Finding a Good Medical Cannabis or Marijuana Caregiver

December 8th, 2009 by Δ9 Leave a reply »

As the medical cannabis scene grows in Montana and throughout the country, more and more citizens are being recognized by the state as being legally allowed to consume cannabis because of their conditions. While NORML does not specifically exist for furthering the cause of medical cannabis, it is hard to ignore the growing population of individuals that are able to partake in the programs that states provide for them.

These programs, laws, or regulations, allow individuals to have access to cannabis in order to provide them with feelings, relief, and compassion that can not be found in any prescribed drug. With all of this: we still find ourselves at the mercy of laws which govern what could possibly be the most incredible and versatile plant on Earth.

While this population of “users” grows, there comes a challenge in finding the provider of medical cannabis, or marijuana, that is right for you. In Montana, there are a large number of caretakers. Of those caretakers, the DPHHS has said there are only 27 caregivers in the state that have over 20 patients. Does this mean one of them is who you want to seek out? Maybe… maybe not.

An unfortunate product of the slight release of prohibition from a substance is the abundance of individuals and organizations willing to exploit it. As such, it becomes very easy to be caught up in the newspaper advertisements or handouts that may paint particular cannabis providers in a beautiful light. There is only a certain amount of truth in advertising, so it’s necessary to provide a guide to figuring out who should be your medical cannabis caregiver.

How do you find a caregiver that is right for you?

There are so many questions that should be considered when trying to identify a good caregiver for your cannabis needs.

The following has been adapted from questions and suggestions compiled by Vaporgirl, who participates in the Montana medical marijuana program. She provided a very good list of considerations from the point of view of a new patient. She was also kind enough to allow me to use it as a basis for this post in order to help share information with other new patients who aren’t sure what they should be looking for when seeking out their first medical cannabis caregiver.

First, we’ll start with 10 rules that every patient should have when it comes to finding their caregiver.

10 Rules for Finding a Good Caregiver

  1. Ask to meet with the person before making any commitment.
  2. Be suspect if the person says you have to accept them as your caregiver before they will meet with you. Be suspect if you are asked to pay in advance or to put up a large amount of money for an even larger return. This is a sure sign of a thriving illegal business.

  3. Consider meeting in a public place the first time.
  4. If you do not feel comfortable with this person, be polite, but do not feel like you have to accept them as your caregiver if you are uncomfortable in anyway. Rely on your instinct; a bad vibe goes a long way. A good vibe is what you are feeling for. You will have to be working with this person for quite some time so if your first impression throws you off, you might want to listen to yourself.

  5. A good caregiver should return your calls/emails within 24hr.
  6. There should be no forgetfulness. If they are not organized enough to return a phone call, they probably aren’t organized enough to make sure you’re getting the care you deserve.

  7. A good caregiver keeps all your information confidential.
  8. If you find out your caregiver has been talking about you, your plants, your treatment, or anything related to you without your permission: they’re not providing good care for you.

  9. A good caregiver should be able to give you all the details of the entire process, from getting your card to helping you grow your own MMJ.
  10. If your caregiver is just there to sell you medicine: they aren’t a caregiver, they’re a medical cannabis distributor. Your caregiver should be able to offer you advice on growing your own medicine, provide you with resources to help you grow your own medicine, and be a resource to provide assistance or answers to questions in regards to your medicine. They should be able to provide you with seeds or clones at a low cost or free.

  11. A good caregiver will even suggest other caregivers if they feel that someone might suit you better.
  12. This is not just about money; it is about care giving after all. Despite what a few caregivers in the state are trying to do: this is not about making money. This is about helping people. If your caregiver doesn’t have the strains you need, the prices you need, the locations you need, they should be able to recommend someone else to you.

  13. A good caregiver should advise you to consider a vaporizer and she/he should be able to recommend products in a price range you can afford.
  14. If you have never used cannabis before, a caregiver should be able to show you how and walk you through your first experience. This responsibility of a caregiver is bound to become more important as the medical community begins to recommend cannabis to patients who would benefit from this drug but are hesitant to try it. A recommendation that every caregiver should carry is that of vaporization. Vaporization offers many benefits, particularly health benefits, and your caregiver should be open and knowledgeable enough to talk with you about it.

