This year, more health care providers in Oregon may recommend medical marijuana to patients

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A new law that went into effect in January allows more visiting healthcare providers, who have primary responsibility for the care and treatment of a person diagnosed with a disabling disease, to recommend medical marijuana to a patient.

In May 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 3369, which expanded the definition of visiting provider under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) rules. After the new year, the providers present who are allowed to recommend medical marijuana now include:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), licensed under ORS Chapter 677.
  • Medical Assistant Licensed Under ORS 677,505 to 677,525.
  • Nurse licensed under ORS 678.375 to 678.390.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist, licensed under ORS 678.370 and 678.372.
  • Certified registered nurse anesthesiologist as defined in ORS 678.245.
  • Naturopath licensed under ORS Chapter 685.

Having “primary responsibility” means that the supplier has one of the following roles:

  • Provides primary health care to the patient.
  • Provides specialized medical care and treatment to the patient.
  • A consultant who has been asked to examine and treat the patient by the patient’s primary care physician licensed under ORS Chapter 677, the patient’s medical assistant licensed under ORS Chapter 677, or the patient’s practicing nurse licensed under ORS Chapter 678.

The provider must also have examined the patient’s medical records at the patient’s request and performed a thorough physical examination of the patient; provided or planned follow-up care; and document these activities in the patient’s medical record.

To recommend medical marijuana in Oregon, the treating provider must assess the patient’s medical history, perform a physical examination, and determine that marijuana use can alleviate the symptoms or effects of the patient’s disabling medical condition. Qualification conditions include:

  • Cancer, glaucoma, degenerative or widespread neurological condition, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or side effect associated with the treatment of these medical conditions.
  • Medical condition or treatment of a medical condition that results in, for a particular patient, one or more of the following:
    • cachexia.
    • Strong pain.
    • Severe nausea.
    • Seizures, including but not limited to, seizures caused by epilepsy.
    • Persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to spasms caused by multiple sclerosis.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.

The treatment provider’s declaration form (APS) must be signed by the treatment provider, certifying that the patient has been diagnosed with a disabling medical condition and that medical use of marijuana can alleviate the symptoms or effect of the individual’s disabling medical condition. Alternatively, the treatment provider may provide the patient with the relevant parts of the patient’s medical records containing the same APS information.

The patient is responsible for submitting the APS or relevant medical records with other necessary OMMP application documents. APS or relevant medical records must be submitted within 90 days of the treating provider’s signature when the patient first applies. When a patient renews with OMMP, the application form must be submitted within 90 days of the expiration date of their registration card and the APS must be signed within this 90-day period.

In order for OMMP to accept APS from any of the providers listed above other than MD and DO, APS or relevant medical records must be dated on or after January 1, 2022. An updated APS form for treatment providers is available on the OMMP Forms Page.

For more information, visit the OMMP website at healthoregon.org/ommp. Information specific to the vendors present is under the Present Vendors link.

Join OMMP listserv to receive program updates by clicking this link.

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