In Florida, legal marijuana for certain diagnoses is not always issued directly to the consumer. A Florida medical marijuana caregiver can also purchase and collect medical cannabis in certain situations.
Who are medical marijuana caregivers?
A Florida medical marijuana caregiver is someone with permission under the law to buy medical marijuana, and keep it in their possession, so long as it is for use by a patient who has been diagnosed with a condition and prescribed medical marijuana.
A caregiver is defined as someone who is a legal representative of someone who needs medical marijuana. This can be a guardian or parent, healthcare professional or someone with the power of attorney for a patient, who is, therefore, able to make their decisions.
It makes sense that not all patients are able to buy, retrieve and administer their own medication. In some situations, a patient may need someone to take control of them. A Florida medical marijuana caregiver takes on this role exactly.
For example, if an MS sufferer is unable to leave the home in order to purchase their marijuana from one of the registered pharmacies, the caregiver could take on this responsibility, and not face any criminal charges if they were found to be in possession of the marijuana, as long as it is for a qualified patient.
Who is eligible to be a caregiver in Florida? Laws and requirements
As you would expect for an industry such as this one, there are rules to be followed. The sale of marijuana is closely monitored as Florida state government don’t want it falling into the wrong hands. There are many conditions for Florida medical marijuana caregiver, and not just anyone can become one.
The restrictions and terms that caregivers must meet include:
- Not being employed in the medical marijuana industry. If your job could have a conflicting interest with the sale of marijuana then you may not be given a medical marijuana caregiver license.
- Must be 21 or over and a resident of the state of Florida. If you live outside state lines or are under 21 then again, the license will not be issued.
- Can’t be a physician. If you are a qualified physician then you will not be given a license to be a caregiver and buy marijuana on someone’s behalf.
- There is a course to be passed. To become caregiver then you need to pass certification by the Florida Department of Health.
You have to sign a contract agreeing to assist with the patient’s marijuana use. You agree to the terms and conditions about how marijuana is used within the said contract.
- If you are not a close relative then there may be a background check to ensure you are trustworthy.
How to find a medical marijuana caregiver in Florida?
In the majority of instances, medical marijuana caregivers will be someone you already know. It is usually not a case of finding someone who already has a medical marijuana caregiver license. You will more likely be finding someone within a patient’s family who has an interest in the role of being a caregiver. They can then apply for the license.
If you are looking for a caregiver, check the criteria outlined above. If you have someone in mind, check if they meet all these criteria for the patient. Close family is usually the ideal candidates. If a patient is undergoing current medical care, for instance, in a hospital or hospice, you can also ask if there is anyone they employ who can take on this role.
If you are struggling with finding a caregiver, ask a medical marijuana doctor. There is every chance of them knowing an organization who may be able to help. A physician will not be able to take on the role, but they may be able to recommend someone.
How to become a medical marijuana caregiver?
The application for a medical marijuana caregiver license must be applied for by prospective caregivers.
How to apply?
You can apply via electronic or postal applications. These applications need to be sent to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use in Florida. To start the application, you can give your email address to the relevant ordering physician. These will then enter the address into a registry. Once this is done, you will receive an email. You can then either print out the application forms and return to the office.
Electronic applications can also be done via a link in this email. It is as simple as filling in the questions on their online system.
Once the application has been sent, you must send a money order or check to the Office of Medical Marijuana Use. It must be signed, with the name of the patient and their ID number.