A Guide to Medical Marijuana Caregivers in Florida
For many patients with a medical card, it is easy to visit a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) or medical dispensary to purchase products. And get advice on the type of medical marijuana that may help them cope with debilitating symptoms.
But other patients require assistance. They may be seniors or adults with disabilities who are cared for by a guardian. Or individuals under eighteen (18) years who qualify as pediatric patients for the Low-THC program.
A medical marijuana caregiver is authorized by the medical marijuana use registry and is a legal guardian who can assist a patient. There are specific criteria that you must meet, and you must complete a caregiver certification course to become a Florida medical marijuana caregiver.
What is a Medical Cannabis Caregiver?
The Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) defines a caregiver as a “Florida resident who has agreed to assist with a qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana and has a caregiver identification card.”
Who is Qualified to Apply as a Florida Medical Cannabis Caregiver?
Any individual who is twenty-one (21) years of age or older, who is the parent or legal guardian of a child or adult requiring assistance, may become a medical marijuana caregiver. And become someone authorized to assist a patient registered in the Florida medical cannabis program.
How Do Caregivers Help Patients With Medical Marijuana?
A registered caregiver’s role is to guide and assist the patient and supervise the patient’s use of medical cannabis. This role includes following the direction of a treatment plan created for the patient, researching suitable products, and purchasing them for the patient in their care.
Medical marijuana caregivers can also purchase delivery devices required to administer cannabis to the qualified patient. Since 2017, caregivers have been required to present both photo identification and their medical card to the MMTC to purchase any items needed for the patient.
Can a Florida MMJ Caregiver Register to Assist More Than One Patient?
In Florida, a caregiver may only become registered to assist one patient. However, there are some exceptions. When a parent may care for more than one child, the parent may qualify to register for both minor children.
Suppose a caregiver is also part of a clinical research study involving minors under the age of eighteen years. In that case, they may also be designated caregivers for more than one patient involved in the study.
How to Become a Medical Marijuana Caregiver in Florida
A designated caregiver may be caring for several patients in a hospice program. If a hospice center employs the caregiver, they may be registered to provide and supervise medical cannabis for multiple patients in a compassionate care setting once they have provided health care surrogate documentation.
A caregiver certification course is required in Florida. It is provided by the Florida Department of Health (DOH). The caregiver certification course is valid for two years, after which it must be renewed to remain a registered care provider for a qualified medical marijuana patient.
The caregiver and the patient must be approved and registered in the Florida medical cannabis program before Low-THC products may be purchased or administered to the patient. The caregiver must present photo identification and their medical card at the MMTC (medical dispensary) and provide it to law enforcement if requested.
Medical Marijuana Caregiver Application Process
The Florida OMMU requires caregivers to register with the Department of Health (DOH) before purchasing medical cannabis products or delivery devices for the patient.
Application to become a medical marijuana caregiver can be submitted by:
1. Electronic or Online Application
The online application is the most convenient method, and processing is much faster. This method can be completed in a few minutes online. Visit the Medical Marijuana Use Registry (MMUR) for more information.
Before a caregiver can be certified to assist a medical marijuana patient, they must log into the MMUR to check the accuracy of information entered by a qualified physician or marijuana doctor. Then the application and payment are completed online.
2. Paper or Hard-Copy Caregiver Application
If you want to become a marijuana caregiver in Florida but do not have internet access, you can submit a paper application. You will need to print out the application form, fill it out, and attach documentation that proves you are a Florida resident w
After you have checked the information and signed the form, you will mail it the following:
Office of Medical Marijuana Use
PO Box 31313
Tampa, Florida 33631-3313
Don’t forget to enclose a check or money order for the application fee with your form. The cost to apply to administer medical marijuana to a qualified patient is $75.00.
Who May Not Be Approved as a Medical Cannabis Caregiver?
There are some circumstances where a caregiver in Florida may not be approved or become registered as a caregiver in Florida. To successfully become registered to provide care to a qualified medical marijuana patient, a caregiver must not:
- Be a physician.
- Work for, or have any economic interest in, a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) or work for (or own) a marijuana testing laboratory.
- Be paid for any services provided (except reimbursement for cannabis products, supplies, or other expenses incurred).
A criminal background check is required as part of the application process for a medical marijuana caregiver. A felony conviction will disqualify any adult from becoming a medical marijuana caregiver.
Get Started With Your MMJ Caregiver Application Today
DocMJ is the largest medical cannabis healthcare provider in Florida. Our medical marijuana doctors in Florida can help you complete the evaluation required to become a registered cannabis caregiver. And answer any questions about safely administering medical cannabis to your loved one or patient.