Per California Compassionate Use Act (CUA), a medical marijuana caregiver is an individual who consistently assumes responsibility for the health, housing, or safety of a qualified medical marijuana patient. The caregiver may be an individual or the operator, owner, or employee of a licensed facility, clinic, hospice, or home health establishment. Minors and home-bound patients are permitted to designate caregivers in California. Pursuant to the CUA, a medical marijuana caregiver can:
Possess medical marijuana on the patient's behalf
Give medical marijuana to the patient
Transport reasonable quantities of medical marijuana for the patient's use
Grow medical marijuana on behalf of the patient
Typically in California, a caregiver may only care for one patient at a time. However, CUA permits an individual to serve as the caregiver of more than one patient, provided the caregiver resides in the same county or city as all the patients served.
In order to be eligible as the medical marijuana caregiver of a qualified patient under the California medical marijuana program, you must:
Be aged 18 or older
Reside in California
Be designated by the patient to serve as their caregiver
Consistently be responsible for the patient's safety, health, or housing
Provide care that is independent of the assistance provided to the patient in taking medical marijuana
Have begun taking care of the patient at, or before, the time you assumed responsibility for helping with administering medical marijuana
Not be the attending physician of the patient
Only the patient who has designated a person as a caregiver may complete the caregiver registration for that individual. The patient and the caregiver will be required to provide certain personal information to the county program during the application process. You may contact your county program for details on the application process.
Typically, the patient must complete an application form and check the box on top of the first page of the form to include a caregiver. The application must be completed in person, with the patient and caregiver present. You will be required to provide proof of identity, such as a California-issued identification, a California Department of Motor Vehicles driver's license, or another government-issued photo identification card. At the point of application in the county office, you will also be required to pay the fee required by the county program and have your photo taken at the office.
The State of California does not keep a database or registry of persons that may be designated as medical marijuana caregivers. It is the responsibility of patients to find qualified persons pursuant to the Compassionate Use Act who will consent to serve as their caregivers. Minors may designate their parents or legal guardians, or other persons with legal authorities, to make medical decisions for them as caregivers.
Under the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) of 2017, medical marijuana caregivers may possess or transport up to 226.8 grams or 8 ounces of dried cannabis or concentrates.
The California Compassionate Use Act (CUA) permits caregivers to grow up to six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants at home. According to Section 11362.77 of the state's Health and Safety Code (HSC), the state may grant concessions under specific circumstances for some caregivers to grow more than six mature or 12 immature plants. A caregiver who has obtained a physician's recommendation, stating that California's stipulated grow limits would not meet their medical requirements, may grow as many plants as is consistent with the needs of their patient.