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.
Questions and answers about Measure 91 and legalized recreational marijuana
Q. What is Measure 91?
A. Measure 91, passed by voters on November 4, 2014, will legalize and regulate the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use.
Q. How will Measure 91 be implemented?
A. Starting July 1, 2015, Measure 91 allows the possession of marijuana for personal recreational use. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will implement other provisions of the law. Learn more at http://www.oregon.gov/olcc
Q. Does Measure 91 make changes to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program or the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program?
A. No. Measure 91 specifically exempts both the current Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program from its provisions.
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
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, 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.
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
- 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. 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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-throughs, 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. 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. Dispensary rules require that only the PRF must complete a background check.
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.