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Oregon Cannabis Facts

Updated on January 8, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Oregon’s medical marijuana law was established in 1998 when 54.6% of Oregonians voted to pass Ballot Measure 67. Since then, official medical marijuana facts for Oregon show that the program has issued an Oregon medical marijuana card to 66,921 patients or roughly 1.6% of the state’s population.

Oregon’s medical marijuana program did not formally authorize dispensaries, which means patients have to grow their own marijuana or authorize designated caregivers or growers to help them. However, state-licensed dispensaries are now allowed.

Oregon Medical Marijuana Facts

  • More than half of Oregon marijuana patients have designated caregivers who hold marijuana cards for them. There are 28,021 such caregivers, according to the cannabis statistics of the Oregon Department of Human Services.
  • There were 1,746 Oregon-licensed doctors with current medical marijuana patients as of January 2017, and more than twice as many, 4110, have signed marijuana recommendations over the program’s lifetime.
  • Continued growth is expected in Oregon’s use of medical marijuana, as facts indicate there were more than 15,000 new applications for marijuana cards from January 2016 to October 2016.
  • In the same period of time, there were more than 37,000 applications for renewal.
  • Medical marijuana facts for Oregon show that there were 1,039 new applications in October 2016 alone.
  • Patients in Oregon have sought treatment for all of the conditions authorized in the state’s medical marijuana law. Nearly 91 percent of patients (60,683) report using medical marijuana for severe pain. Muscle spasms are the second most reported condition at 19,170 patients, while nausea comes in third with 8,713 patients. The marijuana data overlaps here because many individuals suffer from multiple conditions.
  • In February 2017, the Oregon Health Authority stated that physicians should, at a minimum, fully evaluate, treat and follow-up with patients who they recommend for the state’s medical cannabis program. The report was presented during the state’s legislative session. The report stated that medical cannabis patients deserve the same minimum level of care as do patients who are prescribed conventional medications to treat debilitating conditions.
  • This level of care, according to the report, should include obtaining a complete medical history of the patient, performing the appropriate physical examination and also developing a written plan of treatment.
  • The report also recommended against smoking weed for therapeutic reasons due to the harm associated with any sort of smoke inhalation. The reason, according to the report, is that all smoke contains potentially dangerous particulate matter.
  • Oregon law currently allows patients to legally possess six mature cannabis plants at one time as well as 18 immature seedlings. They can possess up to 24 ounces of usable weed at any one time.
  • Qualifying conditions include glaucoma, certain neurological conditions, AIDS/HIV, cancer and others.
  • Commercial growers were required to install a 24-hour camera surveillance system with a video backup system for two years, and the system must also have motion sensing equipment. All cannabis grown must be stored in either a vault or a locked safe. The law does allow for certain exemptions, however, such as practicality or cost concerns. Growers requesting an exemption from the security requirement must apply for a waiver.

If you would like more medical marijuana facts for Oregon or the rest of the U.S., check back with on a regular basis.

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