Medical marijuana growers can obtain insurance coverage in Oregon

As our Portland readers know, medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, and it is permissible to possess, use, cultivate and deliver medical marijuana, provided certain requirements are met.

Interestingly, medical marijuana growers in Oregon are now able to purchase insurance for their business investments, pointing to a growing acceptance of the medical marijuana industry. Depending on the policy, such insurance covers not only the building out of which the operation is conducted, but also the crop itself, from losses caused by bugs, theft, and fire, as well as raids by state and local police.

Such insurance policies are offered in other states as well, but it is unclear yet as to how much the insurance will help growers. Some in the industry are particularly concerned about raids by the DEA and the FBI. In California, for instance, medical marijuana insurance statutes protect against state and local raids, but not against federal raids, since marijuana is still considered a controlled substance at the federal level.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Oregon's law requires that patients or their primary caregivers may legally possess no more than three ounces of usable marijuana and may cultivate no more than seven marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature.

Patients who use medical marijuana sometimes find themselves in legal trouble because they failed to follow the law precisely or to obtain proper authorization for the marijuana. There are affirmative defenses available for such situations. For caregivers cultivating marijuana for medical purposes, it is wise to consult an attorney to ensure compliance with state law, which is subject to change.

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