One of the most frequently asked questions by MMJ patients is-
Will my medical marijuana card be accepted in other states?
Well, the answer to this question will depend on the reciprocity laws of the state you are traveling to. And it’s not necessary that all US states with legal medical marijuana follow reciprocity. For instance, cannabis is legal in New York but it does not offer reciprocity.
So, you need to understand the laws before crossing state borders. This guide can help you understand everything about medical marijuana reciprocity in the US.
Medical marijuana reciprocity simply refers to certain laws that are laid out to provide legal protection to non-resident MMJ patients and allow them to possess and purchase medical cannabis in a different state. Most states with established medical marijuana programs also have a proper reciprocity program that recognizes out-of-state recommendations or MMJ cards within their boundaries.
But, medical marijuana reciprocity is not as simple as it seems.
First, reciprocity primarily includes two aspects: possession and purchase. Some states follow complete reciprocity and allow both, while others follow partial reciprocity and only allow possession of medical cannabis.
Secondly, each state has its own reciprocity standards and criteria. So, the definition of reciprocity often changes in different states. For instance, while most states follow full reciprocity and recognize out-of-state MMJ cards for possessing and purchasing cannabis in their dispensaries, others recognize out-of-state MMJ cards as a document that can be used to apply for a state-issued temporary card.
So, if you are a medical marijuana patient and traveling to a different state, this guide of medical marijuana reciprocity laws in the US will come in handy for you.
The following states and US territories have well-laid out medical marijuana reciprocity laws that recognize out-of-state MMJ cards and provide certain privileges to the visiting qualified patients.
NOTE: Crossing state boundaries with medical cannabis is a federal offense even if the other state has reciprocity laws in place or has legalized cannabis.
The state of Arizona follows partial reciprocity. It recognizes out-of-state MMJ cards or its equivalent and offers legal protection to non-resident patients. The cards can be used to carry a certain amount of medical cannabis in the state but cannot be used to purchase cannabis from Arizona dispensaries. Even though Arizona sells adult-use cannabis, visitors are not allowed to purchase it as per law.
A visiting qualified patient can possess 2.5 oz of usable cannabis only.
The state of Arkansas follows medical marijuana reciprocity laws so you can use your out-of-state MMJ card in the state to get a temporary card in Arkansas.
As per the ‘visiting qualified patients’ law of the state, you can purchase and use cannabis in Arkansas by applying for a temporary approval here, if any of the following conditions apply to you:
You are a non-resident of the state and have an MMJ card or an equivalent of your state.
You suffer from a medical condition that is qualified in Arkansas.
You have a valid identification like a driver’s license, photo ID, etc. issued by your state.
You have been living in Arkansas for less than 30 days.
The application will cost you $50 (non-refundable) and is valid for a period of 30 days.
The maximum amount of medical marijuana you can purchase and possess in the state is 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14 days.
The state of Hawaii accepts out-of-state cards under certain conditions. If you are visiting the state and need to buy cannabis, you can apply for the 329 registration card and gain access to buy and use the herb in the state.
To apply for a Hawaii 329 Card, you must:
Have a legit and unexpired MMJ card of your state (Hawaii does not accept recommendations or certifications.)
Must have a qualifying condition as per the Hawaii Medical Cannabis Program.
Have an identity card issued by your state
You can apply for a Hawaii 329 card here. The application will cost you $49.50 (non-refundable). Upon approval, the 329 card will stay valid for a period of 60 days. In that period, you are legally allowed to purchase and possess 4 ounces of cannabis per 15 days.
It is advised to apply for the 329 cards 60 days prior to your trip to avoid waiting for approval.
The state of New Hampshire follows partial medical marijuana reciprocity. All visiting qualified patients are allowed to possess medical cannabis in the state but are prohibited to purchase it from the state dispensaries.
You are a qualified visiting patient in New Hampshire if:
If you qualify, you can not purchase but possess 2 ounces of usable cannabis in the state.
