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Customers seek medical marijuana card to avoid high taxes

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 06 2014 12:17:40 AM CST

Customers seek medical marijuana card to avoid high taxes

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Faced with high recreational marijuana taxes, more people are trying to get their hands on a medical marijuana card. 

Medical marijuana is taxed at 3.9 percent in Pueblo County compared to 17.4 percent on recreational pot.

"Now with the legalization people are seeing that they're gonna save the money so they're gonna want to figure out ways to do that but it's just not possible with Pro MDs," said Rachael Martinez. She's the director of operations for Pro MDs, a medical marijuana evaluation clinic. 

Since Jan. 1 Martinez said more people have called the clinic seeking an evaluation to qualify for a medical card. But she said the majority are being turned away because they're not able to provide medical documentation that proves they qualify for a red card.

In Pueblo County, two percent of people have medical marijuana cards. But employees at the Greener Side, a recreational and medical store, say they think that's number going up. 

"They want to buy more than a quarter or an ounce at a time. They want to get up to two ounces and they want over 100 miligrams in edibles," said Joshua Borjon, a bud tender at the Greener Side.

To get a medical marijuana card, the state requires people to be receiving treatment for a qualifying medical condition. While Martinez said some people are abusing the system, she believes most are not.

"I don't think people realize what these patients deal with on a daily basis when it comes to severe pain," Martinez said.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it's too early to tell whether more people will be trying to get their medical card to save money.

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