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Michigan Faces Medical Marijuana Card Backlog

SAGINAW (WWJ/AP) - A Michigan official says an equipment malfunction has led to a backlog in printing about 20,000 medical marijuana cards.

The Saginaw News reports that Celeste Clarkson, a state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs compliance section manager, said Tuesday that the backlog stretches to applications received in July.

The state has continued to print up to 800 cards a day for medical marijuana patients and caregivers, but the volume of applications is around 1,500 a day. Once an application has been approved, the state has five days to print a card under state rules.

Clarkson said the state is reviewing how best to catch up.

Clarkson spoke to a Saginaw-area audience at a seminar on medical marijuana enforcement. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office organized the session to educated local law enforcement and elected leaders on the law, which voters approved in 2008.

The state has issued 120,597 active patient and 45,531 active caregiver registry card users. Caregivers must have one card for each patient, may have no more than five patients and may not provide more than 12 marijuana plants for each patient.

Figures released by the state show that nearly 200,000 medical marijuana applications have been received through the end of October, 14,288 of which have been denied.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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