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Just because a state recognizes out-of-state medical marijuana cards and certificates doesn’t necessarily mean you can go into a dispensary and buy medical cannabis. While some dispensaries make allowances, there are rules prohibiting patients from other states from purchasing medical cannabis. What having a valid medical marijuana card does do, however, is give you a level of legal protection under another state’s medical marijuana program.
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Here’s a look at what’s allowed for out-of-state MMJ patients under various states’ medical marijuana reciprocity programs, if they have one. We have not included all states — just ones with some form of reciprocity available, where recreational cannabis is legal, and the states where Leafwell offers telehealth services.
What Is Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, first, we must understand the concept of reciprocity as it applies to medical cannabis. Medical marijuana card reciprocity is when a medical marijuana program in one state recognizes the validity of a medical marijuana card and certificate from another state.
This means that if you hold a valid medical cannabis card in one state, you can continue to use medical marijuana when you travel to another state with reciprocity and will be subject to the laws of the state where you are traveling.
States and U.S. Territories with Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Arizona provides limited reciprocity to those considered “visiting qualifying patients.” As a visiting qualifying patient, the out-of-state MMJ cardholder must not be a resident of Arizona or have resided in Arizona for less than 30 days. The cardholder must also have qualified with a medical condition included in Arizona’s medical cannabis law. If your qualifying condition in your home state isn’t listed under Arizona law, you cannot technically qualify for Arizona’s MMJ card program.
However, recreational (adult-use) cannabis is legal to purchase in Arizona, with a possession limit of up to 2.5 ounces.
Those with a valid out-of-state medical recommendation and card can legally purchase medical marijuana in Arkansas. They must fill out a visiting patient form and provide proof of their out-of-state medical marijuana registration.
Medical patients visiting Maine from other jurisdictions are no longer required to obtain certification from a Maine-based medical provider or to designate a registered caregiver or dispensary to obtain medical cannabis. Recreational cannabis is legal, but a medical card grants you the same protections in Maine as in your home state.
Massachusetts does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana certificates or cards but allows recreational sales for those aged 21 or over. Massachusetts does, however, offer reciprocity regarding possession of medical marijuana within the state of Massachusetts, with a possession limit of one ounce.
Michigan’s dispensaries can choose whether or not they will recognize an out-of-state medical marijuana card. However, recreational cannabis is legal for those aged 21 or over in Michigan. The possession limit is 2.5 ounces.
Reciprocity laws are a little confusing in Missouri. However, Amendment 2, Subsection 5 (1) suggests that those with a valid medical marijuana card from another state can legally possess the established legal limit of cannabis in Missouri. The possession limit is four ounces unless the patient has a second physician’s recommendation stating otherwise.
Montana recognizes other states’ medical marijuana cards and provides the same protections. Dispensaries will check to see if your qualification is valid and that you have a medical marijuana card and your state ID.
Nevada recognizes all other states’ medical marijuana cards, meaning you receive the same rights as an out-of-state patient as a Nevada-residing one.
If the qualifying condition for your medical marijuana card from your home state is on New Hampshire’s qualifying condition list, then New Hampshire will recognize your medical marijuana card. Qualified patients from out of state may not shop at New Hampshire dispensaries but may legally possess medical marijuana within the state.
New Jersey recognizes other states’ medical marijuana cards. Individuals registered as patients under their states’ medical marijuana programs can be considered local qualifying patients under New Jersey’s medical marijuana program for up to six months while visiting the state. However, they must first be certified for cannabis by a New Jersey doctor and present their out-of-state card – Leafwell provides this service.
Patients are allowed to possess up to three ounces of cannabis flower. New Jersey has recently legalized recreational cannabis as well.
Oklahoma does recognize other states’ medical marijuana certificates and identification cards. However, visiting patients must fill out the Temporary Patient Application Information form to legally purchase medical marijuana from an Oklahoma dispensary.
Visiting medical marijuana patients who meet one of Utah’s qualifying conditions may possess and use medical cannabis per Utah’s legal restrictions. New residents with a valid MMJ card can have medical cannabis legally for 45 days. Longer than this, those who wish to purchase from a dispensary in Utah must apply for a Utah medical cannabis card.
Washington, D.C. recognizes other states’ medical marijuana cards, and the possession limit is one ounce. However, D.C. only recognizes MMJ cards from a specific list of states with comparable medical cannabis programs. This list may change in the future; hopefully, more states will recognize other states’ medical marijuana programs.
