In 1998, Oregon voters approved the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA), allowing a patient with a valid ID card to use, possess, and cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes, and designate a primary caregiver to assist them. Qualifying patients may possess up to 24 ounces of usable cannabis and may cultivate up to 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature). To be protected from arrest, patients must enroll in the Oregon Health Authority patient registry and possess a valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) identification card. Non-registered patients with a valid recommendation who are within the possession or cultivation limits set by the OMMA are entitled to an affirmative defense.
Cannabis Possession Limit:
Adult marijuana consumers 21 years of age and older may possess up to 8 ounces of usable cannabis. A registered Oregon medical marijuana patient may possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana.
Cannabis Grow Limit:
Recreational marijuana consumers 21 years of age and older may possess up to 4 plants per residence. A registered Oregon medical marijuana patient may possess up to 6 mature plants, which must be grown at a registered grow site address. Caregivers, or OMMP growers, cannot be growing for more than 4 patients at a time, and cannot grow more than 6 mature plants per patient.
Distribution/DispensariesIn 2014, cities and counties the right to pass moratoriums on the opening of medical marijuana facilities until May 1, 2015. There are currently over 300 state licensed dispensaries serving patients.
Dispensaries were allowed to temporarily serve the new legal adult-use cannabis market before the official opening of adult-use retail distribution
Important Legal Cases
State v. Luster (2015) : The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of an illegal possession of marijuana against a defendant. The court held that the affirmative defense available to a registered medical marijuana patient was invalid because the defendant had been diagnosed with a condition over 12 months prior to the arrest (interpreting Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 475.319, which is currently renumbered as 475B.480 in 2015 by the Legislative Counsel).
State v. Ellis (2013) : The Oregon Court of Appeals held that defendant’s hashish constituted as “usable marijuana” under OMMA. Therefore, usable marijuana under Oregon law includes dry leaves, flowers and hashish of marijuana.
State v. Berringer (2010) : The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed a conviction of an illegal possession of marijuana against a nonresident defendant. The court held that enforcing Oregon’s law against possession of marijuana does not violate a nonresident defendant’s right to travel from state to state.
Emerald Steel Fabricators, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries (2010) : The Supreme Court of Oregon found that the Oregon Revised Statute § 475.306(1), which authorizes the use of medical marijuana, is preempted by the federal Controlled Substances Act. This Court’s decision is limited to § 475.306(1) (currently renumbered as § 475B.433); the Court also refused to rule whether the Controlled Substances Act preempt other provisions of the OMMA that exempt the possession, manufacture, or distribution of medical marijuana from state criminal liability.
Oregon became the 3rd state to legalize medical marijuana on November 3, 1998
Important Cannabis Laws
Senate Bill 1511 (2016) : Makes several changes to the laws governing medical marijuana.
House Bill 4014 (2016): Makes several changes to the laws governing medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 1598 (2016): Makes several changes to the laws governing medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 844 (2015): Establishes task force on researching the medical and public health properties of cannabis.
Senate Bill 460 (2015): Allows medical marijuana dispensaries, beginning October 1, 2015, to sell limited marijuana retail product to adults 21 and older in accordance with certain conditions.
House Bill 3400 (2015) : Makes several changes to the laws governing medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 1531 (2014) : Specifies that governing bodies of a city or county may adopt ordinances that impose reasonable regulations on operation of medical marijuana facilities.
House Bill 3460 (2013) : Directs OHA to establish a registration system for medical marijuana facilities
Permanent rules effective June 28, 2016
- OAR 333-007: Marijuana Labeling and Concentration Limits (pdf)