A primary caregiver is someone who helps with a patient’s use of medical marijuana. They must be at least 21 years old, and must never have been convicted of a felony in the past ten years. Caregivers can choose to offer a range of services with individual arrangements for compensation. Caregivers are an essential part of the medical marijuana industry, providing a necessary service for patients by helping them to acquire medical marijuana. Registered caregivers can buy marijuana for their patients from any legal source and receive compensation for their services.
A primary caregiver who holds a registry identification card can possess 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana for each registered qualifying patient. They can also have 12 marijuana plants for each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the caregiver can cultivate marijuana for them. These plants must be kept in a locked facility. The primary caregiver can also possess any incidental amount of seeds, stalks and unusable roots.
If you wish to become a caregiver in Michigan, there are some steps that you will need to take:
Legal Requirements for Becoming a Caregiver in Michigan
There are just three legal requirements for becoming a caregiver in Michigan. They are that:
- You must be at least 21 years of age
- You must be willing to help patients with their medical marijuana needs
- You must not have been convicted of a felony involved illegal drugs, a violent felony or any other felony in the past 10 years
Registering as a Caregiver
To become a caregiver, you need to register with the state. When a qualifying patient applies to the state for their medical marijuana card, they will submit information about you to designate you as their primary caregiver. This information includes your name, address and date of birth, whether either you or your patient will be able to possess marijuana plants for their use and an attestation from you that you agree to be their primary caregiver. You must give permission for your criminal history to be scrutinized, and both the patient and primary caregiver must submit photographic identification.
Number of Patients and Compensation
One person can act as a primary caregiver for up to five patients and assist them with their use of medical marijuana. As a caregiver, you can receive compensation for expenses, which might include the cost of providing your services or any expenses incurred while providing your services.
Find a Patient
It’s not possible to become a caregiver in Michigan without first having a patient. If you want to help people with medical marijuana licenses manage their marijuana, you need to have someone in mind who can put you on their application as their caregiver. If you don’t already have someone in mind, you might be able to find people who are looking for caregivers so that you can match up with someone in need. When you have found your patient, you need to sign their paperwork, provide a copy of your photo ID and make sure that you get a copy of their application. The application is proof of when the paperwork was submitted, which you can use later if necessary.
For many people, their first patient will be themselves or a friend or family member. If you have already grown marijuana for your own medical use, you might have learned some valuable skills and knowledge that people you know wish to benefit from. Not everyone is capable of growing their own marijuana successfully or wishes to do so. You might find that, through word of mouth, people you know and their connections will come to you for advice and for your services. If you find that word isn’t spreading on its own, you might decide to put your message out there.
Working as a caregiver can essentially mean that you’re running a small business. When you’re running a business, you need to advertise if you’re drumming up new business. Although you can only have a maximum of five patients as a caregiver, you might need help finding your first patients or replacing those who no longer require your services. Word of mouth is the best way to advertise, and you might start by letting friends and family know about your services. Even if they don’t need anyone themselves, they might be able to recommend you to someone else. Social media can be a form of word of mouth, so put it to good use.
Other advertising methods are available too, including placing classified ads online. You might use a website like the Michigan Caregiver Network and take advantage of the advertising opportunities that they have on offer. Some organizations have patient matching services or meetings that are good for meeting patients who might benefit from your services.
Primary caregivers are also allowed to be registered as qualifying patients. That means that if you have the maximum of five patients and are also a patient yourself, you can have up to 72 cannabis plants to take care of your own needs and the needs of your patients.
The Roles of a Caregiver
Caregivers might fulfill two roles for their patients, the first being a temporary one and the second more permanent. Some patients might want a caregiver to show them how to grow their own plants so that they can cultivate their own supply. This might involve sourcing a quality medical strain of marijuana for patients, as well as offering advice and guidance on how to set up and grow their plants. Other patients will be looking for a primary caregiver who can grow their plants for them and provide them with the finished product. You can charge for your service in this instance, but not the marijuana itself. In addition to providing a service to grow marijuana, you might offer other services, such as household chores or personal transport.
Becoming a caregiver in Michigan is relatively simple. However, you need to be able to find patients before you can register, and you need to know your legal duties and requirements.