  15. A good caregiver makes you feel they are concerned for your health; you are not just a druggie and they are not just dope dealers.
  16. You should feel like this is more than just about money and getting high. If your caregiver doesn’t make you feel this way, chances are it is just about money and getting high for them.

  17. A good caregiver will not provide for you until you have your card.
  18. There are some caregivers out there who feel they are above the law or understand the laws better than those who wrote them. They are not lawmakers or lawyers and so you should have your own best interest in mind. If your caregiver is asking you to break the law or does things that you are unsure about when it comes to the law, they have obviously made up their mind on how to interpret the law. Until a precedent has been set or a law is on the books, you should understand that you are trusting their opinion or the opinion of their legal team in these matters.

    Until you receive your medical cannabis card in the mail, you are not receiving the fullest protection that can be provided to you by the law. By suggesting you should be purchasing or possessing cannabis before you receive your card, your caregiver is suggesting that you should make yourself vulnerable to possible arrest by law enforcement officers. While you may later present an affirmative defense, you may find yourself arrested, processed and possibly even jailed. You should consider doing yourself a favor and wait until you have the fullest protection of the law.

    A good caregiver should not provide you with legal worries or grey areas.

  19. High quality medical cannabis every time, without question or consideration.
    • If you start to hear any of the following excuses or phrases from your caregiver, consider looking elsewhere:

    • “We’ve only got this right now.”
    • If your caregiver is relying on other caregivers to provide medicine to you, they are not a caregiver, they are a distributor. You sign them on so that they can grow six plants for you. Six, well grown plants, provides a lot of medicine. You should never have to “settle.”

    • “Well, just some of the buds had a little mold.”
    • The ramifications of smoking moldy bud are documented and well known. It is not good for you, it does not taste good, and you may not know the terrible things it is doing to your body until it’s too late.

    • “I’m not really sure, I think it’s organic. Maybe it’s hydro?”
    • Your caregiver should be honest and know about everything they are selling to you. If they don’t know whether it was organic or not or whether it’s this strain or that: they didn’t grow it. If they didn’t grow it, they probably don’t know much about it. If they don’t know much about it, why are they selling it to you to take care of yourself?

    • “Well, it’s only been curing for a couple of days.”
    • High quality medicine includes a vigorous drying and curing process. The cannabis should be properly dried, cured, manicured and look very nice. It should have visible trichomes, a pleasant smell (or good stink), be absent of fan leaves that lack the trichome density of the sugar leaves and calyxes, and be of a good, firm texture that doesn’t disintegrate or feel squishy and damp. This process not only to make the herb more pleasant to consume, it actually aids in the decarboxylation process that allows all the acid forms of the chemicals we enjoy (THC-A, CBD-A, etc.) to turn into the form we want (THC, CBD, etc.).

    • “I think we got all of the spider mites off of that clone for you.”
    • Don’t give me any plants you aren’t 100% sure of. Especially if they have had anything to do with spider mites. They will ruin grows, relationships, friendships, houses, plants. Spider mites are a very serious problem for growers and can be extremely hard to get rid of. Other pests/diseases should not be tolerated on clones/plants you receive from your caregiver such as powdery mildew, white flies, and so on.

Cost?
It is important to say something about the prices you should expect to pay. In a perfect world, caregivers would love to provide free, or close to free, medicine to their patients and let everyone receive all the care they need. Since we don’t live in a perfect world, there are real costs associated with growing quality cannabis. Depending on the size of the caregiver, it may be quite a costly personal endeavor to try and provide care. With that said, what price should you expect to pay for medical cannabis?

A good rule of thumb to start with: don’t pay as much as you did before you got a caregiver. In other words: don’t pay street prices. If your caregiver is trying to charge $350.00 or $400.00 an ounce (or more), they are probably not providing you with care; they are turning a profit. If your caregiver is trying to charge you $50.00 per 1/8 or more, they are not providing you with care. Very high quality medicine can be had for $250-$300 per ounce or even cheaper. Many caregivers will work with you on a sliding scale depending on your income so you might find prices even lower or caregivers willing to provide some medicine for free in some cases. If your caregiver is unable to grow or provide cannabis in this price range for you then you should question your choice of caregiver.

