Medical cannabis patients constantly find themselves asking, "Can I use my medical card in another state?"
The simple answer is "yes." However, while it's possible to use medical marijuana cards in other states, some states make it challenging to purchase medical marijuana as a visitor.
It's especially difficult if the state doesn't have medical marijuana. But recreational cannabis is still an option at times.
As medical marijuana becomes more accessible, the laws continue to change. Reciprocity is becoming increasingly common. But it's still crucial to know where you can and cannot buy it with your home state's medical marijuana card.
In this article, we'll cover medical marijuana reciprocity and the rules surrounding getting your medical marijuana in other states.
Is Medical Medical Marijuana Available to Out-of-State Patients?
State medical marijuana cards are not accepted in every other state. Instead of one federal program, there are many medical marijuana programs. And while some accept out-of-state cards, others don't.
However, just because you hold a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you should stop traveling, even if another state lacks medical marijuana laws. But if you need medical cannabis, it's essential to know if your medical marijuana card works in another state.
State medical marijuana cards give MMJ patients access to medical cannabis. But what are the rules in each state?
State Rules for Medical Marijuana
Medical cannabis rules vary from state to state. So a bit of research before making a trip goes a long way.
While every state might not have MMJ laws, you may be able to buy it in the state you plan to visit. But keep in mind, transporting medical marijuana across state lines is in violation of federal law.
This being the case, it's usually ideal to use state medical marijuana cards in your home state. However, if you plan to travel and want to get your medicine at a dispensary that will accept out of state MMJ cards, don't bring your leftover medical marijuana out of the state it was purchased.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Medical marijuana reciprocity ensures medical marijuana cardholders can purchase medical cannabis outside of their home state.
This is possible because some states are willing to recognize other states' medical marijuana cards.
Do all state MMJ programs accept out-of-state-patients?
Not necessarily. But it's always good if they do.
If a state is willing to accept out of state medical patients, this means you can use your home state's medical cannabis card to buy your medicine. However, each state has its own rules surrounding medical marijuana.
For instance, some states let out-of-state patients possess medical marijuana. But others might let you buy it.
In some states, patients must show proof of their MMJ card before they purchase marijuana.
However, even though a state has an MMJ program, this doesn't necessarily mean the dispensary will sell to you. Dispensaries won't always accept an out-of-state medical card.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity States
Even though you have a medical marijuana card, you won't always be able to buy cannabis at a dispensary in a state that has an MMJ program.
The following is a list of the states that accept out of state medical marijuana cards and will allow you to buy marijuana.
Alaska's MMJ program doesn't recognize out-of-state medical cannabis cards. However, patients and adult consumers can still purchase up to an ounce of recreational marijuana.
Arizona offers limited reciprocity. However, you'll have to be a visiting qualifying patient. Thus, you'll need an out-of-state medical marijuana card if you live in another state.
Holders of an out-of-state medical cannabis card who have lived in Arizona for less than 30 days also qualify. Qualifying patients must have an MMJ card in their home state and have a condition that's within Arizona's list of medical marijuana card criteria.
These are Arizona's qualifying medicinal marijuana conditions:
- Crohn's disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Muscle spasms
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Holders of a medical marijuana card in Arizona can legally purchase medical marijuana from Arizona dispensaries or designated caregivers.
Now that Arizona legalized recreational marijuana in 2021, you can also buy it here as a visitor. The state's possession limit for recreational cannabis is 2.5 ounces.
Proposition 64 lets adults in California legally purchase and consume cannabis. The possession limits at 28.5 grams for flowers or 5g of concentrates.
Similar to California, adults 21 years of age and older can buy cannabis if they have a valid government-issued ID. The state's possession limits for non-residents is an ounce of marijuana flower.
Illinois legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. However, the state doesn't allow medical marijuana reciprocity.
Out-of-state residents can only buy certain products in Illinois. Adults can possess up to 15 grams of cannabis, 250 milligrams of infusions, and 2.5g in concentrate form.
Washington D.C. allows reciprocity for patients some states. Here's the list of states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
D.C. decriminalized cannabis and legalized it for adult use. But the only ones allowed to purchase products from the dispensaries are patients who have a card. D.C. does not permit retail sales at this point.
Patients visiting the state can have up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower for personal use. Concentrates and hashish aren't legal. And it's still illegal to consume marijuana on federal property.
Maine lets adults possess and consume marijuana. However, despite the fact that retail operations were expected to open in 2018, the state hasn't started this side of its space just yet.
Adults in Maine can have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower and 5 grams of concentrates or hashish. But the state's medical dispensaries allow medical marijuana patients to buy products as long as they have the right identification.
Patients from States that Maine Accepts
Maine allows qualified patients to buy medical cannabis if they're from the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington, DC.
Adults in Massachusetts can legally use cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes. They can possess up to one ounce of flowers and five grams of concentrates with a valid government-issued identification.
Michigan’s dispensaries have the choice of whether they will recognize your out-of-state medical cannabis card. Keep in mind, the state legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2018.
As long as you're 21 years old or older, you're allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower or up to 15 grams of concentrates. Medical marijuana is also accessible throughout the state at dispensaries. So, it's likely you'll have little trouble obtaining your medicine during your visit.
Montana's cannabis reciprocity lets MMJ cardholders come from out of state to buy and consume cannabis.
Since Montana legalized recreational cannabis, adults are allowed to possess, use, and grow up to an ounce of marijuana. The state will also begin retail sales by 2022.
Nevada's recreational marijuana has been legal since 2017. Adults have been allowed to buy and consume cannabis recreationally ever since.
But medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada even longer. Since 2000, this state has given reciprocity to patients from all other states.
