The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program started in 1998. At first the number of patients in the program was small due to many factors. For starters, there weren't as many qualifying conditions as there are today. Also, the number of plants a patient/caregiver/grower could have and the amount of dried medicine they could have was much less, providing less benefit to patients compared to today. Another factor was that it was so new, and I remember a lot of people I knew were skeptical of 'being on a list somewhere.' All those things have changed, and with dispensaries finally being legalized in Oregon, the number of patients in the program is growing fast. Per Oregon Live:
The number of Oregon medical marijuana patients has risen steadily since the program was approved by voters 16 years ago. Enrollment has seen dramatic annual increases in the past but has leveled off, and even dropped, in recent years. But in the past nine months the number of patients has risen by nearly 15 percent -- a spike that medical marijuana advocates attribute to the introduction of legal dispensaries in the state.
"They can walk in with their money and get what they need," said Sandee Burbank, who owns three medical clinics where people can get marijuana cards, including one in Southeast Portland.
The dispensaries give people an easy alternative to growing their own medical marijuana or having someone grow it for them, she said.
If you get a chance, make sure to read the entire article I took an excerpt from. There's a lot of interesting stuff. Are you a new patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP)? How much of a factor was dispensary access in determining whether you became a patient or not? If Oregon legalizes next month, will you still remain a patient, or will four plants and eight ounces be enough to cover your medical needs (per Oregon Measure 91), compared to 24 plants and 24 ounces as a patient?