The state of Maine follows medical marijuana reciprocity. However, the state extends its reciprocity privileges to a very precise list of approved states only. It includes:
If you are a qualified medical marijuana patient of one of these states, you can use your MMJ card or recommendation to possess and purchase 2.5 ounces of cannabis in Maine.
The state of Michigan follows medical marijuana reciprocity. Visiting qualified patients can use their state-issued MMJ cards and current identification proof to buy and use medical cannabis in the state.
The state has also legalized recreational cannabis so all visiting adults who are 21 years or older can also purchase cannabis in the state.
Visiting patients and adults can possess and purchase 2.5 oz of usable cannabis or equivalent per day. They can also possess 12 cannabis plants legally in the state.
The state of Nevada follows medical marijuana reciprocity. A visiting qualified patient can purchase medical cannabis from Nevada dispensaries as long as they have a legit MMJ card from their state and their state-issued photo ID cards. The Nevada dispensaries are allowed to accept MMJ cards of patients from a list of states as mentioned in the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). The list includes:
A qualified patient can purchase and possess 2.5 oz of usable cannabis and equivalent in edibles (capped at 10g of THC) every 14 days.
New Mexico follows medical marijuana reciprocity. The state medical marijuana program allows all visiting qualified patients from any state of the US, US territories, New Mexico Indian Nation, tribe or pueblo, and District of Columbia to purchase and possess medical cannabis as per the limits of the state medical marijuana program.
All visiting qualified patients must have:
New Mexico has one of the most liberal reciprocity programs. The state allows visiting patients to buy cannabis even if their medical condition is not one of the many qualifying conditions of New Mexico.
You can possess and purchase 230 units/grams or approximately 8 ounces of flower during a 3 month period.
The state of Oklahoma follows medical marijuana reciprocity under certain conditions. The state offers temporary patient licenses to qualified patients (also minors) which gives legal right to buy, possess, use and even grow medical marijuana in Oklahoma.
You can apply for a temporary license in Oklahoma here. It is valid for a period of 30 days and can be renewed if necessary. The application will cost you $100 (non-refundable). You must present digital copies of the following documents:
With a temporary license, you can possess and purchase 3 oz of usable cannabis, 1 oz of concentrate, and 72 oz of edibles. You can also grow and possess 6 mature cannabis plants and 6 cannabis seedlings.
An application can take up to 14 days to be processed and approved so it is advised to plan accordingly.
The US territory of Puerto Rico follows medical marijuana reciprocity. All visiting qualified patients can use their valid MMJ card to buy and use medical cannabis in the state. In case the visiting patient is from a state where no MMJ cards are issued, they can apply for an MMJ card in Puerto Rico by visiting authorized healthcare professional. The issued card will have a validity of 30 days.
Puerto Rico prohibits the use of cannabis flowers. But, if your medical condition requires you to consume cannabis flowers, you can get a note from your doctor as well as a copy of your MMJ card at the dispensary to buy flowers for yourself.
A visiting qualified patient is allowed to possess and purchase 1 oz of cannabis flower or equivalent per day for a period of 30 days.
The state of Rhode Island follows medical marijuana reciprocity. You can use your updated state-issued identification proof such as driver’s license, passport, etc., and your MMJ card to visit the state dispensaries and purchase cannabis. You may also be required to fill out a form at the dispensary to enter the dispensary’s tracking system. The patient does not have to pay any extra fees for the same.
Visiting qualified patients can possess and purchase medical cannabis in Rhode Island. They are allowed to possess 2.5 oz of usable cannabis (dried) 12.5 oz of wet cannabis and 12 cannabis seedlings. They are allowed to purchase 2.05oz of usable cannabis or equivalent throughout a period of 15 days.
The state of Utah follows partial medical marijuana reciprocity. As long as the patient has a valid out-of-state medical marijuana card, they can possess and use cannabis in the state but not purchase it from any Utah dispensaries.
All visiting patients must also have one of the qualifying conditions mentioned in the Utah medical marijuana program to possess and use cannabis in the state.
Washington D.C. or the District of Columbia follows medical marijuana reciprocity. All visiting qualified patients can use their valid MMJ card or equivalent and photo IDs to possess and buy medical marijuana from the dispensaries at DC.
