Caregivers are individuals authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) to obtain medical marijuana products and administer these products on behalf of their patients. PADOH allows caregivers to assist minors, homebound adult patients, and adult patients benefiting from assistance to designate caregivers. Also, adult patients registered under the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program who have obtained medical marijuana cards can designate caregivers by sharing their patient ID numbers with their caregivers before the caregivers register. A caregiver can also be designated by a qualifying patient's parent, legal guardian or spouse.
Per Pennsylvania law, medical marijuana patients under the age of 18 must designate caregivers to buy and administer medical marijuana on their behalf. A medical marijuana patient may designate up to two caregivers, while a caregiver is allowed to assist as many as five qualified patients in Pennsylvania.
To be eligible to become a medical marijuana caregiver in Pennsylvania, you must:
If you are registering as the caregiver for a new patient who is a minor, requires in-home support, or is disabled, follow these steps:
Upon receiving your approval notification from PADOH, return to the patient and caregiver registry to pay the registration fee ($50) to obtain a medical marijuana caregiver card. For more information on becoming a caregiver in Pennsylvania, email the Department of Health at RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov or call the Department at (717) 547-3047.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health does not maintain a list of qualified caregivers that patients may choose from. Patients are required to find eligible persons per PADOH regulations who will agree to assist them in purchasing and administering medical marijuana. Minor patients will be required to designate their parents or legal guardians as their caregivers. If the parent or legal guardian cannot serve as a caregiver, any of the parties may designate another individual as a third-party caregiver. In such an instance, the patient must complete "an authorization to designate a third-party caregiver" form. This form is available from the caregiver's profile in the medical marijuana registry.
Incapacitated adult patients, such as those unable to make their own medical decisions, may designate persons aware of their medical conditions and responsible for their wellbeing as caregivers.
Pursuant to HB 1024 signed by Governor Tom Wolf in June 2021, caregivers may purchase up to 90-day supplies of medical marijuana products for their patients per time. The details of a 90-day supply will be determined by the physician's recommendation issued to the patient. Caregivers may hold and transport marijuana products within this limit within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Note that medical marijuana products may not be held, transported to, or administered on federally owned properties within Pennsylvania.
Currently, caregivers are not allowed to grow marijuana under the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program. Caregivers caught growing marijuana may be sentenced to up to 5 years in jail and fined up to $15,000. The penalties are even steeper for offenders with grow areas located near schools.