Becoming a Caregiver, Producer or Provider in Massachusetts

Caregivers

105 CMR 725.020

Massachusetts’ medical marijuana laws protect patients and their designated caregivers.  Designated caregivers are allowed to possess and obtain marijuana for the patient in their care, so long as they possess no more than  sixty-day supply or medicine, define by rulemaking as up to ten (10) ounces of usable cannabis.

To obtain a registration card for a personal caregiver, a qualifying patient shall submit, in a form and manner determined by the Department, the following:

(1) The personal caregiver’s full name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and email address if any, and a statement that the individual is at least 21 years of age;

(2) Full name, date of birth, and address of the qualifying patient for whom the personal caregiver will be providing assistance with the use of marijuana for medical purposes;

(3) A copy of the personal caregiver’s driver’s license, government-issued identification card, or other verifiable identity document acceptable to the Department;

(4) A statement of whether the caregiver will be cultivating marijuana for the patient, and at what address, if the patient is granted a hardship cultivation registration;

(5) Written acknowledgement by the personal caregiver of the limitations on his or her authorization to cultivate, possess, and dispense to his or her registered qualifying patient, marijuana for medical purposes in the Commonwealth;

(6) An attestation by the personal caregiver that he or she will not engage in the diversion of marijuana and that he or she understands that protections conferred by the Act for possession of marijuana for medical use are applicable only within Massachusetts; and

(7) Any other information required by the Department.

An individual must be granted a registration card by the Department prior to serving as a personal caregiver for any registered qualifying patient.

Except in the case of an employee of a hospice provider, nursing facility, or medical facility providing care to a qualifying patient admitted to or residing at that facility, or a visiting nurse, home health aide, personal care attendant, or immediate family member of more than one registered qualifying patient, an individual may not serve as a personal caregiver for more than one registered qualifying patient at one time.

A registered qualifying patient may designate up to two personal caregivers. If the registered qualifying patient has been granted a hardship cultivation registration, the personal caregiver(s) may cultivate marijuana on behalf of the registered qualifying patient at only one location. Cultivation pursuant to a hardship cultivation registration by a personal caregiver constitutes consent for such inspection of the cultivation site.

A registered qualifying patient may add a second caregiver or change personal caregiver(s) by providing notification in a form and manner determined by the Department, and providing the information required in 105 CMR 725.020(A) for registration of personal caregivers.

A personal caregiver may not receive payment or other compensation for services rendered as a personal caregiver other than reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in the provision of services as a caregiver, provided however that a caregiver’s time is not considered a reasonable expense. In the case of an employee of a hospice provider, nursing facility, or medical facility, or a visiting nurse, personal care attendant, or home health aide serving as a personal caregiver, such person may not receive payment or compensation above and beyond his or her regular wages.

After obtaining a registration card, the personal caregiver is responsible for notifying the Department, in a form and manner determined by the Department, within five business days after any change to the information that his or her registered qualifying patient was previously required to submit to the Department, or after the personal caregiver discovers that his or her registration card has been lost or stolen.

A personal caregiver must carry his or her registration card at all times while in possession of marijuana.

For step-by-step caregiver registration information, please see the Massachusetts Department of Public Health “Instructions for Personal Caregivers” document: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/medical-marijuana/2016-03-04-caregiver-online-registration-instructions-final.pdf

Renewal

105 CMR 725.020 (H)

A registration card will be valid for one year from the date of issue, and may be renewed, in a form and manner determined by the Department, by meeting the requirements in 105 CMR 725.020(A).

Duties of Personal Caregiver

105 CMR 725.025

A personal caregiver may:

(1) Transport a registered qualifying patient to and from a RMD;

(2) Obtain and transport marijuana from a RMD on behalf of a registered qualifying patient;

(3) Cultivate marijuana on behalf of a registered qualifying patient who has obtained a hardship cultivation registration;

(4) Prepare marijuana for consumption by a registered qualifying patient; and

(5) Administer marijuana to a registered qualifying patient.

An employee of a hospice provider, nursing facility, or medical facility serving as a personal caregiver for a registered qualifying patient admitted to or residing at that facility, or a visiting nurse, home health aide, or personal care attendant, may not cultivate marijuana for that patient.

Upon the death of a personal caregiver’s registered qualifying patient, the personal caregiver must notify the Department within five calendar days.

Restrictions on Personal Caregivers

105 CMR 725.025 (B)

A personal caregiver may not:

(1) Consume, by any means, marijuana that has been dispensed to or cultivated on behalf of a registered qualifying patient;

(2) Sell, provide, or otherwise divert marijuana that has been dispensed to or cultivated on behalf of a registered qualifying patient;

(3) Cultivate marijuana for the personal caregiver’s own use, unless the personal caregiver is also a registered qualifying patient who has obtained a hardship cultivation registration;

4) Cultivate marijuana for purposes of selling or providing marijuana to anyone other than the registered qualifying patient; or

5) Allow a registered qualifying patient who is under 18 years of age to possess marijuana at any time when not in the presence of the personal caregiver.

Dispensaries

105 CMR 725.005

Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, to be known as registered marijuana dispensaries (RMDs), must be not-for-profit entities, registered under 105 CMR 725.100.  RMDs may acquire, cultivate, possess, process (including development of related products such as edible MIPs, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfer, transport, sell, distribute, dispense, or administer marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to registered qualifying patients or their personal caregivers. 

Becoming a Registered Marijuana Dispensary

105 CMR 725.100

A RMD is required to incorporate pursuant to M.G.L. c. 180 and to maintain the corporation in good standing with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. A RMD must operate on a non-profit basis for the benefit of registered qualifying patients. Such corporation must ensure that revenue of the RMD is used solely in furtherance of its nonprofit purpose.

No executive, member, or any entity owned or controlled by such executive or member, may directly or indirectly control more than three RMDs.

A RMD must make vaporizers available for sale to registered qualifying patients.

A RMD may not have more than two locations in Massachusetts at which marijuana is cultivated, MIPs are prepared, and marijuana is dispensed. Each of these activities may occur at only one such location, which may be either the RMD’s principal place of business or one Department-approved alternate location in Massachusetts, but not both.

All dispensary agents of the RMD must be registered pursuant to 105 CMR 725.030.

A RMD must have a program to provide reduced cost or free marijuana to patients with documented verified financial hardship.

At least one executive of a non-profit corporation seeking registration as a RMD must register with the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) on behalf of the entity as an organization user of iCORI.

For more information regarding the RMD Application Process, please reference the following “Frequently Asked Questions” document for guidance: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/medical-marijuana/12-1-15-app-process-faq.pdf

Also see the Massachusetts DPH’s Visual “Application Process Overview” Document: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/medical-marijuana/10-6-15-newrmd-app-process-overview-final.pdf

Maintaining a Licensed Dispensary

105 CMR 725.100 (E)

The RMD’s certificate of registration shall expire one year after the date of issuance and may be renewed as follows unless an action has been taken based upon the grounds set forth in 105 CMR 725.405:

No later than 60 calendar days prior to the expiration date, a RMD shall submit a completed renewal application to the Department in a form and manner determined by the Department, as well as the required fee; and

The RMD shall update as needed, and ensure the accuracy of, all information that it submitted on its initial application for a certificate of registration

This link will take you to a list of all current licensed dispensaries in Massachusetts:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/medical-marijuana/dispensing-rmds.html

This link will take you to the forms necessary to become a licensed dispensary and remain one:

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/medical-marijuana/2015-application-instructions-and-forms.html


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