Washington Medical Marijuana Caregiver Information

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What Is a Medical Marijuana Caregiver in Washington?

A caregiver, also called a designated provider as defined by the administrative authority over the Washington medical marijuana program – Washington State Department of Health (WADOH), is an individual:

  • Who is 21 years of age or older and is the parent or guardian of a qualifying patient who is under the age of 18; or
  • Who has been designated by a medical marijuana patient to purchase, provide, or grow marijuana on their behalf

Designated providers may not consume marijuana obtained for their patients' personal, medical uses. In Washington, an individual may serve as a caregiver to only one qualified patient per time. Also, a patient may have only one caregiver at any one time.

How to Become a Medical Marijuana Caregiver in Washington

In order to act as a caregiver, an individual must:

  • Be aged 21 or older
  • Be named on the patient's medical marijuana authorization form
  • Submit a fully completed form printed on tamper-resistant paper
  • Be entered into the Washington medical marijuana database and have a designated provider recognition card, if the patient opts to be entered into the database
  • Be the parent or legal guardian of the patient if the patient is a minor

To complete a caregiver registration, the patient must inform their healthcare practitioner of the intention to designate a caregiver. Following this, the practitioner will sign and issue two medical marijuana authorizations, one for the patient and the other for the caregiver. The caregiver's full name and street address will be required, and the patient must sign both authorizations. If the patient is a minor, the healthcare practitioner will sign and issue two authorizations and have a parent or legal guardian, designated as caregiver, sign both medical marijuana authorizations on behalf of the patient. Caregivers for minor patients are then required to be entered into themedical marijuana database, while registration for inclusion into the database is optional for adult patients' caregivers.

Note that registering in Washington's medical marijuana database permits patients and caregivers to purchase up to three times the standard limit at approved medically-endorsed marijuana stores. For more information on becoming a medical marijuana caregiver in Washington, contact the Washington medical marijuana program at MedicalMarijuana@doh.wa.gov or call the Program at (360) 236-4819

How to Find a Medical Marijuana Caregiver in Washington

It is the patient's responsibility to find an individual who will agree to serve as their caregiver. The state does not assign caregivers to patients and does not maintain a registry where patients may find eligible designated providers. The caregiver must be your parent or legal guardian if you are a minor patient. If you are a homebound or disabled patient, you may select your spouse, friend, or a close relative to serve as your caregiver. Note that whoever you choose must consent to perform the duties of a caregiver.

How Much Marijuana Can a Caregiver Have in Washington?

Caregivers with valid authorizations who are entered into the medical marijuana database can purchase and possess any combination of the following from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington:

  • 3 ounces of usable marijuana
  • 48 ounces of solid form marijuana-infused products
  • 216 ounces of liquid form marijuana-infused products
  • 21 grams of marijuana concentrates

Caregivers with valid authorizations who are not entered in the medical marijuana database may only purchase and possess amounts allowed for non-patients.

How Many Marijuana Plants Can a Caregiver Have in Washington?

Caregivers with valid authorization forms, who are entered into the medical marijuana database, may grow up to six marijuana plants and possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana produced from the cultivated plants. However, the Washington Department of Health may approve the cultivation of up to 15 plants in certain circumstances for a patient. In such an instance, the caregiver for the patient can lawfully grow up to 15 marijuana plants on behalf of the patient.

Designated providers or caregivers with valid authorizations who are not entered into the database are restricted to growing four plants and possessing 6 ounces of usable marijuana even if a higher number of plants is stipulated on their authorizations.

The maximum number of plants a caregiver may plant will be specified on the caregiver or qualifying patient's authorization. In Washington, personal marijuana cultivation must be conducted at home or on properties located away from public view.

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Washington Marijuana Caregiver Information