A medical marijuana caregiver in Minnesota is someone designated to help administer medical cannabis to a qualified medical marijuana patient who requires assistance. They also help obtain medical cannabis from licensed cannabis dispensaries in the state for their patient's use. The Minnesota Medical Cannabis Act stipulates that a medical marijuana caregiver may only be registered with one medical marijuana patient unless they are attached to patients living in the same residence.
Medical marijuana patients certified as physically or developmentally disabled by their doctors need medical marijuana caregivers in Minnesota. Such patients may not be able to obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries or self-administer their medications. Parents or legal guardians of medical cannabis patients who are minors can act as their caregivers. Similarly, spouses may serve as designated medical marijuana caregivers to their partners.
Subdivision 4 of the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act requires any person who wishes to become a medical marijuana caregiver in the state to:
For a person to register as a medical marijuana caregiver in Minnesota, a patient must add them to their (patient's) registry account with the state's Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC). While adding them, the patient must provide the prospective caregiver's name, date of birth, government-issued ID, address, email, and phone number. After a patient's registration, the prospective caregiver will receive an email containing a link instructing them to set up their registry account online. The OMC provides a guide on registering in the state's Medical Cannabis Program.
As part of the registration process, a prospective medical marijuana caregiver in Minnesota must complete a criminal background check through the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). They must complete a Designated Caregiver Background Check Informed Consent Form to do this. The completed form, a check for $15, and a stamped empty envelope addressed to "Office of Medical Cannabis, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882" should be mailed to:
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Avenue E
St. Paul, MN 55106
The BCA will use the included stamped envelope to deliver a completed background check report to the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis. Background checks by the BCA can take up to 30 days. Once their application is approved, the Office of Medical Cannabis will notify the caregiver via email.
Minnesota does not have a central registry or database of medical marijuana caregivers where prospective medical cannabis patients can choose their caregivers. Medical marijuana patients can either use independent caregivers residing in the state or have their parents or legal guardians act as caregivers. Note that parents and legal guardians serving as medical marijuana caregivers are exempted from completing criminal background checks while registering with Minnesota's medical marijuana program.
In Minnesota, medical marijuana caregivers can purchase medical cannabis for their medical marijuana patients from state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries. They cannot possess more than 30-day supplies of marijuana at the dosages specified by attending physicians.
Marijuana cultivation by medical marijuana caregivers is illegal in Minnesota. Hence, they are prohibited from possessing marijuana plants on behalf of the patients under their care. Only licensed marijuana cultivation businesses can legally grow the plant in Minnesota.