For awhile now Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) has had a distinction that no other state’s medical marijuana program has – it allows non-Oregon residents to become a patient or grower in the program. There are multiple states that recognize out of state medical marijuana cards, but Oregon will allow you to become a patient in Oregon (but has never recognized out of state medical marijuana cards). There are not a lot of out of state patients in the OMMP, but there are some nonetheless. Per Oregon Live:
Beginning Jan. 1, the Oregon Health Authority will stop issuing cards to patients without Oregon addresses. The rule is a response to a law passed this year by the Legislature requiring in-state residency.
Medical marijuana growers, who supply the dispensary market as well as individual patients, will also fall under new residency requirements. Starting July 1, new medical marijuana growers have had to demonstrate that they’ve lived in Oregon for two years.
According to the latest Oregon Health Authority data, about 71,000 people are registered as patients; about 1,900 have addresses outside of Oregon. The bulk of patients living outside of Oregon come from California, Idaho and Washington, according to state statistics. The list includes, famously, the singer Willie Nelson.
So unfortunately for Willie Nelson, patients like him will not be allowed to be Oregon medical marijuana patients or growers in 2016. I feel bad for the patients that have been traveling to Oregon for treatments, but there is a somewhat silver lining. Oregon now allows recreational marijuana, and limited recreational marijuana sales will start October 1st. That will help patients that are traveling for flower, but unfortunately won’t help patients that use other forms of cannabis, because early sales will only involve flower, plants, and seeds.