Frequently Asked Questions
An individual or entity should not rely on these FAQs to determine compliance with the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program rules or Oregon Medical Marijuana Program rules. The questions and answers presented here do not constitute legal advice.
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 medical marijuana from a dispensary?
A. Medical marijuana can only be dispensed to patients and caregivers who present a current and valid Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card and photo identification. No other sales or transfers are authorized.
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. 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 on the operation of dispensaries
within their jurisdictions. Local governments must enact any moratorium
before May 1, 2014 and notify the Oregon Health Authority of the action.
The law also authorizes the Oregon Health Authority to refund the entire $4,000 application and registration fee to applicants and registered dispensaries in areas falling under a moratorium. Requests for refunds must be made in writing by the PRF as per Oregon Administrative Rule 333-008-1400.
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
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 property boundary must not be anywhere within 1,000 ft. of a school's property boundary as per ORS 475.005 (23)
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 include a dispensary on a list to be published on the program's web site. See 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 can only be submitted online. All supplemental documentation MUST be 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.
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 mailed 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 registration certificate in the mail.
Q. I have received a provisional license. Can I open for business?
A. No. Provisional licenses are granted in order to give applicants an opportunity to complete the security requirements outlined in the application. Facilities may not operate until the secuirty system has been approved and the applicant has received a certificate of registration from the Oregon Health Authority.
Q. I 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. 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 fail to check this box, you will prevent the Oregon Health Authority from including your business in a directory that will be made available to Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders and caregivers.
Q. Is there a limit on the number of dispensaries that will be approved 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 within 1,000 feet of 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 and application fee 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 to the Authority within ten business days. 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 will begin proceedings to revoke the certification of the facility.
Q. May I operate a mobile dispensary, or a medicine delivery service?
A. No. Mobile services, including, but not limited to, farmer markets, drive-through, and mobile dispensaries. 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 location 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 MMD 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, patients or caregivers on the premises of the dispensary. 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.
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 in the usable marijuana product
- If prepackaged, the weight or volume of usable marijuana in each unit, in metric units
- The amount of usable marijuana in a finished product in metric units
- Potency information
- 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
NOTE: Edible medical marijuana products must be tracked by both the amount of usable marijuana contained in the product (example: if 1000 grams of usable marijuana were used to make 1000 brownies, there would be 1 gram per brownie) AND the number of products being transferred in and out of the dispensary. See OAR 333-008-1230(7)(b) and (d).
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 using the Medical Marijuana Transfer Authorization form . Only the patient, authorized caregiver or patient grower may be authorized 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 Transfer form on file that authorizes the individual that is transferring the usable marijuana or immature plants to make the transfer, and that the individual transferring the usable marijuana or immature plants is the individual authorized to make the transfer.
Background Check Process
Q. Why do you need fingerprints?
A. State law requires a criminal background check on a PRF. A PRF who has 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 who has been convicted more than once for the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in Schedule I or Schedule II, cannot be a PRF.
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. In areas that fall under a local moratorium as defined by Oregon Administrative Rule 333-008-1400, applicants and PRFs of registered dispensaries may request a refund of the entire $4,000 application and registration fee. 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. No. By law, only the PRF must complete a background check.
Q. What will I need in order to be dispensed 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.