Can Oregon Become the Top Rated Medical Marijuana Program?

Medical Marijuana

medical marijuana

For someone new entering into the medical marijuana world, a person doesn’t go too long before they will hear the phrase, “standing on the backs of patients”. That’s because we as a country are at a critical moment in time in which we must negotiate the space between a community of people who need cannabis as a medicine, viewing it from a health-based lens, and those who would risk their personal freedoms and assets in the unusually risky entrepreneurial gamble of the cannabis industry.

As is clear to anyone paying attention in US politics in the last 7 years, finding a political balance between public health needs and the financial interests of the private sector is tricky business. But this is the exact moment in time in which all stakeholders should be coming to the table to find effective and meaningful solutions.

Unfortunately, in many ways, the old system for medical cannabis in Oregon has been revamped, and what will happen next remains to be seen. Overall plant numbers per Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) grow sites have been restricted, but patients can still cultivate for themselves if they are able (with an unlimited number of seedlings now) and purchase products tax-free at dispensaries. But the poorest patients unable to cultivate cannabis, or find someone to cultivate for them, are being deprived safe access. Oregon has a golden opportunity to become a national political model that supports both patients and a strong industry. Establishing a low-income patient program, until healthcare providers and insurance companies fully integrate medical cannabis (like Germany is implementing) is definitely needed in Oregon (as well as every medical cannabis state).

Americans for Safe Access, an international organization focused solely on medical marijuana advocacy, recently created a report card of state medical cannabis laws and the degree to which policy meets the needs of patients. Executive Director Steph Sherer points out the laws fail to adequately support patient needs pretty much everywhere, but the coalition of change agents is growing:

“‘Medical cannabis laws are moving in a positive direction, but only a handful of the forty-four medical cannabis states are truly meeting the needs of patients, and there are still six states where cannabis remains completely illegal for patients. In short, we’re seeing a lot of progress, but the fight is far from over. As of 2017, no state cannabis laws are within the ‘A’ range. Only a small minority of states currently include ASA’s criteria of protections and rights that we believe all patients should be afforded under the law.

“‘What we’re experiencing is the byproduct of a movement of doctors, scientists, patients, their families, and policymakers advocating for a patients’ safe access to medical cannabis. Every positive change in a law or regulation is the result of thousands of hours of  work by these stakeholders. With 16 states improving their laws and dozens more making improvements through regulations, we are proud to report an overall positive trend for medical cannabis patients across the country.’

“‘States such as Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are among the lowest ranking, while Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have shown the greatest improvement over 2015 laws. Despite the positive trend, no state falls within the “A” range.”

Oregon was one of 11 states to receive a “B” rating or above.

More from

Oregon May Declare Emergency Over Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Threats

Marijuana Oregon isn’t taking a “wait and see” approach to the mixed messages coming out of the White House on marijuana — the state is taking direct action to protect the private information of its medical cannabis patients and adult use consumers. Oregon has moved closer to shielding consumers in its adult use and medical […]

Cost of administering marijuana tax escalating

marijuana taxes SALEM — The costs of administering Oregon’s recreational marijuana tax have escalated since initial estimates in 2015, and may be poised to increase again. In part, that’s because it’s not yet clear just how much it will cost to build a secure, five-station payment area in the Oregon Department of Revenue. The project, […]

Oregon remains a top source for black market pot, state police report says

black market pot Marijuana legalization has done little to change Oregon’s longstanding reputation as a leading black market exporter of premium cannabis, state police say in a new analysis obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. The report offers an unvarnished view of both legal and illegal marijuana production in Oregon at a time of uncertainty for marijuana […]

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Issues Marijuana Recall

Marijuana Recall Oregon Liquor Control Commission Issues Marijuana Recall: Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is issuing an immediate health and safety advisory due to the identification of potentially unsafe pesticide residue on retail plant material produced from marijuana cultivated by Emerald Wave Estate, LLC. The affected marijuana failed a pesticide test for […]

12,500 Marijuana Jobs In Oregon Generate $315 Million In Wages

Marijuana Jobs $1.2 billion in economic activity related to marijuana industry, report finds. Cannabis industry economist Beau Whitney of Whitney Economics today released the results of “Cannabis Employment Estimates,” a report compiled at the request of the Oregon State House of Representatives Committee on Economic Development and Trade on the number of marijuana jobs associated […]

Oregon Will Start Testing Age Compliance At Marijuana Stores

Marijuana Stores For the past year, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has been snowed under with applications from people wanting to sell recreational marijuana. On Tuesday, OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger said it’s time to start shifting resources to the compliance side. He said the agency is about to start sending young adults to marijuana stores to […]

Oregon to protect marijuana buyers’ personal details

Oregon marijuana SALEM, Ore. — Lawmakers worried about a nationwide crackdown on legal Oregon marijuana under President Donald Trump’s administration are rushing to protect the personal information of pot customers in case federal agents try to seize it. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is taking one of the first direct state actions in response to […]

Idaho customers breathe life into tiny Oregon marijuana town

Oregon marijuana HUNTINGTON, Ore. Huntington has become a hot destination, even if most visitors only stay long enough to buy Oregon marijuana products from the dispensaries in town. Not much more than a year ago, the city was fading, its population slowly diminishing, as has been the case in countless small towns across the American […]

Neighbors object to Oregon marijuana farm

Oregon marijuana Alfalfa . Oregon Possible traffic, odor and crime have residents worried A scrub-laden 20-acre parcel of land about four miles to the east of Bend’s urban growth boundary is ground zero in the first appeal of a Oregon marijuana-related land use decision in Deschutes County. Rogelio Rubio, who bought the land in June, […]