Frequently Asked Questions
An individual or entity should not rely on these FAQs to determine compliance with Oregon Medical Marijuana Program rules. The questions and answers presented here do not constitute legal advice.
Early Recreational Marijuana Sales
Q. What changed on October 1, 2015?
A. As of October 1, 2015, registered medical marijuana dispensaries may now sell limited recreational marijuana products (dried leaves and flowers, immature marijuana plants and seeds) to adults age 21 and older.
Q. Who can purchase recreational marijuana products?
A. Only adults age 21 and older who prove their age with government-issued identification, verified by a dispensary employee, can purchase recreational marijuana products from a dispensary.
Q. How much marijuana can retail customers purchase from a dispensary?
A. Only one quarter ounce of dried leaves and flowers may be purchased by a retail customer in one day. There is no limit on the number or amount of seeds that can be sold. A medical marijuana dispensary may only sell four immature marijuana plants to the same individual between October 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.
Q. Can retail customers purchase other marijuana products from dispensaries?
A. No. Concentrates, extracts, edibles, topicals and other marijuana products may only be sold to OMMP patients and caregivers.
Q. Where can I find more information on legal use of recreational marijuana in Oregon?
A. Visit WhatsLegalOregon.com to learn what's legal and what's not.
Q. Why are medical marijuana dispensaries selling recreational marijuana?
A. Senate Bill 460 directs the Oregon Health Authority to allow early retail sales of some recreational marijuana products through registered medical marijuana dispensaries. Medical dispensaries may sell recreational marijuana from October 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.
Q. Can medical marijuana cardholders still purchase marijuana from a dispensary after October 1, 2015?
A. Yes. Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders (patients and designated primary caregivers) can still receive marijuana from dispensaries. Individuals requesting medical marijuana must present their OMMP cards and picture identification showing they are 18 years or older.
Q. Do medical marijuana dispensaries have to inform the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program they are planning to sell recreational marijuana?
A. Yes. In order to conduct early retail sales, medical marijuana dispensaries must notify the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program five days before starting retail sales. They must complete and sign the Early Retail Sales Notification form (pdf) that indicates they have reviewed the new rules and understand that failure to comply may result in action being taken against them. They also have the option to waive confidentiality and allow the dispensary name, location and whether it is selling to retail customers to be posted on the OHA website.
Q. Can any registered dispensary in Oregon sell recreational marijuana?
A. Yes, provided the dispensary is not located in a city or county that has adopted an ordinance prohibiting retail sale or early retail sale of marijuana. In that case, the dispensary is not eligible to participate in early sales of limited recreational marijuana products. For a more information and a list of cities and counties that have opted out, visit the Local Government Option page.
Q. May a dispensary provide free samples or give away marijuana products such as concentrates, extracts, edibles or topicals to retail customers?
A. No. Dispensaries cannot give away, provide free samples or otherwise give or share any marijuana products, including concentrates, extracts, edibles and topicals to retail customers, inside or outside of the dispensary.
Q. Is there a tax on recreational marijuana sold by dispensaries?
A. Yes. As of January 4, 2016, a dispensary must collect a tax of 25% on all limited recreational marijuana product sales per rules adopted by the Department of Revenue.
Q. Are dispensaries allowed to advertise, market or promote the prices of their products?
A. There is nothing in the rules for early retail sales that relates to advertising, marketing or pricing. However, marijuana retailers must comply with Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act, which prohibits deceptive marketing and promotion of consumer products.
Dispensaries should take steps to prevent promoting products in a manner that is directed at children and adolescents.
Q. What is the Oregon Health Authority doing to ensure there is enough medical marijuana available for OMMP cardholders now that recreational sales have begun?
A. OHA does not have the authority to ensure there is an ample supply of medical marijuana being provided by dispensaries.
Q. Are dispensaries required to record the names of those purchasing recreational marijuana?
A. No. A dispensary is not required to document the names of retail customers who purchase recreational marijuana products. However, the transaction must be captured in the Point of Sale system and include the following:
- The type of marijuana product sold
- The amount of marijuana product sold
- The birth date of the individual who bought the product
- The sale price
- The date of the sale
A dispensary must develop a written policy that outlines the steps it will take to ensure that no more than the allowed amount of recreational marijuana product is sold to one person in a day.
