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Cancer Registrations Increase For Michigan Medical Marijuana Program

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Cancer was listed as a qualifying condition by 4.04% of Michigan’s medical marijuana program registrants in Fiscal Year 2014; in FY 2015 that number jumped to 4.47%, a 10.6% increase.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued the report titled, ‘Medical Marihuana Act Statistical Report For Fiscal Year 2015- on January 4, 2016, then issued an amended version on January 15. The report details the nature of the participants in the medical marijuana program.

The same document that lists ailments and illnesses reports total patient registrations. 182,091 Michigan citizens are registered with the medical marijuana program as patients, with an additional 34,269 registered as caregivers. There are 8,140 individuals using cannabis under recommendation of their licensed physician for cancer treatment in Michigan.

The other illness seeing significant increase in enrollment numbers during FY 2015 was Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD was added to the medical marijuana program as a named condition in March 2014, which is halfway through the FY 2014 reporting period and resulted in a low enrollment number for its first year on record. The ailment was listed in only 0.38% of patients in 2014, but the number jumped 750% to 2.97% of all patients in FY 2015.

Among the named conditions maintaining relatively unchanged patient percentages in the FY 2015 Report are nail patella; Hepatitis C; glaucoma; Chron’s Disease; ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease; Alzheimer’s Disease and AIDS/HIV.

12% fewer registrants reported wasting syndrome as one of their qualifying conditions, and a similar reductions was seen in cachexia patients as well.

The numbers reflected on the LARA report add up to more than 100% because patients are allowed to report more than one illness on their registration form, and each ailment is recorded and reported. One patient could report that they suffer from severe and chronic pain from cancer with severe nausea from the chemotherapy, and each of those three ailments would be recorded in the LARA database.

There are four categories of generalized but severe ailments allowed under the MMMA. The percentage of people reporting seizures, including epilepsy, on their registration forms remained stable from 2014 to 2015 (2.12%), as did those suffering from severe nausea (8.95%), severe and persistent muscle spasms (23.39%) and severe and chronic pain (93%).

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

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"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.