The state of Michigan plans to speed up the process of medical marijuana users obtain registry cards by shifting from snail mail to an online portal.
The move — which will start with a rollout to doctors in the coming days — is expected to cut the wait time down while adding more checks on the front-end of the process.
“We have the same controls in place and in many cases more secure controls when it comes to ensure the registry cards are going to people for the qualifying reasons,” said Andrew Brisbo, the director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.
Essentially the security is up-front because physicians have to be certified by the state before they’ll allowed into the portal. As patients apply for their registry cards the information will go to the prescribing physician for approval — they have to sign off on the bona fide physician-patient relationship and complete an in-person medical examination before filling out the online form identifying the reason the patient qualifies for medical marijuana.
Later this month physicians that prescribe medical marijuana will be certified and added into the state’s system. Beginning early next month the state will start to send out information to people in the state’s medical marijuana program.
Patients will be able to register for an account, submit an application and manage a registration online, here. They’ll also have the option to request replacement cards, update their name/address and withdraw from the program.
Brisbo told 7 Action News that they’ve been meeting goals, processing forms within the mandated 15 day period, however, he thinks that the online portal will cut the wait time down to mere days.
“The bureau is always looking at ways to improve our processing and customer service,” said Brisbo. “This was a natural evolution of the process as we built out new IT infrastructure to meet the mission that our department sets forth.”
The move comes at a time when there could soon be processing even more applicants. Voters will soon decide whether recreational marijuana will be legalized in Michigan.
As for medical marijuana users and the new portal, it’s important to note: the new online portal only works for patients without a caregiver, which accounts for the majority of medical marijuana participants in the state of Michigan.