Q. Are dispensaries still required to collect information about medical marijuana cardholders?
A. Yes. Nothing has changed in the law as it relates to medical marijuana cardholders. Dispensaries must still record:
- The name, OMMP card number and expiration date of the card of each OMMP cardholder
- A copy of the person’s picture identification
- The amount of usable marijuana transferred in metric units, if applicable
- The number of immature plants transferred, if applicable
- The amount of a finished product transferred in metric units, or units of the finished product, if applicable
- A description of what was transferred
- The date of the transfer
- The amount of money paid by a patient or a designated primary caregiver.
Q. What signage must dispensaries display at their sites?
A. Requirements are listed below.
NOTE: All required signage is available on the Forms and Signage page.
A registered dispensary must post the applicable entry sign on the exterior of the dispensary in a conspicuous location that can be easily seen by the public from outside the dispensary at any point of public entry, in bold, 80 point Times New Roman font.
- If a dispensary is only transferring marijuana and immature plants to OMMP patients and caregivers, the dispensary must post a sign that reads: “Medical Marijuana Patients Only.”
- If a dispensary has properly notified the Authority that it intends to sell limited marijuana retail products, the dispensary must post signs that read: “Medical Marijuana Patients and Persons 21 and Older Permitted” and “NO PERSON UNDER 21 PERMITTED ON THE PREMISES WITHOUT AN OMMP CARD.”
Point of Sale Signage
A registered dispensary that has notified the Oregon Health Authority that it is conducting retail sales must also post the following signs at the point of sale:
- Pregnancy Warning Poster
- Poisoning Prevention Poster
- A color copy of the "Educate Before You Recreate" poster (Source: whatslegaloregon.com).
Marijuana Information Card
Distribute to each individual at the time of sale a Marijuana Information Card, prescribed by the Authority, measuring 3.5 inches high by 5 inches.
Q. What are the penalties for dispensaries found to be violating rules for early retail sales?
A. Any dispensary that violates any of the new early retail sales rules will be prohibited from continuing to sell limited recreational marijuana products. In addition, a dispensary’s registration may be suspended or revoked.
Medical marijuana dispensaries will not be able to sell limited recreational marijuana products after December 31, 2016.
Q. Where can I get more information?
A. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program at 855-244-9580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Measure 91 and Legalized Recreational Marijuana
Q. How much marijuana can I possess under Measure 91?
A. As of July 1, 2015, if you are 21 or older, your household can have up to:
- 4 marijuana plants
- 8 ounces of usable marijuana
- 16 ounces of homemade marijuana products in solid form
- 72 ounces of homemade marijuana products in liquid form
Q. When did Measure 91 go into effect?
A. The home grow and personal possession provisions of the measure started on July 1, 2015.
Q. How much marijuana can a person possess if they are an OMMP cardholder?
A. An OMMP patient, caregiver, or grower may possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana, six mature marijuana plants, and 18 seedlings or starts.
Q. How does someone obtain marijuana if they are not a cardholder?
A. As of July October 1, 2015, registered medical marijuana dispensaries may sell limited amounts of recreational marijuana to adults 21 and older.
Q. Can medical dispensaries provide, sell, or dispense marijuana at an off-site event or to an off-site event?
A. No. All transfers of marijuana must be done on-site at the dispensary in accordance with dispensary rules.
Q. What is the definition of a public place?
A. Measure 91 defines a public place as "a place to which the general public has access and includes, but is not limited to, hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation."
Q. Where can I apply for a license to grow, process, or sell marijuana for recreational use?
A. Measure 91 requires the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to begin accepting license applications for the production and sale of recreational marijuana by January 4, 2016. Learn more at http://www.oregon.gov/olcc
For more information regarding Measure 91 please go to www.whatslegaloregon.com
General Facts about Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Q. What is a medical marijuana facility, aka dispensary?
