January 27, 2023 08:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 15 Minutes
Looking to find your medical cannabis in a state that hasn’t yet legalized it? It may be tempting to drive across neighboring state lines with more cannabis-friendly laws. However, the number of states that will authorize qualified patients from out-of-state medical marijuana programs is still relatively small.
That doesn’t mean you can’t access a green state’s medical marijuana programs, though. Many places will either permit patients access to dispensaries and/or permit medical cannabis possession within a reasonable amount. Cannabis laws are constantly changing across the country, and it’s refreshing to see that the list of cannabis-friendly states is steadily growing! Let’s take a look at which U.S. states have a reciprocity program for visitors who are cannabis patients.
Which States Accept Out-of-State MMJ Cards?
As different levels of cannabis legalization grow across the country, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in terms of out-of-state cannabis consumption. There are basically two levels of legalized cannabis: medical and recreational. Some states with recreational use may be willing to sell recreational cannabis to out-of-state patients with medical marijuana cards, while others may allow you to visit medical dispensaries. (Not all states have differences between medical and recreational cannabis for sale, though most have different tax rates for medicinal users versus recreational users.)
The following states currently have medical marijuana programs:
District of Columbia
Of those states, these are the ones that currently accept out-of-state MMJ cards in some form or another:
West Virginia (terminal cancer patients only)
States That Allow Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Just because you have a medical marijuana card doesn’t mean you can automatically purchase cannabis at a dispensary in a state where it is legal. The following is a list of states that DO have reciprocity laws in place, meaning they will sell you medical marijuana if you have an out-of-state card.
Alaska’s medical marijuana program does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, it is legal to purchase up to 1 ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes.
Arizona provides limited reciprocity for those who are considered “visiting qualifying patients.” To be a qualifying patient, you need to hold an out-of-state medical cannabis card and live outside of Arizona or have only lived in Arizona for fewer than 30 days. Qualifying patients must also be licensed in their home state with a condition that meets Arizona’s medical card criteria. These conditions are:
With an approved medical marijuana card in Arizona, you can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis from a dispensary in Arizona or a designated caregiver every two weeks.
Recreational cannabis is legal to purchase in Arizona as of 2021, 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, provided they fill out a visiting patient form and can provide proof of their out-of-state medical marijuana registration. Visiting patients also need to pay a $50 application fee. If approved, a visiting patient may purchase medical marijuana in Arkansas for a 30-day period per application.
Qualified registered patients are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces from a dispensary every 14 days.
With the passage of Proposition 64, recreational and medical cannabis is now available for anyone 21 or older with valid government-issued identification. The possession limits are 28.5 grams of cannabis flower and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Just like in California, tourists are allowed to buy cannabis if they have valid government-issued identification and are 21 or older. The possession limits are 1 ounce for non-resident adults.
More information about Colorado’s marijuana program can be found here.
While Illinois does not allow medical marijuana reciprocity, it has legalized recreational cannabis. Unlike many other states, there are some limitations on what out-of-state residents can purchase. Non-residents ages 21 and older can have 15 grams of cannabis, 250 milligrams of infusions, and 2.5 grams of concentrate.
While cannabis is decriminalized and is legal for recreational use, only authorized MMJ patients are able to purchase from dispensaries. Current marijuana laws prohibit the retail sale of cannabis in D.C.
If your state is not on the aforementioned list, you can still bring your medicine as long as you keep a minimum on your person. You can legally possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower for personal use, while concentrates and hashish remain illegal. If you visit D.C., be absolutely sure you avoid consuming cannabis on federal land and stick to using it only on private property.
In Maine, adults that are at least 21 years old can possess and use marijuana. While retail sites were thought to be open to the public by 2018, the deadline seems to have been set back. Nonetheless, adults can still possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower and 5 grams of hashish or concentrates. Medical marijuana patients from certain states can use their patient status to purchase at any of Maine’s medical dispensaries with proper identification. Maine will currently honor qualified patients from the following states:
More information about Maine’s marijuana program can be found here.
In Massachusetts, all adults over the age of 21 are legally allowed to use cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes. The possession limits are a maximum of 1 ounce of cannabis flower and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate for adults with valid government-issued identification.
Michigan’s dispensaries can choose whether or not they will recognize an out-of-state medical marijuana card. However, Michigan legalized recreational cannabis in 2018. Adults that are at least 21 years old are legally permitted to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower or 15 grams of concentrates. Dispensaries for medical marijuana are accessible throughout the state.
Montana is considered to have reciprocity with other states, allowing medical cardholders from out-of-state to possess and consume marijuana while visiting. However, until 2021, no states bordering Montana had legalized medical marijuana, making it illegal to bring your own cannabis into the state. South Dakota recently legalized cannabis, so this may change in the future.
As of Jan. 1, 2021, recreational marijuana is legal in Montana. Those aged 21 and older are allowed to possess, use, and grow up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Retail sales should begin in 2022.
Recreational marijuana became legal in Nevada in 2017, allowing adults 21 and older to purchase and consume cannabis for personal use. Previously, Nevada had legalized medical marijuana in 2000, and Nevada had reciprocity with all states.
For recreational use, adults 21 years and older can legally possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of cannabis edibles, flower, or topicals and 3.5 grams of marijuana concentrates. Medical cannabis patients and caregivers can possess up to 2.5 ounces of edibles, flower, concentrates, or topicals per two-week period.
