Becoming a Caregiver, Producer or Provider in the District of Columbia

Designated Caregiver

Patients are allowed to designate one person to be their “designated caregiver” to assist them with their medical cannabis therapy. Caregivers are selected when the patients fills out and submits their registration application to DOH. A caregiver must be at least 18 years-old, not have a conviction for possession or selling of a controlled substance, and may only serve one qualifying patient at any given time. Caregivers must be in possession of their DOH-issued registration card in order to receive legal protections when handling or transporting their patient’s medicine.

Caregivers have the same legal protections that patients have, except they are strictly forbidden from consuming and of their patient’s medical cannabis. Caregivers who divert medical cannabis to a party other than their patient are subject to penalties under the District’s controlled substances act.

Caregiver Application

A patient must list their caregiver on the patient application form; however, caregivers must also fill out their own application form, which is found on the DOH Medical Marijuana website. Instructions are similar to those for patient applicants, including photo and ID requirements and eligibility for reduced fees for financial hardship.

Caregiver application forms are submitted with the patient's patient application form.

Criminal Background Check

All those apply to be a caregiver must submit to a criminal background check. There is a separate fee for the background check from the caregiver application fee. Instruction on how schedule a background check are found on page 2 of the caregiver application form.

DC Department of Health has more information and required forms.   


The law establishes a medical marijuana program to "regulate the manufacture, cultivation, distribution, dispensing, purchase, delivery, sale, possession, and administration of medical marijuana and the manufacture, possession, purchase, sale, and use of paraphernalia. The Program shall be administered by the Mayor."

DC Department of Health has more information and required forms.   

 Training Requirements

The training requirements as set forth in the DCMR are as follows:

5105.1 A person or entity wishing to become a medical marijuana certification provider shall obtain a medical marijuana certification provider permit which shall allow the holder to provide a medical marijuana training and education certification
program in the District of Columbia. For purposes of this section, a "medical marijuana certification provider" shall mean any person or entity approved by the Department to conduct a medical marijuana and education training program as set
forth in § 5105.2. A medical marijuana provider permit shall be valid for three (3) years. 

5105.2 A medical marijuana certification provider shall include the following subjects in its education training program; which shall be submitted to the Department for approval:

(a) The effect medical marijuana use has on the body and behavior, especially as to driving ability, and that driving under the influence of marijuana is prohibited under the Act;

(b) Procedures for the proper handling and dispensing of medical marijuana to qualified patients and caregivers;

(c) Methods of recognizing and communicating with underage qualifying patients and caregivers;

(d) Prevention techniques involving effective identification and carding procedures;

(e) Explanation of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010 and Federal law relating to marijuana and ensuring compliance with this title and District law; 

(f) Advertising, promotion, and marketing of medical marijuana; and 

(g) Security and theft prevention.

5105.3 An application for a medical marijuana certification provider permit shall: 

(a) Be completed on a form provided by the Department; 

(b) Include a copy of the proposed training materials, curriculum, and examinations; and

(c) Include payment of the annual fee for the entire three (3)-year permit period.

5105.4 The Department shall make the final determination as to the qualifications of the applicant and compliance of the applicant's program with § 5105.2, and may require a meeting with the applicant prior to issuing its decision. 

5105.5 Approval of a medical marijuana training and education program shall expire after three (3) years from the date of the course obtaining approval. The applicant shall resubmit a program to the Department for approval as part of its application to renew its medical marijuana certification provider permit.