Family caregivers are often unsung heroes. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers of the patients registered in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program have provided essential support, ensuring they have access to medication during uncertain times. The Caregiver Action Network celebrates these important community members during National Family Caregivers Month every November. This month, Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania extends our gratitude to all caregivers serving patients of the Commonwealth and joins in celebrating this year’s “#CaregiverAnd” theme – encouraging caregivers to embrace the diverse identities and passions that enrich their life.
Our Prospective Patient Perspective Newsletter series typically offers educational information for program newcomers to help demystify the available medical marijuana products in the market – with the goal of benefitting all qualified patients, at any knowledge level. Today’s installment is a special edition written with caregivers in mind. Read on to meet prospective caregiver Luis and learn about how he can register in the Commonwealth medical marijuana program to help a patient in his life access her medicine.
Get to Know Luis: Luis has always been passionate about expressing himself through style, from thoughtfully planning his outfits each morning before grade school to starting his own clothing brand after decades of even more thorough planning. Running his own small business means Luis has a lot on his plate these days. Between sketching new designs and interacting with his growing number of customers, Luis makes sure he can still be there for the person who believed in his creative vision since the beginning– his mom. Luis’ mother was diagnosed with an inflammatory autoimmune disorder and lives with chronic pain. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has relied on Luis to transport her safely to medical appointments and access her daily essentials, like groceries and medication.
After in-depth discussions with her primary care physicians, both Luis and his mother believe that medical marijuana may potentially serve as another useful tool in alleviating her pain and inflammation. Now that his mother has received her certification and patient card in the mail, Luis is hoping to register as her caregiver in the Commonwealth medical marijuana program – ready to support her on this next step of her journey.
Getting Luis Registered: Luis’ path to becoming a caregiver begins on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s online portal for medical marijuana patients and caregivers. He will need to create an online account, through which he will enter his personal identification information and provide payment to receive his own caregiver card in the mail.
According to Department of Health regulations, anyone at least 21 years of age may serve as a medical marijuana caregiver. Those interested in registering as a caregiver must follow a few simple steps, including supplying a valid form of state ID, and the patient’s name, date of birth, and ID number. The entire process, from first logging in to receiving his caregiver card, can take anywhere from four to six weeks.
Luis may begin helping his mother access her medication from dispensaries as soon as he receives his card in the mail. Once certified successfully as a caregiver, he can also register to provide caregiver services to a total of four other qualified medical marijuana patients in addition to his mother.
Getting His Patient’s Medicine: With the increasing number of new offerings appearing on store menus, Luis and his mother may find it daunting to identify strains and product forms that benefit her unique medical needs. For this reason, they may want to consult the pharmacist or Patient Care Consultant (PCC) at their local dispensary to determine which medicine may work best for managing her pain and inflammation.
When consulting with a dispensary team, Luis might want to ask for more information on terpenes – aromatic compounds in medical marijuana that may work with THC and CBD which could produce a medicinal effect. Terpenes can be a helpful starting point for Luis and his mom to identify how a product may potentially make her feel. For example, they may want to ask their local dispensary pharmacist about the terpene and cannabinoid profiles in different prime live resin cartridges, terpene-packed live concentrates in a ready-to-use form. With a simple inhale, our prime live resin cartridges may provide the potential for quick relief. African Thai #15 cartridges contain both the terpenes limonene and myrcene as well as sativa genetics, a combination which may potentially provide daytime pain relief for Luis’ mother without sedative effects.
It may also be helpful for Luis and his mom to note the product’s terpenes and cannabinoids, as well as texture and flavor, which may vary from batch to batch. Our prime team members write custom batch notes for each product shipment that leaves our facility, detailing how processes like live-plant extraction or careful curing may shape the characteristics of the finished products we ship to dispensaries. These batch notes outline product details such as variations in concentrate color and texture, as well as flower structure and aromas. Luis and his mother could even explore our batch notes at home together before visiting the dispensary, by viewing the latest batch notes document posted to our website.
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