So you’ve decided to travel out of state, perhaps a quick day trip, a longer visit to see family, or simply explore somewhere new. What do you do if you need to use marijuana for medical needs?
The short answer is: leave it all at home.
The longer answer is similar, although some states will allow you to use your state’s authorization card to possess or buy cannabis at a legal shop, sometimes for a reduced price.
But don’t forget: transporting it across state lines, even between ‘legal’ states still can be considered illegal drug trafficking.
Adult-use recreational marijuana has been legalized in 10 states plus Washington, D.C., so if you are traveling from Washington to Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont or Washington D.C., cannabis is available to purchase after you arrive.
The issue with buying recreational marijuana is you give up some of the perks of having a medical marijuana card, like lower costs, lower taxes, higher THC potency limits, higher quantity restrictions, and legal access for minors.
Keep in mind there are only a few states that accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards, and it’s often up to the discretion of the shop or dispensary whether or not they choose to sell to out-of-state visitors.
For those who hold a MMJ card, there’s hope. A total of 33 states plus D.C. have legalized medicinal marijuana and some states now participate in what’s called medical marijuana reciprocity.
The 17 states that participate in medical marijuana reciprocity are:
Alaska allows recreational and medical marijuana. Out of state MMJ cards are not usually recognized, but any adult over 21 can purchase up to 1 oz. of useable cannabis at a recreational location. .
Arizona recognizes out-of-state MMJ cards, but doesn’t allow out-of-state patients to visit local state-licensed dispensaries to acquire an Arizona card . Any out-of-state patient with a condition approved by Arizona’s medical system won’t get into trouble for having up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
Arkansas allows visiting qualified patients with valid MMJ cards to purchase and possess cannabis. Purchases of 2.5 ounces every 14 days are allowed with an approved condition.
California has legalized recreational marijuana; an adult can possess up to 28.5 grams of flower and up to 5 grams of concentrates. Visitors can apply for a California medical cannabis card when they arrive, but it can take 30 days to process and you will need documentation with you. If you’re planning to visit, plan on starting the application process ahead of time.
Colorado currently does not recognize patients from other states; however, it has legalized both medical and recreational cannabis up to 1 oz. for personal use. Purchases are limited to one-quarter of an ounce at a time.
Hawaii allows out-of-state patients to apply for a registration card for use in Hawaii. You can apply up to 60 days before visiting with an online registration system, and the card is valid for two 2 months. Aa copy of your MMJ card or medical paperwork, an ID, and a $50 fee are required. Patients can purchase from certified dispensaries and possess up to 4 oz. of cannabis for each 15-day period.
Maine used to require medical marijuana patients from other states to obtain certification from a Maine-based medical provider or designate a registered caregiver or dispensary to receive medical marijuana. But now they only need to produce their state-issued registry identification card or similar documentation.
Massachusetts has legalized cannabis and allows out-of-state visitors with a valid ID to possess up to 1.5 ounces of flower and up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Michigan has legalized medical and recreational marijuana. Patients may possess up to 2.5 oz. of usable cannabis. It’s at the discretion of individual shops to decide to sell to those with out-of-state cards.
Nevada has legal recreational marijuana, so you no longer need an MMJ card to make purchases, but an MMJ card can help save money on cannabis taxes. While visiting, you can possess up to 2.5 oz. of usable cannabis in any one 14-day period.
New Hampshire recognizes MMJ cards if they fall under that state’s qualifying medical conditions. Patients can also bring up to 2 ounces into the state for use within a 10-day period. The state doesn’t currently recognize out-of-state MMJ cards.
Oklahoma allows visitors with a valid MMJ card from out-of-state to get a temporary registration for $100 with an approved condition.
Oregon legalized cannabis for recreational use, so most dispensaries won’t recognize out-of-state MMJ cards.
Pennsylvania does not currently have a MMJ card reciprocity program, but the Pennsylvania Department of Health has begun a process of implementation.
Rhode Island allows those with an out-of-state MMJ card to purchase and possess medical cannabis if they have a condition qualifying them under Rhode Island’s regulations.
Washington D.C. has legal medical and recreational marijuana and shops accept those with an MMJ card from states with a functionally equivalent Medical Marijuana Program.
States that don’t have medical marijuana reciprocity allow visitors the option of applying for a MMJ card in that state. You can apply in person, as some states offer walk-in clinics, while others allow you to apply online.
In Maryland, you can visit a Briggs Chaney Walk-In Clinic. In Florida, go to a Tetra Health Care Clinic, In Oklahoma, use a TLC Walk-in Clinic.
You canapply and chat with a doctor online to get your MMJ card from NuggMD for CA, NY, NV, and OK starting at $39; GetHeally in California for $50; or Veriheal Online for AZ, CA, DC, DE, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MT, NY, OK, and PA starting at $199.
Regardless of how you apply, you will need a patient certification from an approved medical practitioner stating the reason for the use of medical marijuana and a government issued ID (some states may require residency). Fees range from $30 to $300 per person and cards are valid for 1-3 years. Approval times can be in as little as 20 minutes up to a few months.
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