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:
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.
In order to act as a caregiver, an individual must:
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
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.
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:
Caregivers with valid authorizations who are not entered in the medical marijuana database may only purchase and possess amounts allowed for non-patients.
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.