How To Become A Caregiver In Michigan Medical Marijuana
Do you want to grow plants for patients? As marijuana becomes more and more accepted as a form of medication, some patients still prefer to have a Caregiver assist them. If you’re interested in becoming a caregiver for Michigan Medical Marijuana patients, this step-by-step guide will tell you everything you need to know. In Michigan, there are certain requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible to become a caregiver. We’ll go over those requirements here, as well as other important information about the role of a caregiver. Keep reading for all the details!
Patients that live in the state of Michigan and have been diagnosed by a physician with a qualifying medical condition are eligible to be a “caregiver for themselves or for others that have been approved for their medical marijuana card.”
What is a medical marijuana (MMJ) “caregiver” or primary caregiver?”
A “caregiver” is someone who has agreed to assist in supplying medical marijuana to qualified registered patients. A caregiver must be at least 21 years old, not be convicted of a felony within the past 10 years or convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs as well agree to assist their assigned patients in the use of medical marihuana.
Once patients and caregivers have registered with the MMMP, they are issued a two-year medical card. The card will allow them or their caregivers to purchase medical marijuana from MI state-licensed dispensaries. In Michigan, caregivers are allowed to also cultivate and harvest marijuana for their patients. It’s important to note that caregivers aren’t required for patients.
- Meet the requirements under the statutory definition of “caregiver” in MCL 333.26423(h) The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA)
- Each patient wishing to designate a caregiver must:
- Complete the application packet when the patient is within 60 days of their card expiring OR if they are not an active registered patient with a valid card)
- Complete, add or change the Caregiver Form when the patient has an active MMJ card)
- You must use a valid state-issued driver’s license or personal identification card (PIC) including the patient’s Application, Add or Change Caregiver Form.
- An expired driver’s license or personal identification card will not be accepted
How to register with the MMMP As a Caregiver:
- Go to the MMMP website and print off the paper application. Unfortunately, when assigning a caregiver, the state application has to be done the old-fashioned way not electronically, so you will need to fill out the form by hand and mail it to the state.
- Fill out the application form- This is an application for the patient. The patient will designate you as the Caregiver in Section C. You will need to include a copy of your driver’s license and sign the application.
- Mail the completed forms to the address listed on the website.
- If approved by the State, you and the patient will receive the cards in the mail in 3-4 weeks. If there was any error on the application or missing documentation, the state will issue a denial letter. It is easy to reapply but there will be a slight delay in your approval process and purchases of cannabis products. The medical marijuana card clinic you get your card from will help you get it done right the first time. Some clinics expedite the process faster than others.
MMMA and MMFLA possession limits
Currently, Michigan Law states once caregivers are approved and registered they are allowed to
- Care for up to five (5) registered patients, not including themselves
- Grow and possess a maximum of 12 marijuana plants per registered qualifying patient that must be in a securely enclosed and locked facility
- Purchase a maximum of 2.5 oz of marijuana products per each registered patient
- Possess a maximum of 2.5 oz of marijuana products plus a maximum of 12 cannabis plants locked up in a secure and safe place per registered patient.
- Possess a maximum of 72 marijuana plants including their own plants.
In Michigan, caregivers cannot distribute or sell medical marijuana in any form or quantity to others with the exception of their registered patients.
What is the definition of marijuana plants in Michigan?
According to Michigan State Law, a marijuana plant is defined as a “plant that has produced cotyledons or a cutting of a marihuana plant that has produced cotyledons.” When harvesting marijuana plants during the drying process they are still considered plants until the plant has dried. “Usable marihuana” doesn’t include roots, seeds, or stalks and is just defined as dried leaves, plant resin, extracts, or flowers of the cannabis plant. While cannabis plants are drying no additional marijuana plants should be planted otherwise you will be violating the state’s maximum allowable limit.
Possession limits and safely storing cannabis are strictly upheld by the state and therefore you should be sure to comply. Any person found not complying loses protections under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) and is subject to prosecution for a felony. Only the caregiver should have access to the facility where the plants are being grown in order to comply with the MMMA.
Registered caregivers may be compensated reasonably for expenses incurred for providing qualifying patient(s) access and use of marihuana.
Paper applications, and amendments
When submitting a paper application or an amendment to the MMMP, it’s important that caregivers read and follow all instructions to complete this form.
Registered patients, caregiver applicants, or those submitting an update or changes to their registration must use the correct documents because failure to do so will result in denial. Make sure you download the correct forms, fill them out properly and be on the lookout for an email approving the change. A good marijuana doctor’s staff should be able to get them done for you so you don’t make a mistake or the process takes longer.
How do you cancel your caregiver registration?
To cancel your caregiver status with the MMMP, you must submit a completed withdrawal form directly. This can also be done through the Accela Citizen portal.
What are the patient's responsibilities in choosing a caregiver? Patients must submit information about the caregiver such as:
- Their name, address, and date of birth (DOB)
- Designating whether or not the patient or the patient’s primary caregiver, may possess marihuana plants for the patient’s medical use.
- Attestation by the primary caregiver that he or she has agreed to serve and advocate as the patient’s primary caregiver.
- Authorization for the department to get access to the primary caregiver’s criminal history to confirm that they don’t have any felony convictions involving illegal drugs or any other felonies within the past ten years.
- Registered patients must submit photographic identification (ID) for both the patient and caregiver. Photocopies of any of the below items will be acceptable forms of identification as long as they include a photo:
- Unexpired Michigan driver’s license or identification card
- A voter’s registration card AND a copy of a government-issued document that includes the patient’s name and date of birth for verification purposes.
A caregiver is a person that is responsible for the well-being of another individual. In the case of medical marijuana, caregivers are responsible for providing patients with access to cannabis and helping them comply with state regulations. Caregivers must be registered with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program in order to legally provide care to patients.
If you are a resident of Michigan suffering from a qualifying medical condition, you can become a medical marijuana patient easily for yourself and a caregiver for up to five(5) more patients. Once you register and pay the fee, you get an official Michigan Medical Marijuana Card which will allow legal access to state-licensed dispensaries. If you want to make your life easier, especially if it’s your first time becoming a caregiver or MMJ patient, make sure to get in contact with a medical marijuana clinic because it will save you a lot of time, avoid getting denied and minimize risks as you will be well informed about compliance.
Please note that before you visit any dispensary as a caregiver or patient please remember to bring your ID and MMJ card as well. Some vendors don’t accept credit cards so make sure you call ahead or bring cash for your purchases. You must also keep track of how much medicine each patient consumes so they do not exceed the legal limit. Make sure to follow the rules. You don’t want to ruin a great thing!
Patient and Caregiver Resources
- Patients – Apply/Renew/Amendments Online
- Online Application Resources
- Paper Applications & Forms
- MMMP Patients and Caregivers: Applications, Amendment Forms, and Common Denial Reasons
- Registry card with picture
- Patient or Caregiver Replacement Card Request (michigan.gov) (paper form)
- To apply or renew online: Create a secure Accela Account