Frequently Asked Questions -
Oregon Medical Marijuana Program
1.) WHAT ARE THE Legal Requirements for Cardholders and Growers?
Patients must notify OMMP of any changes in contact information, caregivers, or growers and grow site with in 30 days of the change by filling out a "Change Request Form". There is no charge for these changes.
You will receive a wallet sized registry card from OMMP for Yourself, Your Caregiver (if you chose to have one) and the person responsible for your garden, which you must deliver to him or her. This card protects the person responsible for the grow site while growing medical marijuana for you. Every patient, caregiver and grower must carry his or her wallet-sized registry identification card, or temp (safety packet) at all times when in public and possess medical marijuana.
The "Placard" which accompanies the card for the person responsible for the grow site must be displayed at the garden. If the patients' changes wither the caregiver or the grower, the patient must return the old caregiver or grower cards and placard to the OMMP.
If the patient changes the caregiver or the grower site, the patient must inform them that they are being replaced. Once you have mad the changes, the person who was helping you is now subject to arrest and prosecution and needs to know of the change for protection from these possibilities. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act does not protect cardholders from federal government prosecution. Medicine must be provided to the patient for "no consideration" which means no money or anything of value may be charged. A registry identification card holder or the designated primary caregiver of the card holder may reimburse the person responsible for marijuana grow site for the cost of the supplies and utilities associated with the production of marijuana for the registry identification card holder.
2.) HOW MANY PLANTS MY Garden contain?
• 18 seedling or Start – less than 12" in height and diameter, and with no flowers (buds)
• 6 plants – greater then 12" in height or diameter with flowers (buds)
• The patient, caregiver, or grower may possess or transport up to 24oz of usable marijuana.
3.) WHAT ARE MY Responsibilities as a Patient, Caregiver or Grower?
Medical Marijuana and Medical Marijuana plants are the property of the patient. All usable Marijuana, Plants, Seedlings and Sees associated with the production of marijuana for the patient must be provided to the patient upon request. A person authorized to produce marijuana at a grow site is limited to producing marijuana for no more than four patients. It is essential to have a clear understanding with your care giver and grower about your mutual expectations, or put it in writing.
4.) Where can I use my medication?
The Law specifies the medical cannabis must not be used in public view or in a public place. Remember that you may not be under the influence of medical cannabis while driving. When transporting medicine. Be discreet. You are required to carry and present your registry card (safety packet) to the police if requested, so keep it with you if you carry medicine in public.
If your plants are stolen, report the theft immediately to the local law enforcement.
7.) I do not have the money for the application fee. Is it a one-time payment? Can it be waived? Can I make installment payments? Will my insurance pay? Can I pay with my credit card?
The answer to all these questions is “no”. The fee must be paid in full with each new or renewal application. Make your check or money order payable to “State of Oregon”. Cash payments are accepted at the State Office Building cashier’s office in Portland. A 10-day hold will be placed on the issuance of cards paid by personal check.
8.) Why do I need to have a physician sign and date the form or send a chart note to the OMMP? Why can’t I just provide my medical records?
According to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (Section 3 (2)(a)), and OAR 333-008-0020(1)(c), a physician must state in writing that the patient has a qualifying debilitating medical condition and that medical marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that condition. The OMMP accepts medical records as long as they clearly state the physician is aware that medical marijuana is being used as a treatment and he or she believes the patient may benefit from the use of medical marijuana. The physician must sign and date the relevant portions of medical records you send to the OMMP. The OMMP contacts each physician during the application process to verify the patient is under the physician’s care. A signed and dated “Attending Physician’s Statement,” copies of chart notes or medical records must be current within 3 months of the date of a person’s new or renewal application.
9.) Why are only MDs (Medical Doctors) and DOs (Doctors of Osteopathy) qualified to sign the “Attending Physician’s Statement” of the application? Why not naturopaths, chiropractors, or nurse practitioners? Does the physician have to be licensed in Oregon?
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act states that an “attending physician” means a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) licensed under ORS chapter 677 (OAR 333-008-0010(3)). MDs and DOs are the physicians licensed under this chapter. The law also specifies that a physician must be licensed in Oregon. The OMMP verifies with the Board of Medical Examiners that each patient’s attending physician has a valid license to practice medicine in Oregon and has no disqualifying restrictions.
