A medical marijuana caregiver in Michigan is a person who is at least 21 years old and has consented to assist one or more qualified medical marijuana patients with medical marijuana use. Registered medical marijuana caregivers can legally purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries and grow marijuana for their patients without the fear of arrest or prosecution by law enforcement. However, to avoid arrest, they must not possess amounts of marijuana exceeding what they are legally permitted to carry.
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-333-26424) (MMMA) permits registered caregivers to help administer medical marijuana to up to five qualified patients. In Michigan, qualified medical marijuana patients who are minors require medical marijuana caregivers, who must be either their parents or legal guardians. Similarly, qualified adult patients who are housebound due to severe illnesses can use the services of medical marijuana caregivers. A person can serve as a medical marijuana caregiver for a family member who qualifies for medical marijuana in Michigan.
Anyone who wants to become a medical marijuana caregiver in Michigan must meet the following requirements:
To become a medical marijuana caregiver in Michigan, a qualified patient must designate a person as a caregiver when applying for a new Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) Patient Registry Card. The patient can apply online or via paper forms. A patient who already has the MMMP Patient Registry card can use the Add or Change Caregiver Amendment Form to designate a caregiver.
During application, the patient designating a prospective caregiver must submit certain information about them, including:
A prospective caregiver must submit to a criminal background check by the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) during their patient's registration for the MMMP Registry Card. They must also pay a $25 processing fee with their patient's application packet. A completed MMMP Patient Registry Card paper application should be submitted via mail to:
Michigan Medical Marijuana Program
P.O. Box 30083
Lasing, MI 48909
After a patient's registration, the CRA will issue a registry identification card to the designated medical marijuana caregiver. According to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, a medical marijuana caregiver may receive reasonable compensation for actual expenses. Such remuneration may be for services provided in assisting a registered patient in using medical marijuana or for costs incurred while providing the services, or both.
A medical marijuana patient in Michigan can designate a medical marijuana caregiver of their choice. However, their prospective caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and be willing to assist them with their medical marijuana needs. Having caregiver agreements in writing is usually advised before designating them. Typically, parents and legal guardians of minors who are medical marijuana patients must serve as their medical marijuana caregivers in Michigan.
While the CRA issues registry cards to designated medical marijuana caregivers after patients' registrations, the agency does not maintain a central database of caregivers from which patients can find caregivers.
In Michigan, medical marijuana caregivers can purchase and carry medical marijuana on behalf of their patients. Per the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), medical marijuana caregivers can only possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana per patient. Under the MMMA, the following are considered equivalent to 1 ounce of usable marijuana:
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) permits medical marijuana caregivers in the state to cultivate marijuana plants on behalf of patients who already specified that caregivers can grow marijuana for them. However, cultivation must be in enclosed, locked facilities.
A medical marijuana caregiver in Michigan may only grow up to 12 marijuana plants per patient. Since they can only have a maximum of five patients, it implies that a caregiver may cultivate up to 60 marijuana plants. However, under the MMMA, a medical marijuana caregiver can also be a medical marijuana patient. Hence, by law, they may cultivate up to 72 plants if filling their patient quota. Only caregivers are legally allowed to access caregivers' marijuana cultivation areas. According to state law, it is a felony for anyone other than the caregiver to enter the caregiver's marijuana grow site.