If you live in a state with legal medical or recreational marijuana, then you’ve likely run across the term “primary caregiver.” Have you ever wondered what a primary caregiver does and how that relates to medical marijuana? Here’s what you need to know about medical marijuana laws as they relate to primary caregivers, including how to get a medical marijuana recommendation as a caregiver.
Medical Marijuana for Primary Caregivers
A primary caregiver is defined as an adult who is legally able to buy, deliver/transport, and/or assist in administering medical marijuana to someone with a valid medical marijuana card. Caregivers may need to purchase medical marijuana for their patients and act on their behalf legally, so that means they must be aware of any and all rules and regulations surrounding MMJ recommendation for primary caregivers in the state in which they live.
Legislation in states with legalized medical marijuana protects both caregivers and medical marijuana patients from any criminal penalties, allowing for the use of a caregiver as long as both the patient and caregiver are abiding by all laws.
This protective legislation is different from state to state, but there are several legal stipulations that state laws have in common if you want to become a medical marijuana caregiver. In general, these stipulations for caregivers state that they must:
- Be 21 years old or older
- Be a resident of the same state as the qualified patient
- Be a citizen of the United States of America
- Legally agree to assist the medical marijuana patient with their use for medical purposes
You need to check with the caregiver laws surrounding medical marijuana in your particular state in order to find out what other stipulations may be required. In certain states, a caregiver must not have a criminal record and may only care for a maximum number of medical marijuana patients (usually five) at any time. They may also never buy or deliver medical marijuana to someone who is not officially their patient with a legal MMJ card.
How to Become an MMJ Caregiver
In most states, primary caregivers must fill out a separate application than the patient. These applications often include application fees and the responsibility of annual renewals in order to keep their status as an MMJ caregiver legal.
Do Primary Caregivers Need an MMJ Card?
In general, a medical cannabis card for a caregiver is a requirement. That’s because even in states where medical marijuana is legal, the caregiver who intends to buy and transport it needs to be licensed to do so – by having an MMJ card. You should note that this isn’t the case in all states, so it’s important to double-check with local laws to see what is required of you as a primary caregiver.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Recommendation as a Caregiver
If you’re a primary caregiver or are looking to become one, then it’s important to know if you qualify for your own MMJ card and how to get it. In many states, to get a medical marijuana recommendation for primary caregivers, you’ll first need to ensure you have a qualifying condition, which is something your doctor (or MMJRecs!) can help you with. It’s not so much of a specific diagnosis but an injury, illness, or disability that your doctor believes would benefit from the use of medical marijuana. Some common conditions that qualify include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Anorexia and bulimia
These are simply examples – talk to a doctor if you believe you have a condition that would benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
You’ll also need to prove your residency in the state you’re looking to get the MMJ card in. A passport or driver’s license will do the trick. Once you have identification and a doctor to sign off on it, you’ll need to fill out the proper paperwork through the government body in your state that controls medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana laws are meant to help people gain access to medication that assists them in dealing with a condition, and primary caregivers are a big part of getting patients the help they need. If you’re a primary caregiver, then it’s important to know the laws in your state surrounding your role so you can provide the best care to your patients.