How to Get a Cannabis OMMP Card
OMMP stands for Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, which is a state program administered by the Department of Public Health. This program grants patient cards to Oregon residents with the written recommendation of a physician, an MD or DO.
If you want to know how to get a cannabis OMMP card in Oregon, you must consider several factors. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card is for patients with qualifying medical conditions.
In order to get a cannabis OMMP card in the state of Oregon, you must have a qualifying debilitating medical condition such as chronic pain or PTSD, and a physician must sign a form called the Attending Physician’s Statement that indicates the condition for which you are using cannabis. Your physician must be a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) licensed to practice medicine in Oregon. You must have an established patient/physician relationship with your attending physician.
Now we will explain, step by step, the process of how to get a cannabis OMMP card.
First, determine if you have a debilitating condition.
In Oregon, a medical marijuana patient must have a debilitating condition such as any of the following:
- A serious discomfort from the side effects of Alzheimer’s disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Any medical condition that produces symptoms of major weight loss, nausea, severe pain, seizures, or muscle spasms.
If you have any of these medical conditions, you can apply for a cannabis OMMP card.
Second, go see a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) to document your condition.
Naturopaths, chiropractors, and nurse practitioners cannot sign the Attending Physician Statement, but they are important and can provide additional chart notes which demonstrate ongoing treatment of your condition.
For folks who have direct access to a doctor or a specialist, your personal physician can sign your Attending Physician Statement during your annual physical exam or during any other appointment. Some doctors in the state of Oregon don’t feel comfortable signing the Attending Physician Statement and will prefer that you see a doctor who specializes in medical cannabis.
To get a cannabis OMMP card, the doctor who has specialized knowledge of marijuana as a medicine will then be the one to sign your Attending Physician Statement for the OMMP. So while it may seem silly, you may have to see a second doctor to qualify for your medical condition who will sign your doctor’s note for the state of Oregon.
Like many of us who do not have an Oregon health plan, insurance, or a primary care physician, the only doctor available to us is at an urgent care center. This is a very viable option and often costs less than seeing a doctor that’s part of a large clinic.
There are several Urgent Care centers in Bend, for example, and they are generally less costly than a visit to Bend Memorial Clinic. An MD or a DO must document your condition, and not a Physician’s Assistant (PA). The health care provider can make you a copy of your “chart notes” which are your medical records that prove you have seen the physician so you can get a cannabis OMMP card.
Many physicians have not had continuing education coursework regarding the benefits of medical cannabis. Or, they may work for a large healthcare organization that has a policy that prohibits a doctor from signing the Attending Physician Statement (often relating to insurance or other contractual reasons).
Third, document your ongoing treatment for your condition.
So how do you get a cannabis OMMP card once you have been diagnosed? In addition to your chart notes that document your qualifying medical condition, you need to have been seen by a medical professional within the last 2 years, and it is also important that you be seeking ongoing treatment for your condition. Some physicians require such proof of ongoing treatment, which could be a visit to the chiropractor or acupuncturist, in order to sign your annual OMMP renewal documents.
It’s not uncommon for individuals to access “alternative” treatment modalities, such as chiropractic or acupuncture, with more frequency than their visits to a normal “regular” MD. Some people never see a regular doctor and only have chart notes from their alternative care providers.
It’s best to include these chart notes as well when you visit a doctor who has knowledge about marijuana medicine. The doctor who knows a lot about marijuana may not be the doctor who diagnoses your condition to become a medical marijuana patient. They are different doctors who perform different services.
Lastly, register with the state.
The last step you need to know when understanding how to get a cannabis OMMP card is to take your MD or DO recommendation to the state. Once you have paid a $100 fee, you will receive temporary papers until your approval is accepted that state you are a qualified medical marijuana patient.
To get a Caregiver card, simply have a patient designate you as a Caregiver on his or her OMMP application.
To get a cannabis OMMP card, a copy of the Caregiver’s driver’s license or state issued ID is all that’s required with respect to documentation. The patient will also need to include the Caregiver’s mailing address.
It costs nothing for a Patient to designate someone as his or her Caregiver. Caregivers are an important part of the OMMP program; they are important for patients. Caregivers often run life errands, buy and deliver groceries, and provide respite care for families.
A Caregiver in the state of Oregon can also pick up a Patient’s medical marijuana from a facility and deliver them to the Patient. Our facility delights in our frequent interactions with our Patients, but understand this is not always possible. We want our Caregivers to know they are supported and appreciated too – for the generous and humanizing service they provide to the community. We will often simply refer to our guests as clients, and they include both Patients and their Caregivers.
So if you ever need to learn how to get a cannabis OMMP card, these are the steps to follow. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) protects medical marijuana users who comply with its requirements from Oregon criminal prosecution for production, possession, or delivery of marijuana.
Substance provides safe access to recreational marijuana and medical marijuana. If you are an OMMP cardholder or designated caregiver, we have everything you need from flower to edibles to topicals. While in strict compliance with the letter and the spirit of Oregon’s medical cannabis laws, we aim to deliver high-quality cannabis products to improve our customers’ lives.
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