Washington DC extends medical marijuana reciprocity to all states of the US.
All visiting qualified patients can possess and purchase 4 oz of dried flower or its equivalent per 30 days.
The following states and US territories do not have well-established medical marijuana reciprocity laws. However, due to legal adult-use cannabis, MMJ patients get to legally purchase and use cannabis in the state.
The state of Alaska does not have a properly laid out reciprocity document or the law. The state legalized recreational cannabis in 2015, which allows all adults over the age of 21 (residents and visitors) to use their state-issued identity proofs to buy and possess cannabis in the state.
Visiting qualified patients can possess and purchase 1 oz of usable cannabis from medical marijuana dispensaries of Alaska using their identification cards.
The state of California does not have medical marijuana reciprocity laws in place. So, the state does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, CA legalized recreational cannabis in 2016 which allows all adults, 21 years or older (visitors and residents) to possess and purchase medical cannabis in the state.
If you are a visiting qualified patient in California, you can use your state-issued ID card to purchase and use cannabis from state dispensaries. Visiting patients can purchase and possess 1 oz of dried flower or 8g of concentrate per day.
For patients that require higher amounts of cannabis, applying for a Medical Marijuana Identity Card in CA is the best option. California does not require you to be a resident of the state so you can easily visit a licensed healthcare provider or apply for a recommendation online. As long as you are suffering from one of the many qualifying medical conditions of the state, you are good to go.
The state of Colorado does not have a dedicated medical marijuana reciprocity program. All visiting qualified patients who are 21 years of age and older can use their state-issued identification cards to buy and possess cannabis in the state. However, visiting patients cannot buy cannabis from Colorado’s medical dispensaries as it is only accessible to the residents.
Visiting patients can possess and purchase 1 oz of dried flower, 8 grams of concentrates, and 800 mg of edibles per day as recreational consumers.
The US island territory Guam does not follow medical marijuana reciprocity. Guam allows recreational cannabis use but does not have legal retailers yet. So, while patients cannot buy cannabis, they can possess a limited amount. Visiting patients (21 years or older) can register with the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) to legally possess cannabis in the territory.
You can possess 2.5 oz of dried cannabis or its equivalent in THC.
The state of Illinois does not have well-laid out reciprocity laws. The state legalized recreational marijuana in 2020 which allows every resident and visitor who are 21 years or older to buy and use cannabis in the state.
A visiting patient can use their state-issued ID card to buy and use cannabis at Illinois dispensaries. Visiting patients can possess and purchase 15g of cannabis flower, 250mg of edibles (THC-infused), and 2.5 g of concentrates.
The state of Massachusetts does not have a reciprocity program. But, it allows all adults who are 21 years or older to buy and use cannabis in the state. This includes visiting adults too.
All visiting patients can use their identification card to possess and purchase 1 ounce of cannabis and 5 grams of concentrate in the state.
The state of Oregon does not have a dedicated reciprocity program. However, all adults, residents, and visitors, who are 21 years or older have the legal right to buy and use cannabis in the state.
While visiting patients cannot use their MMJ card, they can use their state-issued identity proof to purchase and possess 1 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of solid form cannabis, 72 oz of liquid cannabis product, and 5g of concentrates. You can also purchase and possess 4 immature cannabis plants and 10 seeds in the state.
The state of Washington does not have a proper medical marijuana reciprocity system. But all residents and visitors who are 21 years or older can buy and use cannabis in the state.
Visiting patients can use their state-issued identity card to purchase and possess 1 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of solid cannabis product, 72 oz of liquid cannabis product or 7 grams of concentrates.
The following states do not follow medical cannabis reciprocity and only allow their residents to use and buy cannabis within their boundaries.
Reciprocity laws in the US make provisions for out-of-state patients to legally purchase and use cannabis in a different state. Having gone through the reciprocity laws of different states in the US, it’s easy for you to learn about which states you can travel to without facing legal complications with medical marijuana. However, there are few points that you must remember when traveling with medical marijuana to a different state.