Becoming a Caregiver, Producer, or Provider in Washington

Every state has varying laws and regulations for caregivers, cultivators and medical cannabis providers. In Washington, patients may legally designate a provider to cultivate cannabis on their behalf or become a participating member of a cooperative. Registration is not required for designated providers.

Designated Provider Requirements

Designated providers may not be arrested, prosecuted or subject to other legal sanctions for possession, cultivation or delivery of medical cannabis, absent other violations of state law. Designated providers may only care for one patient at any one time, in addition to themselves.

  • Must be 21 years of age or older
  • Must be either:
    • The parent or legal guardian of a qualifying patient that is a minor and must hold a recognition card; or
    • Designated in writing by the qualifying patient (if over 18 years of age) to serve as a designated provider
  • Must obtain either:
    • An individual authorization from the patient’s authorizing health care professional separate from the patient; or
    • A recognition card, after being entered into the medical marijuana authorization database as a designated provider
  • Must not consume marijuana obtained for the medical use of the qualifying patient being cared for by the designated provider
  • Must provide marijuana to only the qualifying patient being cared for by the designated provider
  • Must not be a designated provider to more than one patient at any one time
  • Must not possess more marijuana than the amounts allowed by law
    • If a person is both a qualifying patient and a designated provider for another qualifying patient, then that person may not possess more than twice the amounts allowed by law
  • Possession Amounts:
    • Designated Providers with a Recognition Card:
      • May purchase sales-tax free any combination of the following from a licensed marijuana store with a medical endorsement:
        • 3 oz. usable marijuana;
        • 48 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form;
        • 216 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
        • 21 grams marijuana concentrate
      • May grow in their home or as a member of a cooperative:
        • 6 plants for personal medical use; and
        • 8 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants
        • Note: If the patient’s healthcare practitioner determines the patient requires more than the above amount, they may authorize:
          • Up to 15 plants for personal medical use; and
          • Up to 16 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants.
      • Note: No more than 15 plants may be grown or located in any one housing unit, even if multiple qualifying patients or designated providers reside in the housing unit. The only exception is for cooperative gardens.
    • Designated Providers with Authorization Form only (no Recognition Card):
      • May purchase only the amounts allowed for non-patients from a licensed retail marijuana store:
        • 1 oz. usable marijuana;
        • 16 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form;
        • 72 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
        • 7 grams of marijuana concentrate
      • May grow in their home:
        • 4 plants for personal medical use; and
        • 6 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants.
      • Note: Designated providers who aren’t entered into the database are limited to 4 plants and 6 oz. of usable marijuana even if a higher number of plants is indicated on their authorization form.

Cooperative Garden Requirements

Cooperative gardens are made up of a group of qualifying patients or designated providers who share necessary resources to produce and process cannabis for medical use. This can include the location, equipment, construction materials, supplies and labor needed to plant, grow and harvest cannabis, as well as any plants, seeds or cuttings. Cooperative gardens can provide for up to four patients at a time, as long as there is no more than 72 ounces on site and production is limited to 60 plants.

  • Up to 4 qualifying patients or designated providers may become members of a cooperative
  • All members must hold valid recognition cards
  • All members must be at least 21 years of age
    • The designated provider of a qualifying patient under 21 years of age may be a member of a cooperative on the patient’s behalf
  • All plants grown in the cooperative must be purchased or cloned from a plant purchased from a licensed marijuana producer
  • Must register the location of the cooperative with the state liquor and cannabis board
    • Must grow or process marijuana only in this location
    • Must list the names of all participating members and copies of each members’ registration card when registering the cooperative
  • Must be located at the domicile of one of the members
  • Must keep a copy of each members’ recognition card at cooperative location at all times
  • Must not be located in any of the following areas:
    • Within 1 mile of a marijuana retailer
    • Within the smaller of either:
      • 1000 ft. from any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or any game arcade that is not restricted to persons over 21 years of age; or
      • As restricted by local ordinance, if available
    • Where prohibited by a city, town or county zoning provision
  • Must limit garden to the total amount of plants authorized for each participating member, not to exceed a maximum of 60 plants total
  • Must limit possession of cannabis to what is produced from the plants, not to exceed a maximum of 72 oz.
  • Members must not participate in more than one cooperative
  • Members must not grow plants outside of the cooperative
  • Members must provide nonmonetary resources and labor to the cooperative
  • Must not sell, donate or otherwise provide marijuana or marijuana infused products to a person that is not authorized as a qualifying patient or designated provider

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