.
Being someone who was locked up for herb, you think you would have more "compassion".
 

NorCalHal

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You gotta understand what I have seen in the last 12 months out on the left coast man.

It IS an Industry...don't fool yourself. Get in while you can...Big Pharma is comin' and they are going to take over and we will all be screwed....I say 5-8 years....there will be no more debate, because we will have lost control.

The only way to win is to set up a MMJ Biz and get cashed out when Big Pharma comes and buys everyone out and assumes control. Mark my words folks.....it's coming.
 

Hick

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It isn't about "needing mmj".. it is about every citizen "needing" the right to make their own choice.
 

Mutt

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Hick said:
It isn't about "needing mmj".. it is about every citizen "needing" the right to make their own choice.
spoken like a true libertarian. :cool:
and they call us "nut jobs" and "extremists" go figure....it's crazy to want to be free. :rolleyes:
 
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Roddy

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NorCalHal said:
Roddy.....the cat is allready out of the Bag man....they can't put it back.
It IS NOT just about helping sick and deathly folks get herb, it's about protecting everyday citizens from arrest.....and if you don't believe that, then you are the problem.
From your comments it sounds like you want to raise the age limit too. crazy.

What you don't understand is the pretense of "medical" my friend. Who are you to say that this person is deserving of a rec and this person is not???
Are you a Doctor??
That is the fight....don't you see?? Your MMJ Recis between you and your Doctor man, not you or anyone else. The Doctor has the ability to give the rec, he/she was the one who went to skool for years and has thier Medical License on the line when they Rec herb to someone. Who are you to Judge?

That's what we have to DRILL into LEO, it is out of thier hands man, it is now in the hands of the citizens and thier Doctors who believe in MMJ and want to protect thier folks. That is the fight.

You say you can't wait until everyone is legally able to use, but yet you want to restrict and talk crap about folks who get thier Rec. ???What??
Again, you just don't get it, you are on the Gov's bandwagon and think that it should only be for folks who you consider "sick". Wake up bro.
Being someone who was locked up for herb, you think you would have more "compassion".
I'm, not the one to say, the doctor is. And if the doctor decides to allow everyone in regardless of need, we'll soon see this go away! Truly at this point, the prescription is NOT just between you and your doctor, it's including your local lawmakers who are watching this work out! When we see doctors abuse this alongside the patient (and I know, you'll say everyone needs, who's to say otherwise), this will not be an issue because we will have lost! The ones to say otherwise also hold the power to convict.

I want to restrict?? Hardly!~ I want clear regulations of the laws as put on paper so this works out and is the stepping stone we see it as. Again, you are missing the point...I want ALL to be able to use, it isn't that way now and won't change if we disregard the laws in place. We're close, really close...would be a dammed shame if it got derailed because some people can't wait! Then, who would you say isn't compassionate? The guy trying to get legalization or....

All I believe you see is that I am against MJ...period. Maybe you should read what I've been posting, my friend....

btw...Hick mentioned adults, I merely agree! After all, do we allow 12 year olds to drink?
 
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Roddy

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Hick said:
It isn't about "needing mmj".. it is about every citizen "needing" the right to make their own choice.
There's a statement I can get on board with...nicely said, my friend!!!
 
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