Who falls under the medical marijuana caregiver definition? Growing marijuana has become a hobby, a paying job, and a medical necessity for many medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Michigan. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) allows the cultivation of marijuana in strict compliance with its rules. If the rules aren’t followed exactly, the grower will face severe penalties, including felony charges. With that said, it’s vital that growers do their research before they start growing.
A medical marijuana caregiver is someone who provides assistance to qualified medical marijuana patient(s) by helping them obtain marijuana treatments. Many people qualify for medical marijuana card for a variety of conditions, including gastrointestinal issues, generalized anxiety disorder, cancer, and more.
A Caregiver Can Cultivate No More Than 72 Plants: What is a Plant?
A medical marijuana caregiver is the someone who legally supplies a patient with medical marijuana. Often times, they have no background in marijuana, so they need to grow it successfully for their patient. A caregiver may have up to five (5) patients registered to them, and can grow up to 12 plants for each of them. If the caregiver is a patient themselves and has five patients, they can grow up to 72 cannabis marijuana plants.
According to Michigan law, a marijuana plant is defined as a, “plant that has produced cotyledons or a cutting of a marihuana plant that has produced cotyledons.” The plant doesn’t necessarily have to be living in the soil. Therefore, when the plant is cut for drying, it’s still a plant until it has dried. Usable marijuana is defined as the dried leaves and flowers, which does not include the roots, seeds or stalks.
A marijuana plant can take a few weeks to fully dry. During that time, additional marijuana plants shouldn’t be grown if the total number will exceed the maximum allowable.
Plants Must Be in a Separate, Enclosed and Locked Facility
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) states that the cultivation of marijuana must be in a locked, separate and enclosed facility. Further, only the caregiver may have access to that facility which includes the caregiver’s patients. Only the patient or that patient’s caregiver, but not both, may have possession and access to the 12 plants that each patient is allowed to cultivate.
Access to the facility is a very sensitive subject. Another person living within the same home can’t possess a key. The key itself must be secured, in fact hidden and intentionally kept from access of others. If others had access to the key then during any period of time of that access, the caregiver is no longer immune from prosecution.
For a keyless entry system, only one person should have the password. In fact, the password should be changed regularly and frequently, which demonstrates the caregiver’s intent to disallow another’s constructive possession.
The rules are very strict and strictly enforced for those who fall under the medical marijuana caregiver definition. The penalty for not following the rules is far too costly. Any non-compliance means you lose the protections of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) and can be prosecuted as a felony.
Many medical marijuana caregivers move on to obtaining a medical marijuana business license. If you’re a current caregiver interested in starting your medical marijuana business, you can learn more here.