10.) Do I have to list a “grow site” address on my application (that is, the address where I plan to grow my medical marijuana)?
Yes. OAR 333-008-0025(1) requires the patient to provide the OMMP with the address where his or her marijuana will be manufactured or produced--that is, a “grow site” address. The departments will only register one grow site address per patient and will only register grow sites in Oregon.
11.) Do I have to tell my landlord that I am a patient in the OMMP? Can my landlord evict me if I am a patient in the OMMP and have my grow site in my rental housing? Can I live in subsidized housing and be a patient in the OMMP?
It is up to you to decide whether or not to tell your landlord that you are a patient in the OMMP. Nothing in the OMMA specifically addresses whether or not you can be evicted because you are a patient in the OMMP, even if you have only the amount of medical marijuana allowed by law. Nothing in OMMP laws specifically addresses whether or not a person can be an OMMP patient and live in subsidized housing. If you have questions about these important issues, the OMMP recommends you talk to an attorney to learn about your rights and protections.
12.) Do I have to tell the OMMP if I change my mailing address, add or remove a designated primary caregiver, person responsible for grow site, or change my my grow site address?
The answer to all these questions is “yes”. You are required to tell the OMMP in writing of any such changes within 30 days of the change. The OMMP does not accept changes of information over the telephone. The OMMP only accepts written changes about the patient’s address, designated primary caregiver, person responsible for a grow site, or grow site from the registered patient. You may send your changes to the OMMP by mail or in person. You will get written confirmation from the OMMP that the change was received. Your changes will be made in our computer database and will be put in your file. You will be protected from civil and criminal penalties for these changes. If you change your caregiver and/or grower, you will be asked to return your old caregiver and/or grower card within 7 days.
13.) What happens to my application once I mail it? What if I don’t send in all the required parts of my application?
The OMMP will review your application to make sure it is complete and all parts are current. If your application is complete, you will get a “complete letter” from the OMMP letting you know your registry identification card will be issued within 5 days after the OMMP verifies the information on your application. On the same day the OMMP sends you a “complete letter,” we mail a “verification letter” to your attending physician and will conduct a criminal background check on the person responsible for the grow site. The purpose of the letter to your physician is to verify that you are a patient of this physician and that you are affected by a debilitating medical condition covered by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, and that medical marijuana may reduce the symptoms of your condition. If you are renewing your application, the verification letter to your attending physician is to verify that you are his or her patient.
If you don’t send in all the required parts of your application per OAR 333-008-0020, the OMMP will send you an “incomplete letter” telling you what parts of your application are missing. The incomplete letter gives you 14 days from the date of the letter to get the missing parts to the OMMP and tells you the terms under which your application may be terminated. When you get all missing parts of your application to the OMMP, you will be sent a “complete letter” and the OMMP will verify your status with your attending physician.
14.) Do I need to keep a copy of my application and any other information I send to the OMMP?
Yes! Per ORS 475.309(9) If your application has not yet been approved, denied or terminated you may provide law enforcement with a copy of your written documentation submitted to the department; you must also submit proof of the date of mailing or other transmission of the documentation. This documentation shall have the same legal effect as a registry identification card, until such time as you receive your card or you have received notification that your application has been approved, denied or terminated.
15.) Who can ingest medical marijuana?
Under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, only a person with a qualifying debilitating medical condition who has obtained a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card is excepted from criminal laws of the state for engaging in the medical use of marijuana as justified to mitigate the symptoms or effects of the person's debilitating medical condition.
16.) Why can’t I go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana?
Pharmacies can only dispense medications “prescribed” by licensed medical practitioners. The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which means licensed medical practitioners cannot prescribe it.
17.) Is the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act recognized by other states? Can I travel to another state with medical marijuana and my OMMP registry identification card and not be arrested or charged with civil or criminal penalties?
At this time, the OMMP is not aware of any “reciprocity” agreements with any other states to honor the Oregon law. This includes even those states that have medical marijuana laws of their own, such as Washington and California. Because Medical Marijuana programs vary by state, you may want to contact the state you are traveling to for information on their laws.
18.) Is my confidentiality protected?
Yes. The OMMP does not give out lists of patients, caregivers, or growers. Law enforcement personnel may contact the OMMP or access the 24/7 Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) only to verify a specific name or address of a patient, caregiver or person responsible for a grow site. The OMMP will tell law enforcement staff if the patient, caregiver, or address in question is registered, or if an application is in process. The OMMP will disclose patient information to others only at the specific written request of the patient. OMMP computer files are secure and paper files are kept locked when not in use.