A. A medical marijuana dispensary is a facility, registered by the Oregon Health Authority, that is allowed to receive marijuana or immature marijuana plants and transfer that marijuana to a patient or a patient’s caregiver, if the patient or caregiver has an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card.
Q. Who can purchase or receive marijuana from a medical marijuana dispensary?
A. OMMP patients and caregivers who present a current and valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card and photo identification may purchase marijuana and marijuana products (including concentrates, extracts, edibles and topicals) from a medical marijuana dispensary.
As of October 1, 2015, registered medical marijuana dispensaries may sell limited amounts of recreational marijuana to adults 21 and older (dried leaves and flowers, immature marijuana plants and seeds). Retail customers may not purchase concentrates, extracts, edibles or topicals.
Q. Where may dispensaries be located?
A. Dispensaries in Oregon must be located in an area zoned for commercial, industrial or mixed use, or as agricultural land. A dispensary may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school or another registered dispensary, and may not be at an address registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program as a grow site. Local government agencies may have additional restrictions, and applicants should communicate with those local agencies when deciding where to locate a dispensary.
Q. May local governments ban dispensaries?
A. UPDATE: The Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program will issue a registration to applicants who meet the requirements set forth in the dispensary rules. It is up to dispensary registrants to determine whether the dispensary is allowed within a particular jurisdiction.
Senate Bill 1531 (2014) authorizes local governments to place a moratorium of up to one year, but not beyond May 1, 2015, on the operation of dispensaries within their jurisdictions. Local governments must have enacted any moratorium before May 1, 2014, and have notified the Oregon Health Authority of the action.
After May 1, 2015, the Oregon Health Authority may no longer issue a full refund to an applicant in an area with a local moratorium, as according to state law, no local government may have a moratorium after that date.
Q. What kinds of schools do dispensaries need to be 1,000 feet away from?
A. Private or public schools, primary, secondary, or career schools.
- Primary – institutions containing any combination of grades kindergarten through 8th or age level equivalent
- Secondary – institutions containing any combination of grades 9th through 12th or age level equivalent, including junior high schools which include 9th grade
- Career – private, proprietary, professional, technical, business or other schools of instruction, organizations or persons offering any instruction or training for the purpose or purported purpose of instruction, training or preparing persons for any profession at a physical location attended primarily by minors
- Please refer to OAR 333-008-1110 for details
Q. How will I know if the location I have chosen for my dispensary is more than 1,000 feet from a school or 1,000 feet from a registered dispensary?
A. The Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program offers an online School Locator Map that applicants can use to see if a site is too close to a school. However, as some school and facility locations are confidential, results from the mapping tool should not be considered official or binding. The final decision on whether a proposed location complies with Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program rules will be made by program staff. Please be aware that a facility’s premises must not be anywhere within 1,000 feet of a school's property boundary as per ORS 475.005 (23). Applicants are also expected to canvas the area surrounding their proposed location and sign an affirmation that they have done so when applying.
Q. Where can I find a list of registered dispensaries?
A. The law requires the Oregon Health Authority to keep the location of a dispensary and the name of the person responsible for a dispensary confidential. As part of the application process, applicants have an opportunity to waive their confidentiality and allow the program to list their dispensary in the program's online directory. View the directory.
Q. Do I need to register my dispensary with the Board of Pharmacy?
A. The Oregon Health Authority and the Board of Pharmacy have agreed that there are no requirements under the provisions of 475.124 for any individual applying for registration to operate a Medical Marijuana Dispensary to register with the Board of Pharmacy.
Q. Can I apply in person?
A. No. Applications and payment must be submitted online. All supplemental documentation may be uploaded to the application online by five p.m. within five calendar days of application submission, or mailed and postmarked within five calendar days. At no time will MMD staff receive applications in person. Please be aware that there is no drop-box available.
Q. What are the security requirements for a dispensary?
A. Please see the medical marijuana facility security requirements documentation.
Q. What zoning documentation is acceptable?
A. Documentation must be obtained from the county office or local jurisdiction the dispensary will be located in, and specifically state the facility address and zoning of the address. General zoning maps will not be accepted.
