Medical Marijuana Registries in Oregon Alaska Hawaii and Select California Counties

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How states implemented registry requirements in the three registry states, such as which agency administers the registry or the number of staff to manage it, varied in some ways and were similar in other ways. Similarly, the county-based registries in California had some differences and commonalities.

In Oregon, the Department of Human Services is designated to maintain the state medical marijuana registry. A staff of six is responsible for reviewing and verifying incoming applications and renewals, including following up on those that are incomplete, and input and update of the database. Recommending physicians are sent, and must respond to a verification letter for the application to be approved. By statute in Oregon, an applicant can be denied a card for only two reasons—submitting incomplete or false information. According to the State Public Health Officer, the scope of the Department of Human Services responsibility is to see to that there is a written determination of the patient's condition by a legitimate doctor, and includes an attending physician recommendation that the patient might benefit from using marijuana. He stated that the staff does not question a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana use. The law is clear, he said. It is up to the physician to decide what is best.

The Oregon Department of Human Services also considers the addition of new conditions to the list of those acceptable for medical use of marijuana, as authorized by Oregon's medical marijuana statute. At the time of our review, only one of the eight petitions that had been reviewed by the Department had been approved—agitation due to Alzheimer's disease. Most of the petitioned conditions have had a psychological basis, the State Public Health Officer said.

Alaska Alaska's statute designates the Department of Health and Social Services to manage the state medical marijuana registry. The full time equivalent of one half-time person is responsible for registry duties, including checking applications for accuracy and completeness and entering the information into the registry. The physician's license is checked for approval to practice in Alaska, and if a caregiver is designated the registry is checked to assure they are only listed as a caregiver for one person unless otherwise approved by the Department. Patients, physicians and caregivers are also contacted to verify information as appropriate. If all Alaska statutory requirements are met, a medical marijuana registry identification card is issued (see fig. 4). Registry cards are denied in Alaska

Appendix III: Medical Marijuana Registries in Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, and Select California Counties if the application is not complete, the patient is not otherwise qualified to be registered, or if the information in the application is found to be false.

Figure 3: Example of Alaska's Medical Marijuana Certification Card

Figure 3: Example of Alaska's Medical Marijuana Certification Card

Medical Marijuana

Patient Card


Medical Marijuana wmi JL*

01-01-48 Registry

Patient Card


Care Giver


State ID Number 9999999 Address 1000 ANYSTREET

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