Becoming a Patient in Oregon

A patient with a valid ID card may use marijuana for medicinal purposes and the patient can designate a primary caregiver to help the patient with his or her medicine. A patient may possess paraphernalia such as pipes, water pipes, vaporizers to use his or her medicine. A patient must enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card to be legally protected.

What's Legal

Possession

With a valid registry ID card a patient (or a designated primary caregiver) may possess up to:

  • 6 mature plants, defined, effective March 1, 2016, as flowering. (Or. Admin. R. 333-008-0010(34), 333-008-0080)
  • Unlimited immature plants or starts or seedlings, defined, effective March 1, 2016, as not flowering. (Or. Admin. R. 333-008-0010(26), 333-008-0080.)*

 A patient must have the registry identification card in the patient’s possession when using or transporting marijuana in a location other than his or her home.

*Unless the patient has been convicted of a Class A or Class B felony under Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 475. 752 to -475. 935 (West) for the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Schedule I or Schedule II. If a patient has had a drug conviction in the past 5 years, he or she is only allowed to possess 1 ounce of medicine at a time.

A patient can designate a caregiver and a grower who is similarly protected and collectively, may possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana, defined as dried leaves and flowers of marijuana. (Or. Admin. R. 333-008-0010(61), 333-008-0550).

Cultivation

A grower is allowed to cultivate for up to four patients. (Id) A grow site may be designated by an unlimited number of patients. (Id) Effective as of March 1, 2016, a patient may choose to give the grower the ownership of the medicine. (Id. 333-008-2030(3)). Therefore, a patient may authorize himself or herself, or the caregiver, or the grower to distribute excess usable medical marijuana to a dispensary and be fully reimbursed. (Id)

  • Following changes to medical marijuana cultivation are effective from March 1, 2016 for a patient with a valid registry ID card (or a designated caregiver or a grower): 12 plants are allowed in urban gardens in residential zones; if 24 plants were designated at the location by January 1, 2015, 24 plants are allowed (Id 333-008-0560)
  • 48 plants are allowed in non-urban residential zones; if 96 plants were designated at the location by January 1, 2015, 96 plants are allowed. (Id)
  • Indoor medical marijuana grow sites will be allowed up to 6 pounds of usable marijuana per mature plant, and outdoor marijuana grow sites will be allowed 12 pounds per mature plant. These grow sites are subject to monthly reporting to the OHA on what is cultivated, possessed, and distributed to patients and dispensaries. (Id 333-008-0580)

Eligible Conditions

A patient may use medical marijuana to treat cancer, glaucoma, agitation due to Alzheimer's disease, HIV/AIDS, cachexia (severe weight loss or "wasting syndrome"), severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, persistent muscle spasms, or to relieve the side effects of a treatment for any of these conditions. OHA can add more medical conditions to this list.

Doctor Recommendation

A doctor recommending medicinal marijuana must be a licensed physician who has the primary responsibility for the care and treatment of the patient with a debilitating medical condition.

Application Process

After a licensed physician has determined that medical marijuana may be an effective treatment for a patient,  a completed application must be sent to theOMMPthe patient ID. The application requires  must a physician's statement that contains (a) the diagnosis of a debilitating medical condition and (b) a medical opinion that the medical use of marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of the condition. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann § 475B.070.OMMP website.

**Unless the patient has been convicted of a Class A or Class B felony under Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 475.752-475.935 for the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Schedule I or Schedule II. If a patient has had a drug conviction in the past 5 years, that patient is only allowed to possess 1 ounce of medicine at a time. If the patient is on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), receiving monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or receiving monthly Food Stamp benefits, then he or she may pay a fee of $20. Veterans suffering from PTSD also qualify for a discounted fee of $20.

Access/Caregivers

A patient may acquire medicine by growing it himself or herself, or have a designated primary caregiver grow it. Patients may also give each other marijuana, but the law does not protect the sale of medical marijuana. Grow sites should be registered with the OHA.

Age Limits

If a patient is under 18, the custodial parent or legal guardian who is responsible for the patient’s healthcare must sign a written statement indicating that he or she consents to the patient’s use of medicinal marijuana, agrees to serve as the designated primary caregiver, agrees to control the  acquisition of marijuana and the dosage and frequency of use, and that the patient’s physician explained the possible risks and benefits of medicinal marijuana use.

Confidentiality

OHA maintains a list of the people with ID cards, with the names of any designated primary caregivers and the addresses of authorized marijuana grow sites. This list is supposed to remain confidential. It may only be legally accessed by members of the OHA and by state and local law enforcement in order to verify whether someone is a patient, someone is a designated primary caregiver, or whether a location is an authorized marijuana grow site.

In 2017 SB 863 was passed which prohibits cannabis businesses from retaining or transferring certain personal information. 

Insurance

The law does not require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a patient for costs of his or her medicine.

Reciprocity

There is currently no state reciprocity program in Oregon. Without an Oregon patient ID, a person is not protected as a medical marijuana patient in Oregon.