States and U.S. Territories That Don’t Allow Reciprocity
Alaska’s medical marijuana program does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, purchasing up to one ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes in Alaska is legal.
California doesn’t recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, but visitors to California can apply for a California medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) without a California address. Recreational cannabis is also legal in California, with a possession limit of up to one ounce of flower or eight grams of concentrate.
Colorado residents may apply for the medical marijuana program, but Colorado doesn’t recognize out-of-state medical cannabis cards. However, recreational cannabis is legal in Colorado, with a possession limit of one ounce.
Illinois does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. However, recreational cannabis is legalized for adults 21 and older.
As with California, Hawaii allows out-of-state patients to apply for their medical marijuana program instead of recognizing other states’ medical marijuana programs. Those with serious or terminal conditions can get their applications fast-tracked.
Minnesota does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
There are no laws regarding medical marijuana reciprocity established in Mississippi yet.
New York does not recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards or certificates. However, recreational cannabis is legalized for adults 21 and older.
Ohio does not have medical marijuana reciprocity with other states at this time.
Oregon does not recognize out-of-state medical cannabis cards. Still, cannabis is legal for recreational use in Oregon, so anyone over 21 can purchase an ounce of pot at retail dispensaries.
Pennsylvania does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards; however, the laws are slightly different for minor patients. Under Section 2106 of the law, it is not a violation of state law “if the parent or guardian of a minor under 18 years of age lawfully obtains medical marijuana from another state, territory of the United States or any other country to be administered to the minor.”
Puerto Rico recognizes other states’ medical marijuana cards, and cardholders can purchase from a dispensary legally. Recreational cannabis is not legal in Puerto Rico.
Rhode Island doesn’t recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards.
Vermont does not recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards. However, adults 21 and older who are not patients can possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish for recreational purposes and grow a maximum of two mature marijuana plants or four immature marijuana plants.
Virginia doesn’t recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards.
Washington does not have medical marijuana reciprocity. However, it is legal for those over 21 to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis.
States and U.S. Territories Where Cannabis Is Illegal
Idaho prohibits all cannabis use, whether medical or recreational. Idaho has some of the harshest laws and penalties against cannabis possession and use in the country, with even possession of small amounts being considered a misdemeanor crime. Epidiolex and CBD from hemp containing no more than 0.3% THC are legal in Idaho.
Cannabis is currently illegal in Indiana. There were attempts to legalize medical marijuana in Indiana. Bills were introduced in 2015 but were rejected.
In 2017, CBD was legalized for epilepsy, and in 2018 CBD was legalized for any use. There have been reductions in the punishment for simple possession, but penalties for possession with the intent to sell, deliver or distribute in any way have increased.
At the moment, only hemp-derived CBD is available in Indiana. Otherwise, both medical and recreational/adult use of marijuana is prohibited.
Cannabis is illegal in Kansas, whether for medical reasons or recreational use.
Medical marijuana is illegal in Kentucky, as is recreational marijuana use.
Marijuana is illegal in Nebraska, and the state has not yet legalized recreational or medical marijuana use.
Cannabis is illegal in South Carolina. There are limited circumstances where low-THC CBD oil may be recommended for conditions like epilepsy, but no medical or recreational programs exist.
Cannabis is illegal in Tennessee, and use is only permitted for a small range of medical conditions. Tennessee has some allowances for using non-psychoactive CBD oil to treat severe conditions like epilepsy or cancer, so there is a limited medical marijuana program.
Cannabis is illegal in Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin has a limited medical cannabis program that allows for the recommendation of low-THC CBD oil.
Cannabis is illegal in Wyoming, regardless of whether it’s medical or recreational. In 2015, low-THC CBD oil was legalized for treating seizures, but otherwise, punishments remain harsh. There are initiatives to legalize medical marijuana use and decriminalize recreational cannabis use in Wyoming in 2022.
The Bottom Line
It’s essential to know the laws in your state before you try to buy cannabis medically or recreationally, especially if attempting to do so in another state. Cannabis is still federally illegal, so transporting medicine across state lines violates the law and forfeits state protections. But if you understand the regulations in both your home state and where you’re traveling, you should be able to access your cannabis medicine without interruption.
Ready to get started? Sign up for an appointment with an MMJ doctor through Leafwell and get approved for a medical marijuana card.