Monday, August 10, 2009
Marijuana Industry a Job Provider in Recession-Stricken Michigan
Medical pot is touted as job maker for Michigan
BY CHASTITY PRATT DAWSEY
FREE PRESS EDUCATION WRITER
August 9, 2009
Advocates of the medical marijuana industry spent Saturday promoting job
opportunities and products that they say could provide the state a
much-needed economic boost.
Dozens of companies participated in the first Michigan Medical Marijuana
Expo in Detroit on Saturday, providing everything from legal advice to
supplies and job tips. The event continues today.
On Nov. 4, Michigan voters approved legalizing medical marijuana.
Patients need a doctor's recommendation to get a registry card from the
Michigan Department of Community Health. A registered caregiver can
cultivate a limited amount for up to five patients.
It's an industry that could help offset the state's 15.2% unemployment
rate, some say.
"This is a recession-free industry," Andre Mason, spokesman for Nile
Valley Group told a class at the expo. "We're providing a service -- a
legal, compassionate service."
The company provides patients and caregivers with referrals and product
information and offers professionals tips on how to get jobs within the
industry. A cook, for example, might be needed to make marijuana butter
for a patient who can't inhale the drug.
Sponsored in part by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, the
expo includes speakers ranging from Rep. George Cushingberry, D-Detroit,
to doctors and patients. More than 1,000 people attended Saturday, said
Hilary Dulany, expo spokeswoman.
Cultivation supplies will be available, but no marijuana. Patients with
a state-approved registration card can use the drug in a guarded tent.
"This is not a pot-fest. ... It's about jobs," Dulany said.
A glassblower from Monroe County who goes by and labels his work as Puff
Danny said making pipes paid the bills when he was laid off from an auto
supplier for seven weeks earlier this year. "It's a good fall-back in
http://www.freep. com/article/ 20090809/ NEWS01/908090480 /Medical- pot-is-to\
uted-as-job- maker-for- Michigan