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Medical marijuana card fees to drop, if that's okay with you

You pay enough for meds through the year, so wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to spend nearly a quarter-bag's worth of money to get your red card? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment thinks so, too, and is debating dropping its annual registration fee from $90 to $35. But the agency isn't going to give us the discount just yet. CDPHE wants to hear from medical marijuana patients as to whether or not you think this reduction is a good idea.

Let me help you out: You do think this a good idea. That $55 would be much better spent on a few grams of hash, a new pipe, fifty boxes of rolling papers or even just munchies for a week.

The drop in price would be made possible by the increase in the number of patients over the past few years: More patients in the registry means more people paying for the registry. Divide the cost of operations by the number of fee-paying cardholders and you've got the appropriate fee.

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In years past, the $90 fee just covered costs. But since about 2009, the registry has exploded with new patients. Currently, the state calculates that the registry costs $3,367,726 to maintain per year, and the CDPHE expects about 120,000 people to register this year. Of that number, nearly 20 percent claim indigent status and have their fees waived -- but $35 apiece from the remaining 96,000 paying patients should cover costs. You can read more detailed financial statements about the costs of the CDPHE registryhere.

Comments will be taken until July 29 on the CDPHE Medical Marijuana Registry website, or you can e-mail your thoughts to cdphemedicalmarijuanacomments@state.co.us.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Chaz Moore, student not allowed to medicate at school, could lead class-action suit."

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