Oregon has had medical and recreational marijuana laws on the books since voters approved the Medical Marijuana Act in 1998 and the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act in 2014. Under the medical marijuana law, cannabis cultivation, possession, and use are legalized for patients with a medical card. If you’re interested in applying for a medical cannabis card, you’ll have to go through the Oregon Health Authority’s application process.
Benefits of a Medical Marijuana Card in Oregon
A mass exodus of medical marijuana patients and growers in Oregon occurred after adult legalization. Patients started questioning whether it’s worth it to pay the high application fee. Many patients left the program despite leaving behind the perk of not having to pay sales tax on their purchases. Recreational users must pay a 20 percent retail tax on cannabis purchases.
There are many reasons why you may want a medical marijuana card in Oregon. Heavy users or those who require high purchasing and possession limits can benefit from a medical card. Users that live in apartments and can’t grow their own weed can also benefit from a medical cannabis card. You can also purchase considerably more cannabis at a medical dispensary than a recreational user can at an adult-use pot shop. In addition, you can grow more weed plants than recreational users with a medical card.
Qualifying Conditions in Oregon
Under Oregon’s medical marijuana laws, individuals with a qualifying condition can buy, use, and grow medical marijuana if they obtain a medical marijuana recommendation from a licensed physician. Qualifying medical conditions include:
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures from epilepsy or other medical conditions
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Degenerative or pervasive neurological disorders
- A medical condition or treatment that causes one of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Persistent muscle spasms
Medical Card Application Process in Oregon
If you want to become a patient or caregiver, you must go through several steps to receive an Oregon medical marijuana card. You must first get a medical marijuana recommendation from a marijuana doctor who will determine if you qualify for medical marijuana use. After getting the recommendation, you can apply for a medical marijuana card in Oregon online or by mail. If you’re going the online route, you’ll have to create an account and complete an application at ommpsystem.oregon.gov.
You can also send in your medical card application or renewal form along with any required documentation to OHA/OMMP, P.O. Box 14450, Portland, OR 927293-0450. Here’s what you’ll need to send in via mail:
- Completed OMMP application form
- Attending physician’s statement (must be signed within 90 days of application date)
- Copies of valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, state ID card, military ID, tribal photo ID)
- Check or money order payable to OHA/OMMP
After you apply and submit all the required documentation, the OMMP will send you a receipt letter that can be used in place of a medical card for 30 days following the date on the letter. The OMMP will verify your information and mail you and your caregiver a card, if approved. The entire process can take up to 30 days from the moment you turn in your application to the moment you receive your card.
It costs $200 to apply for or renew a medical marijuana card in Oregon. Patients who belong to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Oregon Health Plan can have their application feeds reduced. If you’re a SNAP patient, you’ll pay $60, while Oregon Health Plan members pay $50. Veterans and those on Supplementary Security Income can qualify for a $20 application fee. You only need to submit proof for just one reduced fee, ideally the lowest one. It can cost $100 to replace a card or you can pay $20 if you qualified for a $20 reduced fee.
Patients under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian fill out a notarized Minor Declaration Form in order to obtain a medical marijuana card in Oregon.
Finding a Primary Caregiver
In Oregon, you must be 18 years of age or older to be a primary caregiver for a medical marijuana patient. Primary caregivers are individuals who have “significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a person who has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition.” You can designate a primary caregiver on the application for a medical card. Your primary caregiver doesn’t have to pay any application fee.
Buying Medical Marijuana
As of January 1, 2017, medical marijuana retailers can only sell cannabis products to registered OMMP patients and caregivers. You can also designate someone over 21 to be your grower or grow it yourself. Before adult legalization, medical marijuana dispensaries were aplenty. After legalization, medical marijuana dispensaries dwindled to only three: HWY 30 Cannabis, Lionheart Medical Club, and Western Oregon Dispensary. Here’s where you can find these Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries:
- HWY 30 Cannabis; 1709 Adams Ave, La Grande, OR 97850
- Lionheart Medical Club; 1105 Chetco Ave, Brookings, OR 97415
- Western Oregon Dispensary; 15025 SW Tualatin Sherwood Rd, Sherwood, OR 97140
If you’re a medical marijuana patient in Colorado, you’re legally allowed to possess up to six mature plants and 12 immature plants at a time. You can also possess the following amounts of cannabis:
- 24 ounces of usable cannabis
- 16 ounces of medical cannabinoids in solid form
- 72 fluid ounces of medical cannabinoids in liquid form
- 16 ounces of concentrate
- 5 grams of cannabinoid extracts
- 4 immature cannabis plants
- 50 seeds
Are you visiting the great state of Oregon and want to partake in their medical program? Unfortunately, Oregon doesn’t have reciprocity rules for medical patients from other states. That means that your legal medical marijuana card won’t be accepted by a licensed Oregon medical dispensary. The only way to purchase cannabis if you’re from another state is to purchase at a recreational shop if you’re over 21.
Oregon’s medical patient count was significantly impacted by recreational legalization. Reports indicate that up to two-thirds of patients stopped renewing their medical cards. Currently, about 28,000 Oregon patients rely on a few medical dispensaries and continue to struggle with increasing costs and fewer product options. Lawmakers have made medical cannabis delivery a reality to increase access to underserved areas. To learn more about the ever-changing laws in Oregon and other states, sign up for Cannabis Training University’s Master of Cannabis Certification online today.