The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act is embodied under House Bill No.1, which was signed into law by the state Governor on August 1, 2013, after passing both the House and the Senate. The law was made effective on January 1, 2014.

The Act establishes a mandatory patient registry program which provides protection to qualifying patients and registered designated caregivers from arrest, prosecution, and denial of any rights or privilege. The law also allows the registration and operation of cultivation centers and dispensing organizations for the cultivation and dispensing of medical cannabis.

On July 20, 2014, the state Governor signed Senate Bill 2636, which amended the law to include that patients under 18 years old be treated with non-smokable form of marijuana for the same medical conditions approved for adults, and that certifications come from two physicians. The bill becomes effective on January 1, 2015.

Caregiver Laws

A caregiver is an individual designated by a qualifying patient who can legally possess, acquire from a certified medical cannabis dispensary, and administrate the qualifying patient’s use of medical cannabis. A completed application in a Department-approved form must also be submitted among others, together with the registry application of the qualifying patient who designated him.

A designated caregiver is not allowed to assist more than one patient and is not allowed or authorize to grow or cultivate medical cannabis. At any given time, the designated caregiver may acquire up to two-and-a-half ounces of medical cannabis on behalf of the patient.

Dispensary Laws

The law provides for the registration and operation of medical cannabis dispensing organizations, which are authorized to acquire, possess, or dispense medical cannabis or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying patients or registered designated caregivers.

A dispensing organization may operate only if it has been issued a registration from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR).

Growing Laws

Qualifying patients and/or designated caregivers are not allowed by law to grow or cultivate medical marijuana. Instead, the State Medical Marijuana Program provides the operation of cultivation center, which is a facility registered by the Department of Agriculture to perform “necessary activities” including cultivation to provide registered dispensing organizations only with usable medical cannabis.

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