Per House Bill 766 (the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act), medical marijuana caregivers are individuals registered under the North Carolina medical marijuana program to assist registered medical marijuana patients in administering cannabis products. They may legally possess and purchase marijuana products on behalf of their patients.
Every registered medical marijuana patient in North Carolina is required to have a caregiver. However, the state does not assign caregivers to medical marijuana patients. Under the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, a person may serve as a caregiver for a family member diagnosed with intractable epilepsy, the only qualifying medical condition for medical marijuana treatment. There is no limit to the number of medical marijuana patients a caregiver can manage in the state.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) regulates the state's medical cannabis program and registers caregivers under the program. According to House Bill 766, for a person to become a medical marijuana caregiver in North Carolina, they must:
To register as a medical marijuana caregiver in North Carolina, the applicant should download and complete the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act Caregiver Registration Application form. Next, they should mail the completed caregiver registry application form along with their valid government-issued photo identification to:
North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Registration
3008 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Successful medical marijuana caregiver registry applicants in North Carolina will receive approval letters from the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services under the NCDHHS. They must have their NCDHHS approval letters with them whenever they carry marijuana products for medical use. Medical marijuana caregivers in North Carolina are not required to pay application fees during registration in the state's medical marijuana program. Since medical marijuana caregivers in the state are typically their patients' parents, legal guardians, or custodians, there is usually no payment arrangement for them.
Medical marijuana patients in North Carolina are usually legal dependents of their caregivers. Therefore, registered medical marijuana patients are not required to search for other caregivers in the state to assist them in using marijuana for medical purposes. According to House Bill 766, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is required to have a registry containing the names and addresses of registered medical marijuana caregivers in the state. However, the NCDHHS does not make the registry of approved medical marijuana caregivers available to the public. Also, the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act does not allow medical marijuana caregivers to manage patients remotely.
Registered medical marijuana caregivers in North Carolina can legally buy, hold, and transport cannabis products on behalf of their patients. Per the provisions of the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, medical marijuana caregivers are permitted to possess cannabis products that:
House Bill 766 does not limit the number of cannabis products that caregivers are allowed to carry. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), registered medical cannabis caregivers may carry cannabis products if they have their NCDHHS caregiver registration letters with them.
The North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act does not permit medical marijuana caregivers in the state to grow cannabis plants on behalf of their patients. According to Section 90.94 of the North Carolina General Statutes, marijuana is a Schedule VI controlled substance. Hence, the cultivation of cannabis plants is illegal in the state. Per Section 90.95 of the North Carolina General Statutes, persons caught growing marijuana plants at home risk facing severe penalties.