Have a medical marijuana card? These states offer reciprocity
For medical cannabis patients, traveling out-of-state can be anxiety-inducing. Federal law prohibits marijuana products from being taken across state lines, even if you’re going from one legal state to another. So, how does a patient ease their symptoms when visiting relatives or going on vacation?
Some states with legal cannabis have put these patients in mind when writing regulations by offering medical marijuana reciprocity. Several markets allow patients to use their medical cannabis card at a local dispensary, while others may offer temporary in-state cards to visitors.
Curious about which states have some form of medical marijuana reciprocity? Here’s a breakdown.
States with reciprocity
Have a valid medical cannabis card? The following states may allow you to use it at local dispensaries.
Visitors to Louisiana or new residents with “debilitating conditions” such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, or traumatic brain injury can use out-of-state medical cannabis cards. The state is fairly restrictive regarding the products available and is limited to tinctures, sprays, capsules, topicals, and metered-dose inhalers.
Maine has adult-use cannabis, but there are benefits to using a medical card, such as lower taxes and broader product availability. Visiting patients must have a card from an approved state and an illness similar to those listed on the state’s qualifying conditions list.
Another adult-use state, Michigan allows the use of out-of-state medical marijuana cards as long as they are currently valid. Purchase limits are higher for medical patients, an incentive for card use.
Missouri had previously prohibited out-of-state med patients from buying cannabis at medical dispensaries. However, new legislation coinciding with adult-use legalization changed this rule.
Nevada implemented adult-use cannabis in 2017, a couple of years after the first medical dispensaries opened. However, medical patients pay less tax and can purchase more product at a time. If you have a card in your home state, it’s worth using in Nevada.
As of June 2023, out-of-state medical card holders are permitted to purchase and consume medical marijuana in New Hampshire. Patients must also provide a doctor’s recommendation showing they have a condition on the state’s qualifying list.
Visitors to New Jersey may receive a temporary state medical cannabis card good for up to six months. Patients must see a New Jersey physician and furnish a copy of their home state card. Benefits of medical cards versus recreational include a wider selection of dispensaries and special patient hours.
The Land of Enchantment has adult-use cannabis, but purchase limits are far higher for medical patients. To qualify as a “reciprocal patient,” consumers must provide their home state’s medical card and a matching photo I.D. from that state.
Out-of-state medical patients with approved conditions may use their card at Rhode Island dispensaries. The purchase limit for non-residents is 2.5 ounces of flower or its dry weight equivalent in edibles or concentrates.
Med patients visiting the nation’s capitol may use out-of-state cards to purchase cannabis. While adult use is technically legal as well, the dispensaries in the District of Columbia are medical. People seeking recreational weed typically end up with a “gift with purchase” from grey market shops.
States with temporary medical marijuana cards
While a valid medical card may not be enough to get you into these state’s dispensaries, you may qualify for a limited-use license.
Medical marijuana card holders may apply for a “visiting patient” card. The card costs $50, and the application could take up to 14 days to be approved (so apply before travel). The temporary card is good for up to 90 days once issued.
Patients with valid medical cannabis cards traveling to Hawaii are eligible for temporary cards as long as they have one of the state’s qualifying conditions. Temp cards are valid for 60 days, and people with severe or terminal illnesses may have their licenses expedited.
Non-residents of Mississippi may apply for a temporary medical cannabis card. Patients must qualify under the state’s regulations; cards are good for up to 15 days but may be extended for an additional 15.
Both adult and minor medical cannabis patients may apply for an out-of-state marijuana license in Oklahoma. An application is required, and cards are valid for up to 30 days, with renewal possible.
If you have an out-of-state medical card and a qualifying condition under Utah’s medical cannabis law, you’re able to apply for a temporary card. These cards are valid for 21 days, and you may only obtain two cards per calendar year.
Medical cannabis patients often need the plant to thrive. While many states offer relief to visitors, rules and regulations are ever-changing. And until federal marijuana legalization comes along, transferring product across state lines is strictly prohibited. Always check local laws before packing your bags to ensure you’re in the clear once you arrive.