KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM)- The first medical marijuana clinic in West Michigan opened Monday in Kalamazoo. The owner, Dr. David Crocker, M.D. says, "I spend a lot of my time talking about the rules and regulations."
The Michigan Holistic Health clinic opened its doors to a huge response. Before the Kalamazoo clinic opened, many patients would have to go to the east side of the state to get a doctor's recommendation for a medical marijuana license.
If the phone is any indication, the need for medical marijuana in West Michigan is great. The phones rang off the hook and the lobby was also filled with walk in clients.
Dr. David Crocker moved to Michigan to become a caregiver for a handful of medical marijuana patients. He was convinced to open a medical marijuana clinic to give the physician's certification needed to apply for a medical marijuana license in Michigan. He says, "Once we have medical records, we bring the patient in for history and physical examination. We determine based on their records and their examination whether or not they qualify."
Cancer patient Corinne Smith is thankful medical marijuana is now legal in Michigan. She explains, "I've gone though morphines and oxycodones. I've taken numerous nausea medications going through chemotherapy. And marijuana is the only thing that really will settle me down and I can actually function."
Dr. Crocker says marijuana can help patients like Smith because, "Marijuana has a unique profile as far as its pharmacology. It's effective in treating inflammation and pain, which are part of almost every disease process. As medications go, it rivals almost any prescription medication in terms of safety."
But if you are looking for a quick fix, this is not the place for you. Dr. Crocker says, "We have no marijuana on the premise. We actually are not allowed to recommend where the patients can get their marijuana."
A consultation at Michigan Holistic Health costs $200. If the patient is not found to be qualified, there is no charge. It also costs $100 to apply to the state of Michigan for a medical marijuana license.
The state is currently more than three months behind in processing requests for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.
Michigan Holistic Health did not have to get any special permits from the City of Kalamazoo. However, Assistant City Planner Rob Bauckham says Kalamazoo leaders will meet later this week to discuss the possibility of special zoning relating to medical marijuana for the future.
Michigan Holistic Health is located at 500 W. Crosstown Parkway in Kalamazoo. The phone number is (269) 366-8100.
By Amy Fox