Oregon Medical Marijuana

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What is Medical Marijuana in Oregon?

OAR 333-008: Medical Marijuana recognizes the use of medical marijuana to treat certain qualified health conditions in qualified patients. Patients use medical marijuana to alleviate associated symptoms of debilitating health conditions in Oregon. Expert studies show that some active ingredients of medical cannabis, like delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), interact with the body to alleviate associated symptoms like pain, nausea spasms, and other symptoms.

To use medical marijuana in Oregon, patients must possess a written certification from a physician recommending medical cannabis use. Patients can only legally purchase medical marijuana from the state-registered dispensary, and they must possess an MMJ card. An MMJ card is a state-issued card that allows qualified patients to purchase and possess medical marijuana products. The patient needs to apply for an MMJ card on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Online System under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). Oregon Health Authority (OHA) administers the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. OMMP is governed by the ORS 475B Cannabis Regulation and the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR).

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Oregon?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Oregon. Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 67 to legalize medical marijuana in 1998. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (Oregon Revised Statutes 475C.770) was enacted to permit the cultivation, production, sales, and use of marijuana for medical purposes. The Act established the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), under the Oregon Health Authority, to manage the medical marijuana program in the state.

Who Can Get Medical Marijuana in Oregon?

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act permits medical marijuana patients and their caregivers to buy medical marijuana from dispensaries. Medical marijuana patients are persons registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and authorized to legally receive medical marijuana treatments. They must have been diagnosed with certain qualifying medical conditions and recommended by attending healthcare providers for medical marijuana therapies. The qualifying medical conditions for marijuana treatment in Oregon are:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • A degenerative neurological condition
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Cachexia
  • Severe pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Persistent muscle spasm

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in Oregon?

Medical marijuana patients can grow medical marijuana by themselves or designate growers to cultivate them on their behalf. According to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, medical marijuana patients can grow up to six mature marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants in their homes.

In Oregon, designated growers can grow up to six mature marijuana plants, 12 immature plants that are 24 inches or more in height, and 36 immature plants below 24 inches in height for each patient under them. However, a designated grower must obtain a marijuana grow site registration card for each patient. Section 475C.792 of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act prohibits a person convicted of a Class A or Class B felony multiple times from growing marijuana in Oregon.

Do You Need to See a Doctor to Get Medical Marijuana in Oregon?

Yes, you must be recommended for medical marijuana treatment by an attending provider before you can access medical marijuana in Oregon. Per the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, an attending provider can be a:

  • Medical doctor
  • Naturopathic physician
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Registered nurse anesthetist
  • Physician assistant
  • Nursing practitioner

Attending providers must have in-person consultations with patients before recommending them for medical marijuana treatment. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program does not certify or register attending providers. It also does not provide a registry of attending providers to patients.

Can a Minor Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Oregon?

Yes, a minor can get a medical marijuana card in Oregon. The Act permits an applicant under the age of 18 (minor) to be registered with the OMMP, provided their custodial parent or legal guardian consents in writing to the medical use of marijuana. The custodial parent or guardian must be made aware of the possible risks and potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana to the minor by the attending provider. They are also required to serve as the minor's designated primary caregiver. They must accept to bear responsibility for controlling the acquisition, dosage, and use of medical marijuana by the minor. A minor is prohibited from growing medical marijuana by the Act.

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Oregon

Oregon allows residents applying for medical marijuana cards to do so online or by mail. An applicant needs to provide the following for their OMMP application:

Online applicants must create accounts on the OMMP portal and complete their applications there. The OMMP will send receipt letters to successful applicants. Receipt letters are valid for 30 days and can be used in lieu of medical marijuana cards.

Those submitting their application by mail can send the documents listed above to:

Oregon Health Authority - Oregon Medical Marijuana Program

P O Box 14450

Portland, OR 97293-0450

The OMMP will send medical marijuana cards by mail to successful applicants and their designated caregivers, if applicable. If a grower was designated, a grower's card would also be mailed to the applicant after they have paid the grow site registration fee.

Does Oregon Allow Medical Marijuana Patients to Designate Caregivers?

