Applications soar with Riverside County pot ID card cost hike

February 04, 2007

, Associated Press

There's been a spike in medical marijuana identification card applications since Riverside County announced the cost will jump from $100 to $220 this summer.

"Get 'em while they're hot," county card program director Victoria Jauregui Burns said as more than 20 patients showed up at the Palm Springs Family Health Center last week to apply for medical marijuana cards.

The county Department of Public Health, which had issued 414 cards as of Friday, said the $100 fee will increase to $220 on July 1. The next medical marijuana ID card signup in Palm Springs is Feb. 15.

Applications are also accepted Monday through Thursday in Riverside.

The jump in the county fee was triggered by an increase in state charges, from $13 per card to $142, which goes into effect March 1.

Under the state's medical marijuana law, having a card is voluntary but the card program must pay for itself. The law requires counties to accept and process applications for the state-issued card.

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