On Wednesday, the Board of Health chose to lower the fee for medical marijuana patients to apply for or renew their license, the Denver Post reports. Previously, the fee was $90–down from its original $140 in 2000. Now, new patients only have to pay $35 to be licensed to medicate. Ron Hyman, who oversees the patient registry, told the Post that the Board “[feels] comfortable that [we] will cover our expenses and be appropriate given the volume of patients we are receiving.”

The change, which will take effect next year, comes in the midst of a decline in new registrations. Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows a drop of over 20,000 patients between June and September of this year. However, during that period, the CDPHE took comments from the public on the (then) proposed fee change. One must assume the department was aware of the reduction in patient numbers as well.

A new lowered price may help grow those numbers once again. Consider it legal weed going on sale. While numerous dispensary closings around the state and paperwork problems preventing the renewal of some patients’ licenses threaten to drag the program down, this news may bolster a suffering system. Expect to see new patient numbers on the rise in the first quarter of 2012.

Will you be getting a new or renewed medical marijuana license now that it only costs $35?

Austin Wulf is a freelance writer and cannabis activist.
Read more of his THC-infused coverage of the pot industry here.