Caregivers? play a critical role in helping patients and allowing Montana's medical marijuana law to work as voters intended.
 
What Is a ?Caregiver??
Under Montana law, a ?caregiver? is a person who grows marijuana and/or helps a patient obtain his/her medicine.  A registered caregiver is legally allowed, under state and local law, to grow up to 6 plants and to possess up to 1 ounce of dried marijuana per patient served.  (A registered patient is also permitted to possess 6 plants and 1 ounce of dried marijuana.)  A medical marijuana ?caregiver? is not required to live with a patient nor to provide any other medical or support services, though most do ? especially those who are spouses or other relatives of the patients.
 
Basic Rules for Caregivers
Caregivers can be registered to serve an unlimited (unspecified) number of patients under the law, but each registered patient may have only one caregiver.  Caregivers must be named on a patient's application with the state health department in order to become registered.  Caregivers must be adults, with no record of a felony arrest on drug-related charges.
 
Obtaining Seeds, Clones & Marijuana
Montana's law is silent on how caregivers and patients can obtain seeds, clones and/or medical marijuana itself.  The law delivers no mechanism for this aspect of meeting patients? needs ? and this is one reason for the existence of Patients & Families United.  Meetings of members of Patients & Families United provide opportunities for registered patients and caregivers to learn from and help each other, safely and legally. 
 
The Challenge of Growing Medicinal-Quality Marijuana
Marijuana is called a ?weed,? but that doesn?t mean it's easy to grow medicinal-quality marijuana flowers ? particularly not outdoors during Montana's short growing season.   In fact, the opposite is true, especially within the strict constraints of Montana's overly restrictive law.  This is another important service of

Patients & Families United ? member meetings allow patients and caregivers to learn from each other's experiences and improve their growing success rates. 
Please see Our Mission for more information about how we hope to improve Montana's law to make it more workable for patients. 
And please visit our website again soon, as our page of ?growing advice for northern Rockies caregivers? is still under construction.
 
Different Strains for Different Medical Conditions
It makes common sense when you think about it ? patients with different kinds of medical conditions report that certain strains or types of cannabis provide relief that is superior to that of other strains of the plant.  For example, as a general rule, patients looking for pain relief seem to prefer indica plants, and those looking for relief from muscle spasms and the like prefer sativa-dominant strains. 
This is another value to joining Patients & Families United ? you can ask a bigger network of experienced patients for advice on what specific kind of marijuana might work best for your needs.  And, your experience can help others in the same way ? so that over time, Montana patients can acquire the best possible advice and medicine more efficiently.

Patients & Families United is compiling information about its members? experiences to date, and will be creating a guide for patients and caregivers, matching various medical conditions with the types of cannabis plants that patients have found to be most helpful.  (If you have experience to report on these matters, we?d like to hear from you ? and we hope you?ll join our group.  Email us at .