What Is a Caregiver?

According to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), a caregiver is a person who:

  • Is registered with the MMCC.
  • Has an MMCC ID card.
  • Can purchase MMJ from a licensed MD dispensary for their patient.
  • Can transport MMJ for their patient.
  • Can serve up to 5 registered patients at one time.

Basically, a caregiver in this capacity helps a patient get their cannabis medicine, which can include anything from purchasing it to helping them administer it.

Why Be a Caregiver?

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

It would also allow you to be an advocate for them at dispensaries. Sometimes when patients aren’t feeling well, it helps to have someone there to ask important questions, such as what are the effects of a particular strain, or what does the budtender recommend for pain or for someone who’s never used THC before, etc. 

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. 

A registered patient can have up to two caregivers at one time. Minor patients (under the age of 18) are required to have at least one caregiver (must be a parent or legal guardian) at all times. 

Being a Caregiver for an Adult (18+ years) in Maryland

To be a caregiver for a registered patient, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age at the time of registration
  • Register online with the MMCC
  • Receive approval from the Commission
  • Designate your registered patient with the MMCC and be designated by them (done online after approval — see steps below) 
  • Purchase an ID card from the Commission for a fee of $50

Being a Caregiver for a Minor (Under 18) in Maryland

To be a caregiver for a registered minor patient, you must:

  • Be a parent or legal guardian of the minor patient
  • Be at least 21 years of age at the time of registration
  • Register online with the MMCC
  • Receive approval from the Commission
  • Purchase an ID card from the Commission for a fee of $50.

Minor patients are required to have at least one caregiver at all times and may have a maximum of two caregivers at any time. Additionally, caregivers serving minor patients must register with the Commission prior to registering the minor patient.

Steps for Registering as a Caregiver

You must follow these steps in order to become a caregiver that can purchase on behalf of an MMJ patient. Step 1 is by far the most rigorous of the process, but it’s fairly easy if you are prepared. Have your ID and documents in digital form and make sure your photo is on point, because it is the #1 reason applications are not approved. 

Step 1 Submit Application

There is no fee to apply, so don’t worry about payment at this step. It’s important to have all the documents you need uploaded to an electronic form before you begin. You can only apply online, and your application must be completed in one session, you will not be able to save and return.

Things you will need for the caregiver application process:

  • A valid email that you can continually use to access your MMCC account.
  • The last for digits of your social security number.
  • A US government-issued photo ID and proof of MD address or patient’s treatment at a MD facility.
  • If your ID does not reflect your current address, you will need two additional documents showing your address from two different sources (for a list of acceptable forms, go here).
  • An electronic copy of a clear, recent photograph. It should be similar to a driver’s license photo (we suggest you read the photo requirements on this MMCC page). 

Create your account and start the application by going to the registry page and clicking “Create Account” under the “Caregivers” category.

Verify your email address. Important: Once you submit your application, a verification email will be sent to your email. You must click the verification link in the email message to verify your email account. Without performing this step, your application is not complete and will not be reviewed by the Commission.

MMCC needs to review and approve your application. This can take anywhere from 5-45 days. Once approved, your caregiver status is good for two years. 

Step 2 Select a Patient

Once the MMCC approves you as a caregiver, you can log in to your account by going to “Sign In” under the “Caregivers” tab, and designate a patient. The patient must already be registered, and they also must designate you as a caregiver.

Step 3 Purchase ID Card

As a caregiver, you must have an MMCC ID card to purchase and transport medical cannabis for a patient. A registered caregiver cannot request an ID card until a patient has designated them and also has a valid written physician certification from a registered provider. ID card cost: $50.

Step 4 Visit Dispensary

Only after all the previous steps are completed, the caregiver may then purchase for a registered patient at a dispensary and transport it for them.

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.