19.) What should I tell my employer if I am subjected to a drug test?
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act states that employers are not required to accommodate employees who use medical marijuana. You may wish to consult an attorney about whether or not to tell your employer that you are a patient in the OMMP. A patient may contact the OMMP in writing to ask the Program to release information about the patient’s registration to an employer.
20.) I live within 1000 feet of a school, AKA a “drug free zone”. Can I still grow and/or possess my medical marijuana there?
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) does not address this issue. You may wish to contact an attorney about this issue.
21.) Can I have someone else sign and date my application (a “proxy") if I am physically unable to do so?
Yes, as long as the individual signing your application identifies him or herself as your proxy next to his or her signature on your application or has provided documentation showing guardianship or power of attorney.
22.) How are the laws and rules of the OMMA enforced?
The OMMP enforces the registration process making sure applications are complete before issuing a registry identification card, terminating incomplete or fraudulent applications, and suspending cards if persons commit violations of the OMMA. The OMMP verifies the names and addresses of patients, caregivers, and grow sites with local and state law enforcement personnel if they call the OMMP requesting such information.
Local and state law enforcement agencies enforce the OMMA around the State, they may verify with the OMMP at any time whether a particular patient, designated primary caregiver, person responsible for a grow site, or grow site location is registered with OMMP.
Local and state law enforcement personnel may take any action they believe is necessary to enforce the criminal laws of the State, including violations of the OMMA. Local and state law enforcement actions may vary from county-to-county and district-to-district. The OMMP has no authority to direct the activities of local and state law enforcement agencies.
23.) Can I use marijuana while on parole/probation if I have an OMMP card?
"The authorities that are responsible for your probation/parole/post-prison supervision can impose restrictions on your possession and use of medical marijuana as a condition of your supervision, even if you have a valid OMMP card. Most offenders' supervision is subject to an “obey all laws” condition. Since marijuana possession and use is illegal under federal law, the Oregon Department of Justice has concluded that supervisory authorities can sanction an offender for possessing marijuana, even if he or she has an OMMP card. Sanctions could result in your arrest and return to jail.
If you are on probation, parole, post-prison supervision, or other form of conditional supervision for conviction of a crime, you should consult with your parole and probation officer regarding whether your possession or use of marijuana may subject you to sanction for violation of the conditions of your supervision."
The OMMP will revoke the card of a cardholder if a court issues an order that prohibits the cardholder from participating in the medical use of marijuana or otherwise participating in the OMMP.
24.) Who qualifies for the reduced fee?
To be eligible for the reduced fee of $20.00, a patient must provide current proof that he or she receives food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or is eligible for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). The patient must provide a current eligibility statement at the time he or she is submitting his or her medical marijuana application.
Programs that DO NOT qualify for a reduced fee are as follows but not limited to: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security Benefits (SSB), or Medicare. A copy of your Food Stamp card (Oregon Trail Card) alone is NOT proof of eligibility.
25.) Can a patient withdraw from the program?
Yes. A patient must submit a written statement that he or she wishes to withdraw from the Program. The Program will request that all cards be returned and the file will be closed. The patient’s card and all cards associated will be voided. It is the responsibility of the patient to notify his or her grower and caregiver, if applicable, that his or her card is no longer valid. It is the patient’s responsibility to collect all cards associated with his or her patient card and return them to the department. If the Department is notified by the patient that he or she would like to withdraw from the program, the Department shall notify the primary caregiver and/or grower by mail at the address of record informing the caregiver or grower that his or her card is no longer valid and must be returned to the Department within 7 calendar days. All cards must be returned to the Department within seven (7) calendar days of the date that the Department was notified of withdrawal. If the patient so chooses he or she may reapply as a new patient at any time. In order to reapply a patient must submit the required documentation and application fee as outlined in OAR 333-008-0020.
26.) Do patients get a refund if they withdraw from the program?
Yes and No. No refund will be given for patients who withdraw once their cards have been issued. A refund may be given to a patient who withdraws before cards are issued. However, the department may charge a 25% processing fee.
27.) Can the SOAM give me legal advice?
No. If you have questions concerning compliance with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act you should consult a private attorney.