If your caregiver tries to charge you more for “the good stuff” then they are not providing you with care, they are ripping you off. You should be receiving the highest quality medicine they have at all times and it should be available at a reliable price. If they want to charge you less because it’s not up to the high quality they normally provide you with, that’s one thing; to admit they aren’t normally providing you with the best medicine they can produce by charging you more for “the good stuff” is not a good practice and shouldn’t be tolerated. You are the one who should be cared for, not their wallets. If they are producing their own medicine, as they should be, it all costs the same to grow. While the argument could be made that potentially more powerful, lesser yielding strains, could cost more money to produce, this should be a choice your caregiver should make on their own and they should not be looking to pass that cost on to you.

Edibles and processed cannabis such as hash, oils, butter, etc. should be fairly priced and you should follow the same general rules that you would for regular cannabis: don’t pay street price and don’t accept that there is “the good stuff” that should cost more.

I Think I’ve Found a Few to Consider: What Now?
So, you’ve got a good understanding of what you should be expecting from your caregiver, you arrange some meetings and you get a chance to sit down and chat with them. What do you do now? You should start asking questions and have some good ideas as to what you would like to hear as a response for those questions. Don’t be afraid to have a list with you when you go. Here are some good questions to ask that should get your list started.

Questions to Ask

  • How long have you been a caregiver?
  • If they aren’t sure or new to being a caregiver, ask about their experience growing cannabis to see if you can get a good idea as to whether they will be able to provide you with the quality of medicine you deserve.

  • How many patients do you have?
  • If you are looking for just a place to purchase medicine, this may not be as important. If, however, you are looking for a caregiver to be a resource for questions, to help you grow, to listen to your feedback or to help you figure out the best strains for your conditions by patiently listening to your ailments and your responses to different strains, you should find out if your caregiver will have time for you.

    Vaporgirl, provided her own comment on this particular question:

    “I don’t like being one of the pack so I prefer a caregiver who has a small group of patients. I don’t want anyone flipping my card out with 60 others and bragging about how many patients they have. This is very disrespectful.”

  • Is the MMJ grown indoors or out and what kind of conditions is it grown in?
  • This can be especially important for those with breathing problems, allergies, or those susceptible to molds. If they can’t answer this question confidently, they probably aren’t closely involved with the medicine creation process. This should be a red flag.

  • Is the MMJ organic or grown with good practices in mind?
  • Knowing that cannabis has been grown organically or with good practices such as recycling soil, using local ingredients, etc. can help you to be assured you’re receiving a high quality product from growers who have the plant and the environment in mind.

  • What happens if crop production is down and you are in need?
  • This is a very important question to ask. If your caregiver has a problem with their plants or has a supply problem, where do they turn to? Can they guarantee the quality of the alternatives? Will the prices remain the same if this situation arises? If they don’t have a backup plan, they probably haven’t been growing medicine very long. It doesn’t take but a single spider mite or a few mold spores to cause serious problems for even the most seasoned growers.

  • What sort of ailments do your strains address and how do they address them better than other strains?
  • If your caregiver doesn’t know what kind of relief their individual strains provide, they don’t know enough about their medicine and will not be able to provide you with the care you deserve. Basic descriptions of flavor and “strong” or “not so strong” is helpful, but not enough information. They should know which of their strains provides the best pain relief, which of their strains provides the best appetite stimulation, which of their strains help most with sleep, etc.

  • How many different strains are usually available?
  • It’s well known that building up a tolerance for strains can be a problem. Be sure your caregiver offers many strains that offer the same kind of relief so that you can switch your medicine if the need arises.

  • What form of payment is accepted?
  • If your caregiver only accepts cash, this is good information to know.

  • Do they offer delivery services in case of inclement weather or the inability to pick up medicine?
  • This can be especially important for those with mobility issues or troubles with the extreme weather conditions that we can experience.

What Patients Should Not Expect

  • Your caregiver is not a bud party buddy.
  • Do not expect to hang out with your caregiver or be invited to see the crop. This is obviously for security reasons. Some caregivers and patients become friends and that is fine.