Who's allowed to buy cannabis in Nevada?
Adults 21 years old or older can have up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower, edibles, or topicals. This includes up to 3.5 grams of cannabis concentrates. A medical cannabis patient or caregiver can also purchase up to 2.5 ounces of flower, edible, concentrates, or topicals every two weeks.
New Hampshire lets out-of-state medical marijuana patients possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower. But as a patient from other states, you cannot purchase from the state's local dispensaries. You'll need a qualifying medical condition listed in the New Hampshire medical marijuana program to qualify.
New Jersey also recognizes all other states’ MMJ cards. Anyone registered under their home state medical marijuana program is given reciprocity under this state's medical marijuana program for a period of up to six months.
Does New Jersey offer MMJ certifications to visitors?
Yes! New Jersey doctors can certify out-of-state medical marijuana patients. Patients are then allowed to possess up to 3 ounces of flower at a time.
New Jersey also legalized recreational cannabis in 2021.
Oklahoma also accepts out-of-state medical cannabis cards. The Sooner State gives out-of-staters the opportunity to purchase from its medical dispensaries after they apply for a temporary license. This license costs $100 and remains valid for 30 days. But keep in mind, the processing time is around 2 weeks.
How much marijuana are patients allowed to possess in Oklahoma?
After getting approved, patients in Oklahoma can have:
- Up to eight ounces of marijuana at home
- Three ounces or less of cannabis on their person
- Up to an ounce ounce of marijuana concentrate.
- 72 ounces or less of edible marijuana
Currently, Oregon doesn't accept medical marijuana cards from other states. However, you can purchase recreational cannabis if you're visiting this state as an adult with a valid ID.
Does Oregon have any limitations on cannabis?
Adults can possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower, 16 ounces of solid infused edibles, an ounce of cannabis concentrates, 16 ounces of topicals, and 72 ounces of infused liquid.
This state allows patients to bring a medical marijuana card and a government-issued ID card from their home state to purchase from its dispensaries.
Patients who have a medical marijuana card from another state are allowed to possess as much medical marijuana as in-state medical marijuana card holders (up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis).
In 2018, Vermont legalize recreational marijuana. Adults are allowed to possess up to an ounce of cannabis. But the state still does not have commercial recreational marijuana dispensaries.
How does Vermont's medical marijuana card work?
Vermont residents must have a medical card to access the state's medical marijuana card program. State-licensed medical dispensaries cannot accept out-of-state patients, even if they hold a medical card in their home state.
Utah also requires visiting patients to qualify to get reciprocity. While the state will accept out-of-state medical cards, the patient will need a qualifying condition.
Washington state has also legalized medical and recreational cannabis. Any adult is allowed to purchase recreational marijuana. But you need a card to buy medical marijuana legally at dispensaries within state lines.
What can you have in Washington state?
Adults can possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower, 15 ounces of edibles, 72 ounces of infused drinks, or seven grams of cannabis concentrate.
States Lacking MMJ Reciprocity
Since federal law hasn't implemented reciprocity laws, patients can't always purchase cannabis. Sometimes, it's at the dispensary owner's discretion.
To receive medical marijuana in a state other than your own state, you'll need to know the state laws about medical marijuana use. But, worst case scenario, you may be able to purchase recreational marijuana if the state allows it.
These are the states medical patients should not expect medical cannabis reciprocity:
Georgia made medical marijuana legal. However, a medical marijuana patient from out of state isn't allowed to purchase it. Since the state lacks reciprocity laws, qualified patients from other states cannot purchase cannabis for medicinal use.
Hawaii also refuses to recognize medical cannabis patients traveling from other states. So, don't expect your out-of-state card to work here. However, as a cannabis patient from another state, you can still apply for the Hawaiian MMJ program.
Who's allowed to apply for Hawaii's MMJ program?
Anyone with a serious or terminal condition gets their application fast-tracked.
Minnesota will not grant legal access to medical cannabis products for MMJ patients who come in from other states. But possession is only a petty misdemeanor.
What can Minnesota cannabis law violators expect?
Even though you can legally have cannabis products in other states, Minnesota can send first-time offenders attend a drug rehab. The state law also may impose a fine of up to $300.
Missouri's medical marijuana laws do not let out-of-state medical cannabis card or certification holders obtain medical marijuana.
New York has made recreational cannabis legal. However, it's not possible to legally purchase cannabis in this state at this point. The state's reciprocity laws also don't accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards or certificates.
Ohio's MMJ program also refuses to offer reciprocity. You'll need to be registered with the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. If you're not registered, possession of less than 100 grams of cannabis is a minor misdemeanor charge that state may punish violators with up to $150 in fines.
Virginia also does not have medical marijuana reciprocity laws. But at least the state decriminalized marijuana in 2020.
Is possession of marijuana in Virginia illegal?
Virginia medical marijuana laws allow for a maximum penalty of up to $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. However, no arrest or criminal record is imposed.
While Pennsylvania's state laws permit cannabis for medicinal use, the state isn't a free-for-all. Out-of-state MMJ patients that are minors cannot obtain medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
West Virginia only gives medical marijuana to terminally ill cancer patients from states that have comparable medical cannabis programs.
Accessible Medical Cannabis with CannabisRxHealth
Don't forget, crossing state lines with medical marijuana is still a federal crime. Even though some state MMJ cards will let you legally possess and sometimes purchase your medicine in some other states, this drug is still federally illegal.
Some states have legalize medical marijuana. Within some state lines, recreational sales and state MMJ programs allow legal sales. But it's still crucial to know and understand all details surrounding each state's possession limit you plan to carry in.
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