Medical Marijuana ID Card Fees Decreased


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Alameda County Supervisors approve drop in cost despite noncompliance with state law.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a fee decrease, to $103, for medical marijuana identification cards in the county.

In late February, the board approved a $129 fee increase for the cards after the state Department of Health Services increased its portion of the medical marijuana identification card fee to $142. The state department said the increase -- which would have taken a card's total cost to $179 -- was necessary so the card program could be fully fee-supported, as required by state law.

However, the following day the health department retracted the increase and said its new fee would be $66.

The new fee goes into effect April 1.

Of the fee's remaining $37 that does not go to the state, $27 goes to the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which produces the cards, and $10 goes to the county public health department.

In the summer, the board approved a $50 medical marijuana card fee, when the state Department of Health Services was taking $13 from the fee.

The identification cards address one of the shortfalls in the Compassionate Use Act. The act made medical marijuana use legal, but it put no system in place to identify patients who are allowed to use the drug legally.

Although the cards are not mandatory, they might be useful to people who fear hassles from police or who are worried about entering a dispensary to buy medical marijuana. Patients now need only proof that they are a resident of the state and a doctor's note prescribing use of marijuana.

Newshawk: CoZmO -
Source: Contra Costa Times (California)
Author: Chris Metinko
Copyright: 2007
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