  • Your caregiver is not a bank, so do not expect them to be okay with loaning or fronting you MMJ.
  • While some caregivers may be understanding to the needs or situations of their patients, you should not expect that they should be okay with providing you with MMJ without payment. If you feel like this may be a situation you will find yourself in, be polite, ask them about it, and try to give notice. If they aren’t comfortable with it: don’t push it.

  • Your caregiver has a life of their own, so do not expect them to be on-call 24/7 for you to just be a friend.
  • While your caregiver should be someone you can talk to or discuss your problems with while you are visiting with them, it does not mean that your caregiver is your personal friend so you should not expect them to just chat on the phone with you when you feel like talking. You need to respect their privacy and personal lives.

Lastly, we’ll finish up with some clear signs that should raise red flags for you when it comes to medical cannabis or marijuana caregiving.

Warning Signs of Bad Caregivers

  • Charging money to meet with them or join their “co-op” or “group” or “club.”
  • It should not cost you any more than a postage stamp, an envelope and the ink and paper to print your Change Request Form to sign up for a caregiver.

  • Watch out for phrases such as: “When we get going” or “When we get more patients”
  • There are enough established caregivers providing excellent care in this state. If your caregiver isn’t quite ready to provide you with the care you are looking for, tell them kindly and politely that you’d be happy to check out their services “when they get going” or “when they get more patients.”

  • Listen for incorrect vocabulary or inaccurate information.
  • If your caregiver is not even knowledgeable enough to use correct vocabulary or speak with confidence about growing cannabis or the strains they provide, they may not be the right caregiver for you.

  • Inconsistency in prices or availability.
  • If your caregiver says you will pay $40.00 per 1/8 and a month later they sound like this:

    “Oh well, y’know, normally it’s like that but things are tight right now so it’s gonna be $45.00. I promise it won’t be like that next time. We got a bunch more coming in soon…”

    …you can expect this to happen regularly.

  • Your caregiver cannot provide you with enough resources or education to allow you to grow your own medicine.
  • Your caregiver should be able to answer any question you may have about growing your own quality cannabis. If they cannot answer your questions, they should be able to point you to good resources that can.

Remember, you do not have to keep your caregiver for the rest of your life. If you start with a good head on your shoulders going into your selection process, you will already be a step ahead when it comes to finding the right caregiver for your needs. If you sign up with a caregiver: do give them a chance to provide you with care. Caregivers occasionally communicate with each other and patients who constantly look for reasons to switch caregivers, switch caregivers often, or do not respect the privacy and personal life of a caregiver may find themselves having troubles looking for a caregiver to help them. If you have given your caregiver a chance and they are not adequate, be polite and let them know. Preferably give them some notice as they may have to alter their growing practices due to the loss of your 6 plants and 1 oz provided to them by law. If you can provide constructive feedback, don’t be afraid to do so.

Conclusion
You are the patient and they are the giver of care. You should not feel at the whim of your caregiver. There are many excellent options throughout the state and many more options showing up every day. Just because you see an advertisement in a newspaper or a caregiver has a store front, does not mean they will be a good caregiver. You deserve to be taken care of so be sure you find a caregiver who addresses your needs and is right for you.

Resources

Thanks again to Vaporgirl for the inspiration for this post.

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38 comments

  1. Excellent read, we have been living by most of these items since our inception.

    We as caregivers understand that we are in this for the patients. We live, breath cannabis to help folks with debilitating conditions, while following the law to the letter.

    We as a society tend to get into trouble when we decide to try to push the limits and stretch the law to further ourselves, and that isn’t going to bode well for the patients.

  2. Blaine says:

    GOOD READ

  3. Ms. J.D. says:

    I think patient empowerment is something that needs to be acknowledged by conventional medicine and medical cannabis. Excellent job bringing this to the forefront of health issues.

