What Is a Designated Caregiver?

According to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program (AMM), a designated caregiver is a person who is chosen by a qualifying patient and is authorized on their behalf to possess, obtain from a certified medical marijuana dispensary, dispense and assist in the administration of medical cannabis. 

Caregivers must apply for a registry card. A designated caregiver is issued a medical marijuana registry identification card that allows him/her to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana on behalf of their patient. It is illegal for caregivers to consume medical cannabis that has been dispensed on behalf of a registered qualifying patient.

Why Be a Caregiver?

If you help an MMJ patient regularly in some capacity, it just makes sense to become a caregiver. It will allow you to assist them with their medical cannabis and be protected — both you and the patient. 

A caregiver doesn’t have to be someone who is constantly caring for the patient. It can be a friend or a family member who is simply willing to support and help with the patient’s MMJ treatment. 

Minor patients (under the age of 18) cannot purchase medical cannabis and are required to have a caregiver (a parent or legal guardian) to buy medical marijuana from a dispensary for them. 

Requirements to Be a Caregiver in Arkansas

In order to qualify for a designated caregiver registry card, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • The individual you are providing care for must be physically disabled or a minor.
  • Have not been convicted of an excluded felony offense.
  • Be an Arkansas resident with proof of residency (AR Driver’s License or AR State ID card).
  • State law prohibits members of the Arkansas National Guard and U.S. Military from registering for an MMJ ID card.

Can a caregiver have more than one patient?

Yes. A caregiver may serve more than one patient. A caregiver must apply for a registry card for each patient and pay $50 for each registry card.

Can a caregiver also be a registered qualifying patient?

Yes. A caregiver may be a registered qualifying patient.

Criminal History Check

Pay a $37 fee.

Call Toll Free 1-833-214-8619 to request a Criminal History Review Application and fingerprint card.

Note: Parents or legal guardians of a qualified minor are not required to complete Criminal History Check. A Parent or guardian is required to register as a caregiver and pay the registry card application fee.

How to Apply to Be a Designated Caregiver

The Arkansas Department of Health, which oversees the AMM program, prefers online applications. However, if you want to mail your application in, you can download a caregiver application and mail it to:

Arkansas Department of Health
Medical Marijuana Section
4815 West Markham Slot 50
Little Rock, AR 72205

To Apply Online You Will Need:

  • Arkansas State ID (Arkansas driver’s license or Arkansas state ID issued by DMV)
  • The patient’s physician certification
  • $50.00 debit or credit card payment (American Express not accepted)

Steps to Create an Account:

  • Click on the red “Apply Online” button.
  • Click on the blue “Caregiver Registration” button.
  • Enter a valid email address and create a password
  • Write down and save your password (you will need it later)
  • Check your email for “Confirm Your Account” email (you may need to check your trash or spam folder)
  • Confirm your account
  • Begin your application

Complete All Parts of the Application

  • Don’t forget your SSN.
  • Don’t forget your military status.
  • Don’t forget to sign (use your finger or mouse and sign in the box).
  • State ID (take a picture and upload it).
  • Patient’s physician Certification (take a picture and upload it).
  • Finish and pay. Total cost = $87 — That’s $50 for the caregiver registration and $37 for the criminal background check (if applicable).
  • Check on the status of your application in 14 days.
  • If approved, print your card.
  • If you do not print your card, it will be printed and mailed to you.
  • All fees are NONREFUNDABLE.

Elevate Holistics

Elevate is an online clinic offering certifications with compassionate registered cannabis doctors. Medical cannabis patients can book same-day appointments and get certified from the convenience of their home. In addition, we are a medical cannabis resource that partners with other industry experts to help make MMJ as easy and accessible as possible.