Applying for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary License
Q. How do I apply to register my dispensary?
A. Please refer to our How To Apply page.
Q. What is an MMD number?
A. When you have successfully submitted your online application, you will be issued a randomly generated 5-digit number called an MMD number or MMD#. Dispensary program staff will use your MMD# to match your mailed application documents to your online application, so you must be sure to include that number in all correspondence with the program. Items mailed to the program without an MMD# may be discarded.
Q. What is the process for approval? How long should it take?
A. After your online application, fee payment, and all required application documents have been received, dispensary program staff will review your application to determine whether all program rules have been satisfied. Your application will be processed in the order it is received, based on the timestamp of the approved payment.
The timeline for approving your application will depend on several factors, including the volume of applications received.
Q. Once my application is approved, when may I begin to operate my dispensary?
A. You may open for business as soon as you receive your physical registration certificate.
Q. I applied before January 28, 2015, and have received a provisional license. Can I open for business?
A. No. Provisional licenses, which were granted to applicants who applied prior to January 28, 2015, only provide applicants an opportunity to complete the security requirements outlined in the application. Facilities may not operate until the facility has been approved and the applicant has received a certificate of registration from the Oregon Health Authority.
Q. I applied before January 28, 2015, and have a provisional license, but it's taking longer than expected to install my security system. Can I get an extension?
A. No. Provisional licenses are only good for 60 days. Failure to complete all security requirements will result in the failure of the application.
Q. I applied on or after January 28, 2015, and have been informed that I meet initial criteria, but it's taking longer than expected to complete all of the compliance requirements. Can I get an extension?
A. No. Once an applicant is informed that they meet the initial criteria, they have 60 days to be compliant with dispensary rules and submit a Facility Readiness Form to the Authority. Failure to do so will result in an automatic incomplete application. You may, however, reapply. Reapplications require all documentation to be sent with the new application, and a new background check must be performed.
Q. Must I check the box that allows the disclosure of my dispensary location?
A. No, you may keep your dispensary address confidential if you wish. However, if you do not check this box, you will prevent the Oregon Health Authority from including your business in a directory that is available to Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders and caregivers.
Q. Is there a limit on the number of dispensaries that will be registered by the Oregon Health Authority?
A. There is no limit on the number of dispensaries that may register with the dispensary program. However, dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of each other or a school.
Q. How many dispensaries may an individual own or be responsible for?
A. There is no limit on the number of dispensaries an individual may be responsible for. However, any PRF who wishes to register more than one location must submit a separate application, application fee, documentation, and background check for each location.
Q. Do I need to notify the Oregon Health Authority if there is a change to the PRF?
A. Yes. If any changes to the PRF need to be made, the owner of the facility must submit a change of PRF form and check or money order for $35, payable to 'OHA Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program,' to the Authority within ten business days. See the Change of PRF page for more information. The facility may not operate until a new PRF has been approved by the Authority. Failure to notify the Authority within the ten business day period could result in registration revocation.
Q. May I operate a mobile dispensary, or a medicine delivery service?
A. No. Mobile services, including but not limited to farmer markets, drive-thrus, and mobile dispensaries are not allowed. Any transfer of marijuana to or from a dispensary must take place at the registered address of the dispensary.
Q. Can a dispensary be located at the same address as a grow site?
A. No. Also, if you have any knowledge that a patient has designated your dispensary as a grow site, please ask the person to change the grow site address with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. Otherwise, this could delay the approval of your application.
Q. Are dispensaries allowed to pay growers for medical marijuana?
A. A dispensary is permitted to reimburse a grower for the normal and customary costs of doing business, including costs related to transferring, handling, securing, insuring, testing, packaging, and processing usable marijuana and immature marijuana plants, and the cost of supplies, utilities, and rent or mortgage.
Q. How much may a dispensary charge for medical marijuana?
A. A dispensary is permitted to seek reimbursement for immature plants and medical marijuana products based on its normal and customary costs of doing business. A dispensary is required to document its costs of doing business and provide that information to the dispensary program on request. Please refer to Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 333-008-1210 for specifics.