  4. Wow,
    There is some misinformation here!
    1.All I am going to say is we have been approved by the Missouri River Drug Task Force.And they Know exactly how we operate.
    2.When you receive your doctors statement YOU ARE LEGAL.The state can not reject you,as long as paperwork is correct and you have paid fee.Think of it this way when you leave a doctor with prescription for Oxycontin, at that minute you are legal to posses and use. You do not have to wait.
    3.Price, just like gas or food this is a commodity subject to price fluctuation.
    4.Meeting in public. A good caregiver will have commercial location for you to come to.To sit be comfortable Not just meet you in a dark alley or public park like a drug dealer.
    5. A good care giver will be NON PROFIT! not just another corporation like MT.Cannabis looking for a profit from the sick and dying.
    While we are on this subject all should know that Tom Dobare (Patients and familes united)a lobbyist on capitol hill is part owner in Mt Cannabis a for profit group, sounds like some collusion that is ethically wrong.His statement in Great falls newspaper last week saying that is is an Owner.
    6.We have had medicine returned to patients from law enforcement with only the physicians statement.
    7.We have 6 commercial locations in Montana to serve patients, none have EVER had any problem with law enforcement.
    8.Collectives that are non profit are the way that all states are now working too.
    9.We are the largest NON PROFIT medical marijuana provider in the state.
    10.We use our attorneys to fight for your patient rights.It was our attorney that stopped the zoning in Billings and it will be our attorneys fighting the city of Whitefish for there recent zoning.
    11.We will guarantee that we have at least 5 different strains dried and cured at ALL times.
    12.We guarantee 100% satisfaction.
    13.We grow 100% organic in soil.
    14.There are NEVER any fees to join our collective.
    15.We provide a portion of ALL harvest to patients Free! Yes Free!
    16.Lastly we have some of the best and brightest working for use on our legal team. No patient with our collective has EVER been hassled, arrested or prosecuted.
    Any questions visit our website or call me on my cell @ 406-581-8712
    Thanks Michael J, Smith
    Executive director The Healing Center Montana

  5. One thing I forgot to mention.
    When Montanas law was written, Colorado law was used as the templete to write our here.
    Our Law in Montana is stronger for patients rights than Colorado.
    Colorado has over 200 collectives in the state doing just the same thing as we here @ THC are doing.
    Our attorney there is Brian Vicente.Google him please.
    He has already stopped the Dept of Health in Colorado from changing the rules for patients that would have hurt them.
    We will always fight for the patients right to have access to there medicine.
    Thanks Michael J. Smith
    Executive Director
    The Healing Center Montana
    http://www.thehealingcentermt.org

  6. Looking for caregiver in Montana?
    Go to,
    http://www.weedmaps.com
    Go to dispensary directory.
    Click on Montana cannabis clubs.
    See who is really trying to help patients.
    Compare clubs in other states to your club or caregiver.
    See real strains and prices from others providers.
    There is a lot going on out there be informed!
    Michael J. Smith
    Executive Director
    The Healing Center Montana

  7. Here is how Collectives are as reported by Westworld news in Denver:
    Please read.
    http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2009/12/mile_highs_and_lows.php

  8. Look closely at # 10
    No where does it say state approval.
    Period end of discussion.

  9. Soon To Be Patient says:

    I’ve been reading a lot about patients and caregivers in Montana and will soon be getting my card.

    Personally, I would like to see proof of the Healing Centers supposed non-profit status. I don’t believe it as non-profits are hard to get and come with federal tax IDs. How does one get a federal tax ID to be a non-profit when the feds do not allow for medical marijuana? A patient can’t even claim their medical marijuana on their federal tax return.

    I think the ability to be a non-profit in this business is bunk. Got proof to offer otherwise?

  10. sisterearth says:

    Excellent, healthy, on-point – Thank you Montana Norml!

    If anyone gets this far in the comments, I would, in good faith, encourage complete disregard for the comments made by “The Healing Center Montana”- bad, unsound advice.

    Wait and see how he responds to this comment.

    There is a definite lack of integrity for himself, lack of respect for others, and a scary tendency to abuse, thwart, exploit the Montana Medical Marijuana law while antagonizing law enforcement (not to mention antagonizing the good people that have been aiding to uphold and implement the law).

    Be safe and responsible!

  11. john says:

    @Soon To Be Patient:

    Anyone can obtain a federal tax ID,and anyone can register a state nonprofit corporation.

    The 501c3 federal tax exempt status is what’s hard to come by, because of the scrutiny the feds apply to the applications.

    At the state level, there are three types of nonprofits:
    - public benefit (charity)
    - mutual benefit (like a fraternity or business league)
    - religious organizations

    The only requirement to be “non-profit” is that excess cash may not distributed to owners. That’s a gross simplification, but sums it up.

