Marijuana remains illegal in nearly every state in the US, but the number of medical patients seeking treatment has exploded since medical marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington state in 2012.
In Oregon, where recreational pot is legal, medical marijuana dispensaries now employ around 6,000 people and the state is seeing an uptick in cases.
Medical marijuana is used for pain relief, appetite stimulation, and muscle relaxation.
It’s also known as CBD oil, which has shown promise as an anti-cancer medicine.
It is illegal to grow marijuana in Oregon and is considered a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it’s considered dangerous, meaning there is no accepted medical use.
However, in January 2017, Oregon became the first state to legalise marijuana for recreational use, allowing adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of the plant for personal use.
The new law also allows adults to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home, provided they also cultivate at least two marijuana plants, grow three or more marijuana plants and not have more than 20 plants.
Medical cannabis is also legal for recreational purposes in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana.
The Oregon Department of Health and Human Services said it will begin issuing cannabis-based prescription products in the next few weeks, including CBD oil for treating pain and anxiety, and the Cannabidiol-based drug called Cannabix for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
However the state’s cannabis dispensaries have been facing growing pressure to close, with thousands of patients signing up to be treated with medical marijuana in the last two years.
In Washington, the number one medical marijuana dispensary, Emerald Bay, closed its doors last year amid legal battles with local governments over how much money should be spent on cannabis treatment, a legal battle that has cost the state tens of millions of dollars.
In Colorado, the state cannabis industry has been severely impacted by an influx of patients seeking medical marijuana treatment.
In 2016, about 1,000 patients applied for treatment at the state-licensed medical marijuana centers.
But in January, about 70 percent of those patients were denied.