Yes, medical marijuana patients can designate primary caregivers in Oregon. Per the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, designated primary caregivers must be 18 years or older and cannot be the patients' attending providers. They are responsible for managing the well-being of medical marijuana patients under their care. In Oregon, a custodial parent or legal guardian must be the primary caregiver for a minor medical marijuana patient.

Oregon does not allow a medical marijuna patient to have more than one caregiver. However, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act did not specify how many patients a caregiver can manage. Caregivers do not need to apply for medical marijuana ID cards; they are sent OMMP cards alongside their patients. Medical marijuana ID cards expire simultaneously for both patients and their caregivers.

What Is the Cost of an Oregon Medical Marijuana Card?

The application fee for a medical marijuana card in Oregon is $200. The OMMP provides for reduced fees for the following categories of patients:

A patient cannot request more than one reduced fee. Designated growers are required to pay grow site registration fees of $200 for each patient under them. Those submitting their applications by mail can pay their application fees by check and money order made payable to OHA/OMMP. Online applicants can make payments via MasterCard, Visa, and Discover debit/credit cards. Renewal fees for medical marijuana patients are the same as application fees.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Oregon?

Medical marijuana patients or caregivers must present their medical marijuana cards and valid photo identification cards when purchasing medical marijuana at dispensaries in Oregon. Applicants that are yet to receive their medical marijuana cards can present their receipt letters. The receipt letter is valid for 30 days from the date it was sent.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act limits the amount of medical marijuana a patient can purchase from a dispensary in a day to the following:

  • 24 ounces of usable marijuana
  • Four immature plants
  • 50 seeds
  • 16 ounces of a medical cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 16 ounces of cannabinoid concentrate
  • 5 grams of a cannabinoid extract
  • 72 ounces of a medical cannabinoid product in liquid form

How to Renew Your Oregon Medical Marijuana Card

An Oregon Medical Marijuana Program identification card is valid for a year and must be renewed annually. You can renew it within 90 days of its expiration date. The OMMP sends renewal notices to patients between 90 and 60 days before their current registration expires. The steps required to renew OMMP cards are the same as those for new applications. Renewal can be done online or via mail.

Is it Possible to Overdose on Cannabis in Oregon?

Yes, a marijuana user can overdose on it, but there is yet to be any record of a fatal overdose in Oregon. Overdosing shuts down the blood circulation and respiratory system because it acts on the user's body and mind. However, cannabidiol CBD, an active ingredient of medical cannabis, will not affect the receptors of the brainstem controlling breathing and heart rate. Just because a marijuana overdose cannot be fatal, it does not mean it lacks adverse effects. The other active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), gives high euphoria and impairs the user. Some of the side effects of having too much marijuana in the body including but not limited to:

What amounts of marijuana dosage causes overdose is relative. Different individuals overdose on different amounts because the body reacts differently. However, to mitigate the risk of overdose, the patient should consult with their physician to get a proper dosage amount.

If I am Pregnant, Can I Use Cannabis to Relieve Nausea in Oregon?

No, pregnant women should not use medical marijuana to alleviate pregnancy symptoms like nausea. The Oregon Administrative Rules recognize the use of medical marijuana as an effective treatment for nausea. However, due to the health risk, a pregnant woman cannot use medical marijuana to treat nausea. In a resource document, the Oregon Health Authority stated that there is no known safe level of cannabis use while pregnant.

All forms of taking marijuana pose a health risk to both the pregnant woman and the unborn child. One of the active ingredients in cannabis, the cannabinoid, may affect implantation. Implantation occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall of the woman and when there is no implantation, the following may happen:

  • Impairment of Fallopian Motility.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Non hatched or nonviable embryo.
  • Reduced uterine receptivity
  • Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). Usually, folic acid is essential in embryo development.

Meanwhile, THC, according to the Center for Disease Control, significantly decreases folic acid, which means the pregnancy is susceptible to a higher rate of miscarriage. To alleviate their pregnancy side effects, pregnant women can consult with their OB-GYNs for a more suitable healthier option for them and the baby.

Oregon Medical Marijuana