    Also, note that nonprofit organizations may pay salaries to employees; big charities pay individual salaries of key people in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

    You can look up any Montana business entity here: http://app.mt.gov/bes/

  12. We are registered with the Secretary of State in Montana as a non-profit mutual benefit (our patients get a % of FREE medicine among other things).
    Each collective location has the right to choose whether to be a profit or non profit.
    I take zero royalties from any collectives.
    We just opened our Big Sky location and Kalispell will be open by the 1st of the year.
    How can we have 7 locations open to serve the patients you ask?
    Regardless of what some say.
    We operate completely within the limits of the law.
    We have NEVER had a problem with law enforcement.
    We work with our local law enforcement.
    Combined we now service about 400 patients at our collectives.
    There is no fee to join THC and never dues of any type.
    All doctors referrals and grow advice is always free.
    Every week we have an average of 10 new patients, discovering for themselves what The Healing Center has to offer you , the patient.
    All government issued cardholders and patients with their Montana Doctors recommendation are welcome to come to one of our locations and see for themselves.
    We offer a variety of different programs to suit your individual needs.
    We have references available upon request.
    Come see for yourself what all the talk is about.
    Thanks Mike @ http://www.thehealingcentermt.org

  13. smokeonthemove says:

    What is the Healing Center’s problem? This article was not about you. This is about being a patient and how to find a good caregiver. As patients, are we not entitled to our opinions? Healing Center you sound very guilty about something. Why are you wasting space with your bad vipes when good people are trying to do the right thing. Thank you for displaying yourself and revealing that you are a conman moving from state to state. Patients Beware of the Healing Center.

  14. smokeonthemove,
    No we are open in 2 states.
    not moving from state to state.
    Is Starbucks in multiple states?
    We are caregivers
    That is what this page is for,information.

  15. Dank Weed says:

    Politicians are 10 years behind the times when it comes to pot use. People have been fighting for a long time against cannabis and hemp prohibition with some movement going on now. Still too slow for those caught up in the jail system for possessing a little weed. Our freedoms have been trampled on by folks who know nothing about how beautiful marijauna can be for someones life, if one learns about growing cannabis. Keep up the good work.

  16. christ0909 says:

    Michael Smith of The Healing Center;

    How do you proclaim that only a “Non-Profit” can be a quality caregiver and at the same time put a deal like this together?

    Buffoon. Even Norml cannot put any sense in your mind. We are SICK of The Healing Center in Montana.

    Here is some details on a penny stock half wit company that is moving into Montana as profiteers in The Healing Centers mockery of our medical law.

    “Gaffney continues, “Health Sciences Group intends on being the first public medical marijuana company to derive actual revenues from medical marijuana operations. Although The Healing Center is non-profit, these two new locations would be for profit under a management agreement”

    Here is the link
    http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2726492/

  17. Hmmmmmm.
    Why attack me christ0909?
    When you have NEVER even been to our collective.
    Tom Dobare from Patients and Families United who is referred to by this website, is part owner in a FOR PROFIT dispensary Montana Cannabis and you NEVER say anything bad about there business model, which is PROFIT.
    Also why are we not listed on PFUs website?
    I will tell you why. Because tom refuses to list us (we assume because we have much better medicine ALL the time).He lists people I caregive for though.
    I am NOT making a mockery of the law, it allows for profit. Tom knows that as well as I, You seem to be the only one who does not.
    You say “we” but it is only “you” all alone.
    Its good to know you speak for NORML now as well!
    Each of our locations has the right to choose to be non profit or for profit.
    Yes we are the largest collective in the country, and proud to say so.
    We have 9 locations available in the Rocky Mountains with more to come.
    Visit http://www.weedmaps.com and see for yourself.
    We are only able to expand do to the overwhelming response to our good work.
    I would have to assume christ 0909 that you have never heard of the Red Cross a non profit.
    Our real patients (now over 500 statewide) Love what we do!
    Thanks for noticing our expansion.
    We are proud to be recognized by outside investors in this burgeoning field.
    We are now #1 on Google.
    Working day and night to be #1 in Montana.
    Thanks Mike @ THC

  18. christ0909 says:

    I am far from all alone Mike at The Healing Center. Can you not read the posts here? Alone!? Man you are slippin. Norml takes the stand that most of us do on caregivers and the law. You are odd man out. Are your “attorneys” you constantly brag about more knowledgable than they are for NORML? You must be out of your mind.

