Utah has a medical cannabis program in place for patients whose qualifying conditions are best treated with cannabis. In most cases, patients are able to apply for a medical cannabis card and obtain their medicines on their own. But what about patients who need help? The state makes provision via the medical cannabis caregiver card.
The caregiver card allows a designated caregiver to obtain medical cannabis on behalf of a patient. Imagine yourself being housebound. You are unable to travel to our Salt Lake or Brigham City pharmacies to obtain your medicine. A designated caregiver with a valid card could stop by Beehive Farmacy on your behalf.
Note that a caregiver card does not authorize the holder to consume medical cannabis themself. To do that, a caregiver would have to apply for their own medical cannabis card.
The Patient Must Have a Card
Before a caregiver can apply for a card, the patient must have a valid card. Nothing about the application process changes here. The patient still meets with a healthcare provider, makes application online, and pays the associated fee. Only when the patient has a valid card can the caregiver apply.
As a patient, you could enter your caregiver’s information in the EVS prior to that person’s application. Whether or not you do, you must at least designate who your caregiver is. You do that through the EVS as well. The rest of the information can be entered later if you choose.
Creating the Caregiver’s Account
Next up, the caregiver must have an active UtahID account in order to apply. UtahID is a wholesale electronic ID platform that give state residents access to a variety of government sites and applications. The ID.Utah.gov website is the place to create an account if the caregiver doesn’t already have one.
A caregiver with an active UtahID account for other purposes can use the same username and password to log in to the EVS. As such, it is entirely possible for a caregiver to already have an active account before applying for a caregiver card.
Applying for the Card
With all the patient and caregiver ducks in a row, applying for the actual caregiver card is pretty straightforward. The caregiver logs on to the EVS, chooses the caregiver card application, and completes it online. Once submitted, there is nothing to do but wait for application approval and card issuance.
Note that caregiver cards, like standard medical cannabis cards, are issued electronically. The state does not send printed documents to caregivers. A caregiver can print the card themself or just carry a digital copy on their phone.
One other thing to note is that caregivers are subjected to a background check before their applications are approved. The Department of Health and Human Services contacts the caregiver using the email address provided in the application form to begin the background check process. The caregiver will notice a link on the bottom of their application to print out a fingerprint form and a list of fingerprinting locations. It is recommended to print these documents and get the fingerprinting process started.
Caring for Multiple Patients
One of the nicer aspects of Utah’s medical cannabis program is that it allows caregivers to obtain medical cannabis for multiple patients. Imagine yourself as a caregiver. On your caregiver application, you would list a primary patient and pay a fee of $68.25 (as of the time this post was written). But then you could also add a secondary patient with an additional fee of only $15.
Utah regulations allow caregivers to obtain medical cannabis on behalf of patients unable to do so themselves. That is a good thing. Making provision for certain patient limitations by way of the caregiver card improves medical cannabis access throughout the entire Beehive State.