What Caregivers Do:
“Primary caregiver” means a person who is at least 21 years old and who has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana and who has never been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs, a violent felony, or any felony within the past ten years.
“Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.
There is a broad range of services which caregivers may choose to provide, and any number of individualized compensation arrangements.
Patients will need caregivers to help them acquire medical marijuana.
As a registered caregiver, you will be able to purchase marijuana for your patients from any source, be protected from arrest, and receive compensation for the service of procuring the marijuana.
Rule 27. (2) A primary caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege….. for assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process with the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the act, if the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the following:
(sub1) Two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana for each registered qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process.
(sub2) For each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the registered primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marijuana for the qualified patient, 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed locked facility.
(sub3) Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.
(3) An individual may simultaneously be registered as a qualifying patient and as a primary caregiver.
Patients will need caregivers to help them cultivate medical marijuana.
R 333.103 Rule 3. (1) (a) (iv) A designation of whether the qualifying patient or the patient’s primary caregiver, if applicable, will be allowed to possess marijuana plants for the qualifying patient’s medical use. The designation shall be determined based solely on the registered qualifying patient’s preference.
1) Patients will want to grow their own medical marijuana and will need caregivers to help them learn the process. They will need assistance with engineering and design, codes and construction, and set up and operation. They will also need help finding a quality medical strain and someone who will teach them how to grow it. This is a temporary caregiver position as the patient will ultimately be able to maintain the cultivation by themselves as over time they come to understand the whole process. This could take several weeks to several months, or more.
2) Patients will want a caregiver to grow their marijuana for them. The caregiver may cultivate up to 12 plants per patient and receive compensation for expenses and services provided. You can not charge the patient for marijuana because only the patient can own marijuana plants. Caregivers are simply professional gardeners in this instance.
Rule 15. (2) A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for actual expenses, including reasonable compensation incurred for services provided to assist a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marijuana, or for payment for expenses incurred in providing those services, or both.
Patients may need caregivers to assist with things unrelated to medical marijuana.
Caregivers may offer services such as grocery shopping, household chores and maintenance, rides to doctor appointments, or any other assistance or support.
A successful caregiver will adapt their service to address patient needs. Caregiver and patient should discuss their expectations at the outset of the relationship, should have a written contract outlining their agreement.
How Do I Become A Caregiver?
Becoming a primary caregiver has only 3 legal requirements;
1) You must be at least 21 years old
2) You must agree to assist with a patient’s medical use of marihuana
3) You can not have a felony conviction involving illegal drugs, a violent felony, or any felony within the past ten years
Then You Must Register With The State
A qualifying patient may designate 1 primary caregiver to assist with his or her medical use of marijuana. When the patient you service applies with the state for their card, they will also submit the following information about you, their caregiver;
1) The name, address, and date of birth of the patient’s primary caregiver.
2) A designation of whether the qualifying patient or the patient’s primary caregiver, if applicable, will be allowed to possess marihuana plants for the qualifying patient’s medical use.
3) An attestation by the primary caregiver named on the application that he or she agrees to serve as the patient’s primary caregiver.
4) A primary caregiver shall authorize the department to use the information provided on the application to secure his or her criminal conviction history to determine if he or she has a felony conviction involving illegal drugs, a violent felony, or any felony within the past ten years.
5) The qualifying patient must also submit photographic identification of both the qualifying patient and the patient’s primary caregiver. Photocopies of the following shall be considered acceptable forms of identification:
(i) Current driver’s license or identification card, with photo, issued by a state.
(ii) Identification card with photo issued by a federal, state, or government agency.
(iii) Current military identification card.
(iv) Current passport.
(v) Current student identification card with photo.
(vi) Native American tribal identification with photo
(vii) Permanent resident card or alien registration receipt card.
Rule 333.115 Primary Caregiver; Number Of Qualified Patients; Compensation.
Rule 15. (1) The department shall issue a registry identification card to the primary caregiver, if any, who is named in a qualifying patient’s approved application. A registered primary caregiver may assist not more than 5 qualifying patients with their medical use of marihuana.
(2) A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for actual expenses, including reasonable compensation incurred for services provided to assist a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana, or for payment for expenses incurred in providing those services, or both.
R 333.119 Changes In Status; Notifications; Requirements.
Rule 19. (1) In order to update registry information for a qualifying patient or primary caregiver, the registered qualifying patient, registered primary caregiver, or registered qualifying patient’s parent or legal guardian, as applicable, is responsible for notifying the department of a change in any of the following:
a: The registered qualifying patient’s name.
b: The registered qualifying patient’s address.
c: The registered qualifying patient’s primary caregiver.