    And the point is, you say that a quality caregiver should be Non Profit. And you are selling stake in The Healing Center to an out of state buyer who plans to profit off “the sick and dying”. How would your buyer at HESG feel about this statement I wonder?
    (Info- pink sheets stock valued at 1 penny and unable to be traded at this time(sell only) on multiple large trading sites. In fact they had to put off purchasing the Healing Center due to this)

    Can you not understand the conflict here? Really!? Or are you deflecting like a conman? Either way, no one is buying it, and the holes you dig for yourself are getting deep.

  19. Here is a great story
    Our law is copied from Colorado law. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_14035186

  20. Nelson says:

    I just got my card, but am a little confused about a few things. I know I can grow 6 plants while still having a designated caregiver. So, what do I lose by designating said caregiver? As a patient, as near as I can tell, I can grow 6 plants for personal use AND have someone providing MM to me as needed. Can I designate myself as a caregiver and grow 12 plants? Not gonna (of course) but just wondering.

  21. john says:

    @Nelson, a patient grow 6 plants, and another individual designated as caregiver can grow 6 plants for you as well. You cannot designate yourself as your own caregiver.

    There is nothing to lose in designating a caregiver, provided the caregiver is trustworthy, etc, as described in the article.

  22. Nelson says:

    Thanks john. I’ve been trying to shed some light on some of the greyer areas of prop 148 (grey areas to me, I mean). Here’s a hypothetical situation – I have my MM card and am a caregiver as well. My roommate has his MM card and designates me as his caregiver. I can grow 6 plants of my own and 6 plants for him. Can my roommate grow his 6 plants (presumably with my 6 and the 6 I’m growing for him as his caregiver)? I’d appreciate ya’ll’s input. N

  23. I have been reading the comments on this page and would like to introduce a new and better way for patients to get their medicine. Visit http://www.hopeandcomfort.com. I am one of two owners for Essential Healing. We are aiming to give patients a better more reliable option. We will be offering medicine to patients on a income basis and are working on setting up some clinic times for new patients to speak with a doctor. I am so sorry to hear that patients are being treated the way that they are. And being given false information, however this seems to be happening all over the state. This isnt about lining someones pockets. This is about caring for people, offering patients honest and reliable services and medicine. So if you are tired of the run around and tired of being treated unfairly visit our website or email us at contactus@hopeandcomfort.com We are here to help you the patient and thats all that really needs to be said our hard work and honesty will tell the whole story. We operate in FULL accordance with the laws of Montana. If you have any questions please contact us. We are glad to help.

  24. john says:

    @Nelson – the most common interpretation of the law is that the patient can grow six, and the caregiver can grow six for the patient. On that basis you could claim that 24 plants were allowed in a 2-person cross-caregiving arrangement. 12 would be safer.

    Discretion is wise. Our advice is grow less than the law allows, and so there’s never any question of legitimacy.

  25. john says:

    @ Healing Essential: email norml@montananorml.org if you would like a listing on http://mtnorml.org/News-Information/medical.html — include the region(s) you serve and contact info/website.

  26. Nelson says:

    Thanks john. I definitely don’t want to set precedent on the cross-caregiver issue. Not to mention that if 12 plants won’t cover the medicinal needs of two patients, someone is doing it wrong. Anyway, thanks again for the clarification. N

  27. IT IS DISAPPOINTING TO SEE VALID INFORMATION DELETED IN THIS BLOG

    YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE YOU MONTANA I.D. CARD BACK TO BE A VALID CANNABIS USER!!!!!!!!!!

    HERE IS A COPY OF THE LAW THAT WAS DELETED.

    READ IT FOR YOURSELF.

    FROM MONTANA INT.148

    10) “Written certification” means a qualifying patient’s medical records
    or a statement signed by a physician stating that in the physician’s
    professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the
    qualifying patient’s medical history and current medical condition made in
    the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the qualifying
    patient has a debilitating medical condition and the potential benefits of
    the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the
    qualifying patient.

