Medical Marijuana Doctors

Traveling With Marijuana: All You Need to Know Before Crossing State Borders - September 28, 2021

Some states have legalized the use of medical & recreational marijuana, some have medical marijuana doctors to recommend cannabis, while others have not eased up any legislation surrounding the drug. Just like every state has decided how far cannabis use in their state goes, they also have a say in whether you can travel with your marijuana doses.

According to Federal Law, traveling with cannabis, recreational or medical, is a crime and can put you in a tough spot. Only CBD products with less than 0.3% THC can be taken on a flight. If it is in the form of oils, liquids there are different TSA rules to be followed.

This means that any recreational products that you might own, cannot be taken across state borders. Legally, you aren’t even allowed to travel with pot in your own state. So that should answer that question. 

However, medical marijuana is a different case. These are recommended by healthcare professionals for the treatment of medical conditions. Unlike recreational marijuana, these drugs, more often than not, have to be carried along wherever the patient travels

For the possession of medical marijuana, the laws are comparatively lenient(but not completely). If the state you are flying to has legalized medical marijuana and allows visitors to bring their own, then you should be able to travel with your MMJ. But don’t forget- It still isn’t legal. 

When traveling with MMJ, there are a few things to be kept in mind.

  • As a medical cannabis owner, you must carry your medical marijuana card and recommendation letter. Make sure that neither has expired and proved that your current condition requires the use of these drugs.
  • Stay connected with your medical marijuana doctors as well as your lawyer, in case the TSA personnel at the airport are unable to verify the legitimacy of your MMJ card or any other documentation.
  • Make sure the state you’re flying to has legalized medical marijuana use, learn the possession limitations and check if they allow visitors to bring their own stash or buy them at the dispensaries.
  • Some states require you to enter their programs a month prior to traveling, which makes doing the research even more important. Without following through these rules and programs, you’ll not receive any pardon when found flying with marijuana.
  • If the state allows you to buy and possess marijuana in their state as well as travel on your own, it’s preferable to buy it from a dispensary when you reach the state. Since airways come under the jurisdiction of Federal law, it is advisable to not enter murky waters.

What Do the States Say?

Every state has taken a separate stance for marijuana possession for residents & visitors, sometimes allowing them to enjoy the same level of freedom and sometimes restricting visitors from carrying or consuming any form of cannabis inside their state borders. 

Some states have reciprocity programs, allowing you to obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries out there, while others might require you to apply for an MMJ card that would be applicable in the state only. 

California, for one, does not have a dedicated reciprocity program. It, however, allows medical marijuana users to apply for a medical marijuana card in the state and possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis. 

There are some states that allow out-of-state medical marijuana cards, which makes purchasing marijuana in the states easy. 

These include

  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington DC

Some states allow you to travel with your own marijuana but do not permit you to buy any from the dispensaries there. 

Some have no reciprocity programs nor do they recognize MMJ cards issued by a medical marijuana doctor of your residential state. 

States like Massachusetts don’t have a dedicated program either but allow you to possess up to 1 ounce of recreational cannabis and 5 gms of concentrates if you’re 21+. 

Some states might allow you to carry your own cannabis for short durations and the dispensaries there may or may not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. States like these have legal recreational cannabis provisions if you’re above the age of 21. 

States like South Dakota have only recently legalized possession of medical marijuana and still haven’t established the code for reciprocity programs or out-of-state MMJ card eligibility. 

At the end of the day, when traveling to another state you must look at the reciprocity programs or cannabis traveling laws of both the state you live in and the one you’re traveling to. If your state does not have a reciprocity program, other states might not permit you to buy any medical marijuana. You might still be able to get your hands on recreational cannabis, depending on the laws of the place. 

Disclaimer

Federal law does not allow you to carry any cannabis product across state borders. Since the Transportation Security Administration is a federal organization, it follows federal laws, making flying with marijuana illegal. 

While a medical marijuana card can help you carry some amount of cannabis (depending on the state rules), the TSA can still stop and question you, ask you to dispose of your stack or take it up with law enforcement. However, the chances of that happening, while you carry an authentic and updated MMJ card is comparatively less. 

If you’re carrying marijuana without an MMJ card, you’re better off flushing it down the drain. Getting caught with marijuana at the security might cost you a lot more than your stock. 

Conclusion

Traveling with marijuana, medical or otherwise can be confusing. If you’ve decided to visit another state, it’s important to learn about their laws regarding travel with marijuana, possession of marijuana, and their reciprocity programs. 

Even with all of these clarifications, air travel with cannabis is illegal as per federal law. While carrying your MMJ card and recommendation letter might help you enjoy safer travel, you will still be committing an offense if you have some pot on you. 

If the state you’re traveling to has fully established reciprocity programs and recognizes your out-of-state medical cards, it is always recommended to buy marijuana rather than carry any.

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