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Frequently Asked Questions

1) Can the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) refer me to a physician?

No. The OMMP does not serve as a referral source. Any Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) licensed in Oregon can recommend a patient for the program.

2) Where do I get the seeds or plants to start growing medical marijuana?

The OMMP is not a resource for the growing process and does not have information to give to patients.

3) How much do I have to pay?

For every application, the base application fee is $200. An applicant qualifies for a reduced fee of $60 with proof of Food Stamp benefits (SNAP), or $50 with proof of Oregon Health Plan (OHP) eligibility, or $20 with proof of receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefits.

Growsite Registration Fee: If the designated grower is someone other than the patient, a growsite registration fee of $50 will be required in addition to the aformentioned application fee.

4) Who qualifies for the reduced fee?

To be eligible for the reduced fee of $20, a patient must provide current proof that he or she receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To be eligible for the reduced fee of $60, a patient must provide current proof that he or she is an Oregon resident and receives food stamp benefits (SNAP). To be eligible for the reduced fee of $50, a patient must provide current proof that he or she is an Oregon resident and is eligible for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). The patient must provide a current eligibility statement at the time he or she submits his or her medical marijuana application. A $50 grow site registration fee still applies if someone other than the patient is designated as the grower. An individual IS NOT eligible for a reduced fee because he or she receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security Benefits (SSB), or Medicare. Only eligibility for the programs above qualify an individual for a reduced fee.

5) I do not have the money for the application/growsite 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 application fee and growsite registration fee, if applicable, must be paid in full with each new or renewal application. Make your check or money order payable to: “State of Oregon.” You may drop off your payment at the Portland State Office Building (PSOB), 800 N.E. Oregon St. Ste 177, Portland, OR, 97232; however, no receipt will be given for payments dropped off at the PSOB . A 10-day hold will be placed on the issuance of cards paid for by personal check.

6) 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 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.

7) 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?

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.

8) Do I have to list a growsite 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 growsite address. The department will only register one growsite address per patient and will only register growsites in Oregon.

9) 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 Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (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.

9a) Do I have to tell the OMMP if I change my mailing address, add or remove a designated primary caregiver, person responsible for the growsite, or change my growsite 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 or by FAX. The OMMP only accepts written changes about the patient’s address, designated primary caregiver, person responsible for a growsite, or growsite from the registered patient. You may send your changes to the OMMP by mail or submit the change in person. Your changes will be made in the program’s database and will be put in your file. If you change your caregiver and/or grower, the former caregiver and/or grower cards must be returned to the OMMP within seven days. Also, you are required by law to notify your former caregiver and/or grower that they no longer have this designation. Finally, for your protection, it is recommended that all OMMP participants ensure that their current address is on file with the Oregon DMV.

9b) Are there any legal concerns when I make such a change? Yes, it is important that you have the correct information in your file so that if you are contacted by law enforcement and they request verification of information from the OMMP, the caregiver, grower and growsite are all protected. It is equally important that the former caregiver and/or grower know of their status so they are aware they are no longer protected. In the case of a growsite change, remember that a growsite registration card must be posted at the registered growsite. If you change your growsite and do not yet have a growsite registration card posted at the new growsite, you may not be protected from criminal penalties. The OMMP recommends that you obtain a new growsite registration card before moving plants to a new growsite and to keep copies of all change forms. *Note: To make sure all appropriate individuals and the growsite are protected and that previously protected individuals know their status has changed, it is best to make all changes (notify OMMP in writing, notify former caregiver and/or grower, and move grow site) all on the same day or as quickly as possible.

10) 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. 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 five 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 growsite. 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 OMMA, and that medical marijuana may reduce the symptoms of your condition. 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.

11) 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.

12) Who can ingest medical marijuana?

Under the OMMP, only a person with a qualifying debilitating medical condition who has obtained a valid OMMP card is excepted from criminal laws of the State of Oregon for engaging in the medical use of marijuana as justified to mitigate the symptoms or effects of the person's debilitating medical condition.

13) 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.

14) 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 its laws.

15) 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 growsite. The OMMP will tell law enforcement staff if the patient, caregiver, grower, or growsite 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. The OMMP computer files are secure and paper files are kept locked when not in use.

16) What should I tell my employer if I am subjected to a drug test?

The OMMA 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.

17) I live within 1,000 feet of a school, which is also known as a “drug free zone.”. Can I still grow and/or possess my medical marijuana where I live?

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) does not address this issue. You may wish to contact an attorney about this issue.

18) 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.

19) How are the laws and rules of the OMMA enforced?

The OMMP enforces the registration process to confirm 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 in Oregon and may verify with the OMMP at any time whether a particular patient, designated primary caregiver, person responsible for a growsite, or growsite 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 Oregon, 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.

20) 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. Because 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.

21) Can a patient withdraw from the program?

Yes. A patient must submit a written statement that he or she wishes to withdraw from the OMMP. 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 OMMP. If the OMMP is notified by the patient that he or she would like to withdraw from the program, the OMMP 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 OMMPwithin seven calendar days. All cards must be returned to the OMMP within seven calendar days of the date that the OMMP 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.

22) Do patients get a refund if they withdraw from the program?

No. The application and growsite fees are non-refundable.

23) Can the OMMP give me legal advice?

No. If you have questions concerning compliance with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act you should consult a private attorney.

24) How can I verify that I am a grower or caregiver for a particular patient?

The OMMP strives to mail out OMMP cards as soon as possible after an application is approved or a change form is processed. OMMP cards are mailed to the patient who is responsible getting the cards to the caregiver and grower. A grower and caregiver’s card (the large card not the wallet cards) has the name of the patient. You should not assume you are protected by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act until you get your card. You can ask the patient to sign an approved Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Information form that will enable you to contact the OMMP and verify whether you are an authorized grower or caregiver for that patient. The OMMP is prohibited from providing any information concerning a patient to a grower or caregiver without a valid authorization of release of information, signed by the patient.

25) How can I check the status of my pending application?

Applications are processed in order based on the date they were received by the OMMP. The OMMP helpline has an automated option which allows you to find out which date is currently being reviewed. To check the date currently under review, please call the OMMP helpline at (971) 673-1234 and choose menu option 2.