How to Get an MMJ Card in Oregon [2020 Update]

If you feel the need for weed, Oregon is the place to go because the state has far too much marijuana! It is producing way more than it needs to the point where prices are at rock bottom. At least one dispensary in the state sells cannabis at $40 an ounce. No, that is not a misprint!

In April 2019, Oregon surpassed the 1-million-pound mark in terms of unsold weed. That figure has increased since. The state always had a love affair with marijuana, even when the herb was illegal there.

In the period from 1999 to 2005, Oregon residents used 45% more weed than the general American population.

An attempt to recriminalize weed in 1997 was voted down. The only surprise was that two measures to legalize cannabis failed; in 1986 and 2012. Meanwhile, medical marijuana became authorized after the approval of Measure 67 in 1998.

Finally, Measure 91 was approved in 2014, and recreational marijuana became legal in the state of Oregon. The following year, the state’s governor signed an emergency bill to allow the legal sale of cannabis to recreational users from October 2015. By 2017, only dispensaries with an Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) license were allowed to sell weed to recreational users.

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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Oregon: The Complete Rundown

Now that adults can walk into a dispensary and purchase weed without an MMJ card, what is the point of having one? Sales of medical marijuana fell by over 40% within three years of adult-use legalization. However, there are still valid reasons for getting the card. First of all, it is straightforward to do so.

Then there is the small matter of tax breaks. The state of Oregon imposes no sales tax on medical cannabis, while recreational users must pay 20%. MMJ cardholders are also allowed to possess up to 24 ounces in private or in public. In contrast, recreational users can hold no more than an ounce in public and eight ounces in private.

Recreational users can grow a maximum of four plants at once. This is regardless of whether they are in the vegetative or flowering stage. If you have an MMJ card, you can grow up to six plants in the flowering stage.

Finally, MMJ cardholders can buy a lot more weed at once, including up to 24 ounces of flower. In contrast, recreational users can only buy an ounce of flower.

If you have a qualifying medical condition (see the list below), and want to get a medical marijuana card in Oregon, here is what you must do.

Step 1 – Make Sure You Meet Eligibility Criteria

Aside from having a qualifying medical condition, only residents of Oregon with proof of residency need apply. You can use a passport or driver’s license. If you don’t have an Oregon state I.D., you need an out of state one. You also require proof of residency within Oregon, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Step 2 – Visit a Physician to Document Your Condition

If you have a qualifying condition, you need to visit a doctor and receive an Attending Physician’s Statement. This document indicates the condition that you need medical marijuana to treat. The physician in question must be either a Doctor of Osteopathy or Medical Doctor licensed in Oregon. The evaluation may last 10-15 minutes. During that time, the physician will ask about your condition and determine whether you are a candidate for MMJ.

You also need to have an established doctor-patient relationship. For the record, many card providers only accept those who have visited their primary care physician at least three times. The doctor will review your medical records and perform an evaluation. If they are satisfied that you meet the criteria, they will sign the Physician’s Statement.

Several companies now offer the full MMJ experience. They help you get a cannabis consultation, recommendation, and digital certification. You can get a personalized consultation for as little as $59. This is good news since the Oregon MMJ card is among the most expensive in the country.

Step 3 – Complete the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) Application Form

After certification, the next step is to visit the OMMP website and click on ‘Patients.’ From there, you can complete an application form to register as a medical marijuana patient in Oregon.

Patients are also required to submit a valid and legal copy of a United States Federal or State issued photographic I.D. card. It must include your date of birth and full name. You need to apply to the Patient Registry to earn guaranteed protection under the state’s marijuana laws. Please note that you must upload all documentation within 90 days of your application date. Otherwise, you have to restart the entire process.

Step 4 – Wait for Your MMJ Card!

State law requires the OMMP to process your application within 30 days. It could take a little longer in some cases. In reality, however, the program has far fewer applications than before so there shouldn’t be a backlog. If you fail to complete the process correctly, OMMP staff will send you an ‘incomplete letter.’ It outlines what you need to add to proceed. Fail to provide the requested details within 14 days, and your application is in danger of rejection.

Ideally, you will wait until you receive your card in the mail before trying to purchase marijuana from a medical dispensary. However, you can proceed without the card as long as you have copies of all materials submitted to the state. You also require proof of the date you submitted your application.

What Are the Oregon Medical Marijuana Costs?

It costs $200 to apply for an MMJ card in Oregon and another $200 to renew. The card is valid for one year. If you are on Food Stamps, the cost drops to $60, and it is $50 if you receive the Oregon Health Plan. If you are a veteran with proof that you served in the U.S. Armed Forces or if you receive Supplemental Security Income, the cost is just $20.

If you lose your MMJ card, it costs $100 to replace it. Incidentally, there is also a grow site registration fee of $200 if you cultivate for another person. The OMMP also conducts a criminal background check on those applying as growers. The price also applies if you:

  • Grow somewhere other than your home
  • Grow more than 12 plants
  • If you are transferring surplus weed to a dispensary or processor

What Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Oregon?

You could be eligible for an MMJ card in Oregon if you have one of the following conditions:

  • PTSD
  • Agitation due to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS

OR any medical condition that results in one of the following:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Muscle spasms
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Cachexia

It is also possible to receive an MMJ card if you have one of the following:

  • GERD
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Spondylitis
  • IBS
  • Degenerative disk disease

Other Information on the Oregon Medical Marijuana License Process

Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions about getting an MMJ card in Oregon:

How Do I Include a Caregiver?

If you wish to add a caregiver, you need to designate a specific individual on your application. You also need to provide a copy of their state-issued I.D. or driver’s license, along with their mailing address. Your caregiver can pick up your medical marijuana from a dispensary and deliver it to you.

What About Reciprocity?

You are also allowed to get an Oregon MMJ card if you have moved from another state. You must have sufficient medical records that don’t necessarily need to come from a doctor within Oregon. However, there is now a minimum residency requirement. This means you need an Oregon I.D. along with proof of residency such as tax returns or a utility bill.

You are not allowed to transfer your MMJ card from another state. This is because the qualifying condition in that state doesn’t necessarily qualify you for the card in Oregon.

Can Minors Use MMJ in Oregon?

Only those aged 18+ can apply in the ‘typical’ manner. For younger patients, a parent or guardian must complete a Minor Declaration Form.

What Is the Purchasing, Possession & Growing Limits?

As discussed above, MMJ patients are allowed to buy, carry, and grow more weed than recreational users in Oregon. Patients or caregivers are allowed to possess the following amounts:

  • 24 ounces of ‘usable’ cannabis
  • 72 fl. oz of medical cannabinoids in liquid form
  • 5 grams of extracts
  • 16 ounces of medicinal cannabinoids in solid form

You can grow six mature plants and 12 immature plants taller than 24 inches. You can also cultivate a maximum of 36 immature plants that are shorter than 24 inches. There are increased limits for ‘grandfathered’ grow sites. These are sites registered before 2015. OMMP cardholders can also possess up to 50 seeds.

Where Can I Buy MMJ in Oregon?

There are specialized MMJ dispensaries that can only sell to patients and caregivers registered with the OMMP. Unfortunately, there are relatively few dedicated medical marijuana dispensaries in the state since adult-use legalization. On the plus side, finding a general cannabis dispensary is very easy with hundreds of options. By February 2020, Oregon was #1 in the nation with 16.5 marijuana dispensaries per 100,000 residents!

Where Can I Use MMJ in Oregon?

Like other states, it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public places in Oregon. This means no parks, bars or public outdoor smoking areas. You can only safely use marijuana at home or on private property.

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Please share this article with Oregon residents in need of MMJ if you found it interesting!