Patients who are unable or unwilling to grow their own Cannabis may, under the OMMA, enlist the assistance of a designated primary caregiver (DPC). If a designated primary caregiver is used, the patient must also submit that person's name, address, date of birth, and copy of photo identification with the application materials. A designated primary caregiver may be added on (or removed) at any time during the year, at either party's discretion. Whenever a designated primary caregiver arrangement is agreed upon or terminated, the Oregon Health Division's Medical Marijuana Program staff should be notified in writing. Patients should expect to have this transaction confirmed by program staff. (There are instances where failure to notify the Division of a change in cardholder status has resulted in searches and inconvenience for registrants.) Also, any time a designated caregiver (or patient) changes their address, the Oregon Health Division should be notified. If the address growing Cannabis does not match the address on file with the Medical Marijuana Program the police will conduct further investigation.
The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act only covers patients and designated primary caregivers who are Oregon residents. There is no interstate reciprocity even though the entire West Coast of the U.S. now has similar laws on the books. The OMMA is not available to patients who are residents of another state. However, an Oregon patient may engage a caregiver who lives outside of Oregon if s/he wishes.
The designated primary caregiver should be made aware that the OMMA would not cover him/her in another State, although they would still receive a card from the Oregon Health Division certifying that they are cultivating for a patient in Oregon. As an example, if the patient lives in Portland Oregon, s/he could engage a caregiver living in Vancouver, Washington. The caregiver would receive a card from the Oregon Health Division but would not be protected from Washington State laws that ban cultivation and possession of Cannabis. If this person was in compliance with Washington law allowing the possession of a "60 day supply" s/he may be safe; however, this is far from certain since neither state's medical marijuana law expressly includes anyone from the other state. To date, no court cases have addressed this interstate "reciprocity" issue. Thus the safest action would be for all parties to be registered as patients in each of their respective programs.
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