(2) The department shall notify a registered primary caregiver by mail at the address of record within 14 calendar days of any changes in status including, but not limited to, both of the following:
a: The registered qualifying patient’s termination of the individual’s status as primary caregiver or designation of another individual as the registered primary caregiver.
b: The end of eligibility for the registered qualifying patient to hold a registry identification card.
c: If the department is notified by a registered qualifying patient that the registered primary caregiver for the patient has changed, the department shall notify the primary caregiver by mail at the address of record that the caregiver’s registry identification card is null and void.
(4) If a registered qualifying patient’s certifying physician notifies the department in writing that the patient has ceased to suffer from a debilitating medical condition, the department shall notify the patient within 14 calendar days of receipt of the written notification that the patient’s registry identification card is null and void.
Rule 333.127 Management Of Medical Marihuana.
(2) A primary caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process with the medical use of marihuana in accordance with the act, if the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed the following:
a: Two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marihuana for each registered qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process.
b: For each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the registered primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualified patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed locked facility.
c: Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.
(3) An individual may simultaneously be registered as a qualifying patient and as a primary caregiver.
What Makes Marijuana Medical Grade?
Medical marijuana refers to the use of the Cannabis plant as a physician-recommended herbal therapy. A quick check of Wikipedia for Medical Cannabis provides an excellent description of medical cannabis, and provides a general history of cannabis as medicine including an immense amount of supporting documentation.
Cannabis as a medicine became common throughout much of the world by the 19th century. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin. Modern medical and scientific inquiry began with doctors like William Brooke O’Shaughnessy and Moreau de Tours, who used it to treat melancholia and migraines, and as a sleeping aid, analgesic and anticonvulsant.
Cannabidiol, also known as “CBD”, is a major constituent of medical cannabis. CBD represents up to 40% of extracts of the medical cannabis plant. Cannabidiol relieves convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown cannabidiol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. In November 2007 it was reported that CBD reduces growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces their invasiveness. It thus represents the first non-toxic exogenous agent that can lead to down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness. It is also a neuroprotective antioxidant.
The fact is, all marijuana can be considered medical-grade, meaning it has some therapeutic effect. If you are consuming marijuana to alleviate a medical condition, or the treatment of that condition, you are using marijuana medicinally, hence medical marijuana. Many believe medical marijuana has to be of a minimum potency or that it should be grown organically, but those are strictly personal preferences. Marijuana only needs to be consumed by a person to treat a medical condition to be considered medical marijuana.
Marijuana strength, or potency, is different from strain to strain with lower strengths starting at 2 – 3% THC, and strong strains with a THC potency level of up to 30%. Stronger cannabis does mean less has to be consumed per dose so if the patient smokes, stronger may be better in terms of their overall health. Organically grown marijuana, free of chemicals, fertilizers, pests and their excretions, is also a better treatment option for patients. Purity and lack of contaminants, including molds, chemicals, fertilizers or anything in your grow environment including pests and their excretions, are important considerations that patients must weigh. Lower strength strains can be processed to make a hash or extract to lessen the amount needed per dose and are a very useful way other then smoking to get your medical relief.
If you don’t know where it was grown or who grew it, the marijuana you’re consuming could be contaminated by anything. Commercial-grade (street) cannabis is often transported across the border in garbage trucks, used hazardous waste containers, and is often coated, wrapped or covered with any number of chemicals to hide the scent from dogs and devices. It has also been reported that some street dealers are adding lead to bags of marijuana so they weighed more. Perhaps the biggest concern for a marijuana consumer is improperly processed marijuana. Marijuana not properly harvested and dried not only adds weight but also molds easily. Contaminants are dangerous enough for healthy people but they can be deadly for the sick.
How Do I Find Patients?
To be a caregiver you will need to provide your service to at least 1 patient. For many, their first patient will be themselves, a friend, or a family member. Michigan already has more than 130,000 registered patients, and could have more than 300,000 within five years. Many of these patients will not be able to grow their own marijuana and will be looking for qualified caregivers in their community.
First you need to understand the patient/caregiver relationship. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act makes it clear that patients are consumers, and caregivers are merchants. Caregivers sell their service (time and expertise) to acquire marijuana for patients, or to cultivate marijuana for patients who own plants, but they can not sell marijuana to anyone else.
Essentially, caregivers are small businesses, and to become successful a business must advertise. Caregivers will have to advertise their services so patients know what you’re offering and if you’re available to accept new patients. The best advertising is always word of mouth. Get your current patient(s) to tell their friends and family members, you’ll be amazed how well that alone works.
Caregivers have many other advertising options available to spread their message. The Michigan Caregiver Network has advertising opportunities available right here on our site. Caregivers are encouraged place a classified advertisement, or to become a member and place free ads. We also have Patient Matching Services available that provide caregivers direct access to the patients that inquire with our collective We also have display ad space available for a reasonable charge to caregivers and caregiver groups.
Compassion Clubs are an excellent place for patients and caregivers to meet. After the official club meeting has concluded, patients and caregivers are free to privately discuss anything they choose.