(WXYZ) - It’s now legal to grow and sell marijuana here in Michigan, if you’re licensed and are doing it for medicinal purposes. As more people try to make ends meet in this tough economy, the thought of making money by growing cannabis to help someone with a health problem is gaining popularity.
Nick Tennant opened Med Grow Cannabis College in Southfield about a year ago. Since then he says he’s watched nearly one thousand students go through the program. It’s a diverse group, including people who really need an income.
Nick told us, “You have laid off autoworkers that have come in looking for a new means of viability for their career path. There are people from age 21 to 81 learning to grow medical marijuana.”
Nick himself used to work in the auto industry. But when opportunities started drying up he saw growth potential as a legalized marijuana supplier and educator. “It was a new industry, something Michigan had never seen.”
At Med Grow Cannabis College, potential suppliers attend six weeks of classes. For a fee of $475 they learn how to start a medical marijuana business.
They’re taught how to use proper nutrients, special lights and fans to maximize growth potential.
Michigan allows a caregiver who is certified to grow 12 plants per patient. They can grow for five other patients as well as themselves, if they are certified to use medical marijuana. That means they can grow a maximum of 72 plants.
Nick says a caregiver can make six figures the way the Michigan law is written.
Earlier this year we introduced you to Mathew Watkins who is battling a deadly brain cancer. For him, medical marijuana relieves his excruciating pain and allows him to gain weight. Before the law he was throwing up all the time.
Matt’s dad buys his medical marijuana from a licensed caregiver... who grows a special concoction for Matt.
In his case they triple the THC. So he’s getting a cocktail of different plants.
But that can run $700 a month.
People who grow medical marijuana aren’t just making money, they’re spending it too.
Mike, the owner of Ultra Green Hydroponics in Redford told us you can spend $5000 on a garden. But for $1000 you can get started in the business.
Mike used to be a skilled machinist. But he saw work in his field dwindling, so he decided to get into a different field.
Dr. William Gonte of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Center in Southfield examines patients to determine if they qualify for medical marijuana. He thinks the growing of medicinal quality pot may soon be taken over by big business.
“I think the state of Michigan is looking at their options. Probably tobacco companies will be the companies that set up and form these facilities where you can buy medical marijuana in packages.”
And Nick hopes getting in on the ground floor of this new medical marijuana wave will take him to new heights.
“I know we’re on the verge of a big, new industry.”
Top Health Headlines
Thursday afternoon, the CDC is expected to address the recent spike in measles cases in the U.S.