Q. Will onsite consumption of marijuana be allowed?
A. No. Onsite consumption of marijuana is prohibited by the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program rules. The only exception is for an employee who is a current and valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patient who must medicate during working hours. Such consumption is only permitted if the employee is in a closed room, alone if the usable marijuana is being smoked, and not visible to the public. Please refer to Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 333-008-1200 for more.
Q. Will the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program make onsite visits to dispensaries?
A. Yes. The program is required to inspect dispensaries annually to ensure compliance with the law. Program staff may also visit dispensaries at any time and assess compliance. Inspections are always unannounced.
Q. Are dispensaries subject to civil penalties?
A. Yes. Per ORS 431.262(1)(d), a civil penalty, not to exceed $500 a day per violation, may be issued if a notice of violation of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program rules is determined.
Q. What information needs to be included on a label for usable marijuana products such as edibles, waxes, concentrates or other prepackaged products?
A. All prepackaged usable marijuana products must be labeled with the following information:
- The amount of THC and CBD potency
- The weight or volume of usable marijuana in the packaged finished product in grams, milligrams, or milliliters
- Test batch number
- Date tested
- The laboratory that performed the testing
- A warning label for edibles which states: “WARNING: MEDICINAL PRODUCT – KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN” in bold capital letters, in a font size that is larger than the font size of the other printing on the label, such that it is easy to read and prominently displayed on the product
Q. How are transfers of usable marijuana or immature plants made to a dispensary?
A. Transfers of usable marijuana or immature plants will only be authorized by a registered OMMP patient using the Medical Marijuana Transfer Authorization form . The patient may authorize themselves, their caregiver, or their grower to transfer usable marijuana or immature plants to the dispensary.
Q. Who gets the original Transfer Authority form and who should keep a copy?
A. The original form should be sent to the registered dispensary and the dispensary must keep that original. The patient should keep a copy of the Transfer Authorization form for their records and if the caregiver or grower is authorized to transfer, the caregiver or grower should keep a copy.
Q. Does the Transfer Authorization form ever expire?
A. Yes. The Transfer Authorization form automatically expires on the date the patient’s OMMP card expires, unless the patient has specified an earlier expiration date. Once the authorization expires, the patient may renew it by submitting a new transfer form to the registered dispensary. It should be noted that once usable marijuana or immature plants are transferred to a registered dispensary they are no longer the property of the patient unless the usable marijuana or immature plants are returned by the registered dispensary for any reason.
Q. What must a PRF do when accepting usable marijuana or immature plants?
A. A PRF must ensure he or she has a valid Authorization To Transfer form on file that authorizes the transferor of usable marijuana or immature plants to make the transfer, and must verify the identity of the transferor by viewing and copying the transferor's OMMP card and photo identification.
Background Check Process
Q. Why do you need fingerprints?
A. State law requires a criminal background check on a PRF. A person cannot be a PRF if they have been convicted for the manufacture or delivery of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance within five years from the date the person applies for registration, or have been convicted more than once for the manufacture or delivery of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance.
Q. Where can I get my fingerprints processed?
A. Instructions for having your fingerprints taken can be found on the Background Check information page.
Payment of Fees
Q. What is the fee to apply for a license to operate a dispensary?
A. A $4,000 fee must be paid by credit card during the online application process. $3,500 of this may be refunded if the location or PRF is not approved. The request must be made by the PRF in writing.
Q. I don’t have a credit card. How can I pay the fee?
A. If you do not have or are unable to acquire a credit card, prepaid credit cards can be purchased at many stores. The fee must be paid online at the time of application.
Q. Do dispensary employees need background checks, or just the PRF?
A. Dispensary rules require that only the PRF must complete a background check.
For OMMP Patients
Q. What will I need in order to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary?
A. You will need to present your current and valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card and photo identification.
Q. Are children allowed inside dispensaries?
A. No. Minors under 18 are not allowed inside any part of a dispensary where marijuana is present, even if they are patients or employees.