I repeatedly receive phone calls and emails from all over the country with basic questions about the Medical Marijuana movement in Arizona. Most recently there has been a huge number of people wanting information on Caregivers and more specifically what is a Medical Marijuana Caregiver.
First, the term Caregiver refers to a person that provides basic health related services to those that are very ill and practically homebound. A Medical Marijuana Caregiver is a person that provides medical marijuana to patients that are sick and too ill to drive and pick up medication from a dispensary. Therefore, a Medical Marijuana Caregiver is almost like a mobile dispensary in some ways. However, there are restrictions for Arizona Medical Marijuana Caregivers.
Currently, Medical Marijuana Caregivers can cultivate for up to 5 patients (no more) in Arizona. If you are interested in becoming a medical marijuana caregiver, you will want to apply for a caregiver license with the state health dept. More than likely, you will have to have consent forms from up to 5 people that are already patients under the Medical Marijuana Act of Arizona.
Acting as an Arizona Medical Marijuana Caregiver, you may plant and cultivate up to 12 plants per patient(s) or a maximum of 72 plants [assuming you have 5 authorized patients to provide to.] This is where Arizona Medical Marijuana Zoning Laws need to be looked at depending on your city. Some cities are working against the cause to grow in your own home and forcing many Medical MJ Caregivers to lease a building or purchase a building strictly for growing. I can tell you that many caregivers throughout California find that growing marijuana at home [although convenient] poses a number of challenges.
If you’re growing 72 plants, it starts to have a huge odor of pot. Not a good thing in most family-oriented neighborhoods and can easily glaze a target directed at you from HOA and city officials and yada yada yada.
Many caregivers also don’t feel comfortable with that much product in their home as it can also bring attention from unwanted criminals stupid enough to do something stupid.
And in most cases, you probably have a gun in the house. Now, I’m an advocate of firearm saftey and gun control myself. I believe in the 2nd Amendment, protecting your family, I carry my own .40, member of NRA etc…However, pot and guns don’t mix from a federal perspective.
Keep in mind, although marijuana is legal in Arizona the feds consider medical marijuana a Class 1 Constrolled Substance Narcotic. They will more than likely not intefere with growers and dispensaries in Arizona as long as you pay taxes, play by the rules set forth by the state and you don’t make mischief. Yet having a gun in your possession or in your house along with a controlled substance is a fine line to walk and can easily mean federal prison time. You will find that in time, you don’t need a gun when caregiving weed anyways. Your patients need their medication and they become a part of your life and family over time. Having a firearm and marijuana in your domicile is strictly NOT permitted by Federal Law and this makes them raiding your house all the easier.
So, with that being said; lease a room with another good grower and help share the cost of utilities and nutrients. Keep it away from your home and get your grow on.