  28. Bring your paperwork to

    The Healing Center

    We WILL help you today!

  29. smokeonthemove says:

    Does anyone know if there is a blog space where patients can talk to other patients without the noise of the fighting and gossip among caregivers, growers and distributors? Since there is no screening for cannabis providers, anyone, even those without any skill with people can be a provider. Some care providers seem oblivious to the difference between a recreational doper who now has a card and a person with real ailments who needs medicine. Nothing against recreational use, but there is a difference. It seems unfortunate that needs and concerns of patients seem to come in second and some providers have no respect for patients who speak out. Some providers are so callous that they do not even care that their behavior creates more stress for patients. Patients be careful in who you assign as a caregiver and once you learn the insanity of the Montana scene you will know why. O if you are an educated patient, keep it to yourself, as you can be ridiculed for it.

  30. Jim Richerson says:

    Yo.. . smokeonthemove I agree with you. The most useful blog I’ve found so far is http://smokapelli.com/

    I’ve tried both The Healing Center and Montana Cannabis and fired them both. Where there is money there is no truth. These two outfits are proof that the sick and dying are easy prey and there is no one out there protecting us. We have to do it ourselves.. .

    Thank you Vaporgirl your article should be essential reading.

  31. john says:

    Jim what problems did you experience, generally speaking?

  32. Jim Richerson says:

    How about hair in the butter.. . and swhwag with a heavy chemical taste.. . the last bag after I handled it .. . burned my eye like pepper when I touched it. I saw there operation last week and there is no way I’m going back

    Generally speaking.. .

  33. Jim Richerson says:

    Sorry John I was interrupted.. . I quit the other group after it was obvious they never had what they advertised it was always a small amount that cost more… .

    I saw red flags… . when someone who is trying to sell you something and lets you know he has a religious connection it’s because they are trying to make you trust them… .

    i.e. They say they will give a percent back if you buy so much each month but they can’t be pinned down on how much you get back or what that percent is… . How do they keep track of there transactions? I don’t know they never gave or offered a receipt.

    Generally speaking… . I know better now.. . I am not buying anything that you eat unless it comes from the grocery. People dripping with compassion need to be monitored closely they may not be what they claim.

    Free the Weed

  34. smokeonthemove says:

    Hey Jim,

    I have been of touch for awhile. I do not think smokapelli is a good site for patients or anyone else for that matter. I have a friend who was a member once and he was treated so rudely he left. He said it is a site that caters to stoner-growers with BIG egos. Obviously some of the folks on that site have no respect for patients or anyone else for that matter. That site is for over stoned nutters who need to learn to respect those they depend on to make their product legal.

    Has anyone heard about the new breed of caregivers who carry concealed weapons and flash them at their patients to be cool? Yep like we don’t have enough damn guns in this state, so-called caregivers are now taking up guns!!! Sometimes they flash the guns in bars. Why on earth does a legal caregiver need a concealed weapon? Recently some older folks I know were shocked to discover that their caregiver was packing heat. So they called me to help them find a new caregiver, one that I can verify does not carry a weapon.

    Patients need to organize to protect themselves from being abused. Only when patients unit, free of those who see the precious weed as their golden goose, will patients be free. And how about these caregivers who want to take a patient’s right to grow away? Where the hell do they get the balls to suggest such a thing? I am teaching as many patients as quickly as I can how to grow their own to free the weed from the greed.

  35. Weed Butter says:

    Great Article. I am always impressed with the movers and doers in this industry. We are so close to United legalization. please keep educating people, and post more.

  36. Drinkleadsoup says:

    Why is it that every time some information comes up in the news about medical cannabis in Montana these two fucktards play grab ass over the net. I want to see these two fairy-dust hippies slap it out in the ring. Learn to punch. Cheesenozzles!

  37. Carl LeBlanc says:

    I am trying to get info regarding SB423 and a Peaceful Protest for 5/5/11 at 11am in Whitefish. We need as many as possible to come out to tell Governor Schweitzer the VOTERS need the law they voted for protected!

    Email me if you were affected by the raids also, I have information to help.
    carla_leblanc@yahoo.com

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