Caregivers are legally authorized to purchase medical marijuana from approved Ohio dispensaries as well as possess, transport, and administer marijuana products to registered patients under the Ohio medical marijuana control program (OMMCP). The OMMCP authorizes minors and adults lacking the capacity to administer medical marijuana by themselves to assign individuals who may serve as caregivers. A caregiver caters to the medical marijuana needs of a qualified patient and can be the patient's parent, legal guardian, spouse, nurse, or any other authorized individual.
As with patients, medical marijuana caregivers must be registered with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Note that in Ohio, a caregiver must not receive payment or compensation for services provided as a caregiver other than reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in providing the services of a caregiver. Although Rule 3796:7-2-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code stipulates that a registered patient may not designate more than two caregivers and that a caregiver may not serve more than two registered patients, the state makes an exception in certain circumstances. Upon a written request, the state's Board of Pharmacy may permit an individual to act as a caregiver for more than two registered patients and for a patient to designate more than two caregivers:
In order to become a caregiver under the OMMCP, you must:
A caregiver registration starts with the patient notifying the certified physician issuing a medical marijuana certification of the intention to designate a caregiver on their OMMCP application. Subsequently, the physician will create a profile for the caregiver in the patient and caregiver registry. Note that only physicians who have obtained Certificate-to-Recommend (CTR) licenses can link caregivers to patients. After linking you to the designating patient in the OMMCP system, you will receive an email containing a link to your patient and caregiver registry profile for you to remit the registration fee ($25) and complete your application. The link in the mail is valid for 90 days. Payment may be completed using a credit card or an electronic check.
To complete the registration, the physician will require from the caregiver:
After making the payment for the registration, the application will go through a review where the Board of Pharmacy will verify your eligibility by checking your inclusion status in any of the seven databases listed under Rule 3796:7-2-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code. The review process may take up to 7 business days to complete. Upon approval, you will receive an approval notification by email. Subsequently, you may download and print the caregiver card from your account on the Ohio medical marijuana patient and caregiver registry.
A caregiver registration is valid for 1 year, expiring on the last day of the month it was issued. For more information on becoming a caregiver in Ohio, contact the Board of Pharmacy via email at MMCPRegistry@pharmacy.ohio.gov or call the Ohio Medical Marijuana toll-free helpline at (833) 464-6627
Patients reserve the right to select their own medical marijuana caregivers, provided the selected persons fulfill the eligibility criteria under the Ohio medical marijuana control program. Patients may only choose Ohio residents to serve as caregivers, as remote caregivers are not allowed. The state keeps no central database of prospective caregivers and therefore recommends that patients carefully make their choices in selecting caregivers. For minors, caregivers are typically their parents or legal guardians.
The rule on possession limits for caregivers and patients was updated in April 2020, splitting the initial 90-day supply recommendation into equal 45-day periods. Therefore, a caregiver may make as many purchases of medical marijuana products as required within a 45-day period until the volume limit is reached. Once the limit has been reached, the caregiver must wait until the next 45-day period before purchasing medical marijuana again. The legal limit for a 90-day period depends on the patient's diagnosis, the physician's recommendation, and the type of product to be purchased.
The Board of Pharmacy has categorized approved medical marijuana products sold in Ohio dispensaries into different tiers and placed certain purchase limits on each tier. Caregivers may purchase up to 8 ounces of Tier 1 products and up to 5.3 ounces of Tier 2 products per 90-day period.
It is illegal for caregivers to grow marijuana under the Ohio medical marijuana control program, as personal cannabis cultivation is illegal in Ohio. Hence, patients and caregivers are prohibited from growing marijuana for medical uses.