In New Hampshire, medical marijuana patients from out of state are allowed to possess up to 2 ounces of usable cannabis, but are not permitted to purchase from local dispensaries. The patient must also have the same qualifying medical conditions that are listed in New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program.
Yes! Oklahoma recognizes out-of-state cannabis cards. In the Sooner State, out-of-state medical marijuana patients are able to purchase from dispensaries after applying for a temporary license. The temporary license costs $100, takes about 2 weeks to process, and is valid for 30 days with the ability to be renewed. If approved, patients can possess:
Up to eight ounces of marijuana at home
Up to three ounces of marijuana on their person
Up to one ounce of concentrated marijuana
Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana
Oregon does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. However, recreational marijuana is legal in the state. Anyone over 21 can purchase cannabis. The possession limits are 1 ounce of cannabis flower, 16 ounces of solid infused edibles, 72 ounces of infused liquid, 1 ounce of cannabis concentrates, and 16 ounces of cannabis topicals.
As long as patients bring their physical medical marijuana card with a government-issued ID card from the same state, visiting patients can have access to dispensaries in Rhode Island. Out-of-state patients are also permitted to possess the same amount of medical marijuana as in-state patients. The possession limits are 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis.
Since Vermont legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2018, adults over 21 are permitted to carry up to 1 ounce of cannabis. Commercial dispensaries are currently unavailable, and only Vermont residents who participate in the state’s MMP are permitted to purchase from state-licensed medical dispensaries.
Like other state’s on this list, Utah requires patients to meet one of its own qualifying conditions in order to extend reciprocity. Those qualifying conditions include:
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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Multiple Sclerosis Or Persistent And Debilitating Muscle Spasms
A Terminal Illness When the Patient’s Life Expectancy Is Less Than Six Months
A Condition Resulting In the Individual Receiving Hospice Care
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Persistent Nausea That Is Not Significantly Responsive To Traditional Treatment, Except For Nausea Related To:
Cannabis-Induced Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
A Rare Condition Or Disease That Affects Less Than 200,000 Individuals In The U.S., As Defined In Federal Law, and That Is Not Adequately Managed Despite Treatment Attempts Using Conventional Medications (Other Than Opioids Or Opiates) Or Physical Interventions
Pain Lasting Longer Than Two Weeks That Is Not Adequately Managed, In The Qualified Medical Provider’s Opinion, Despite Treatment Attempts Using Conventional Medications Other Than Opioids Or Opiates Or Physical Interventions
A Condition That The Compassionate Use Board Approves (Once Established) On A Case-By-Case Base
Washington state legalized cannabis for recreational use. All adults that are at least 21 years old are able to purchase cannabis at retail sites across the state. The law allows adults to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower, 16 ounces of infused edibles, 72 ounces of infused liquids, or 7 grams of concentrates.
States Without MMJ Reciprocity
While medical marijuana and/or low THC: high CBD products may be legal in these states, they do not serve out-of-state patients.
In May 2021, Governor Kemp signed legislation into law, Senate Bill 195, which permitted 30 state-licensed dispensaries to sell high-CBD/low-THC oil products to eligible patients.
Hawaii does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders but does allow out-of-state residents to apply for their own program. Those with serious or terminal conditions can get their applications fast-tracked.
Governor Holcomb signed legislation in 2018 that authorized dispensaries to sell low-THC industrial hemp products to qualifying adults. This means that products can possess no more than 0.3 percent THC and no other additional substances. At this time, there is one dispensary that opened in the summer of 2022.
Iowa’s program allows out-of-state visitors to possess cannabis. However, only residents that are registered with the state’s medical program can make purchases at dispensaries.
Kansas is an outlier. Currently, Kansas allows patients access to medical CBD. However, medical marijuana is currently prohibited.
Kentucky currently offers a medical CBD program for patients with intractable epilepsy. At this time, medical marijuana is not permitted.
Minnesota does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. Possession of less than 42.5 grams (1.5 ounces) of cannabis is considered a petty misdemeanor. First-time offenders may be ordered to attend drug rehab, though the law does allow a fine of up to $300.
State medical marijuana laws do not allow a patient with an out-of-state medical cannabis card or certification to possess medical marijuana in Missouri.
New Jersey does not recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards. Other online sources say that out-of-state medical marijuana patients may also be able to get certified by a New Jersey doctor and that patients are allowed to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis flower. Veriheal has confirmed with the state that New Jersey does not offer reciprocity.
New York does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards or certificates.
Ohio does not extend reciprocity with its medical marijuana program. For those who aren’t registered with the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, possession of less than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cannabis is considered a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $150.
South Carolina only allows for low THC high CBD products for eligible patients that suffer from various forms of epilepsy. At this time medical marijuana is still illegal.
Tennessee laws only allow low THC high CBD oil for patients that suffer from one or more qualifying conditions. This really only allows for protection from the law and doesn’t offer avenues for patients to purchase these products.
Virginia does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana patients. The state did decriminalize marijuana in 2020. Now, the maximum penalty for possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana is a $25 fine, with no arrest or criminal record imposed.
While Pennsylvania legalized cannabis for medicinal use, its state laws are still fairly strict. Out-of-state medical marijuana patients that were minors used to be able to obtain cannabis in Pennsylvania; however, that law appears to have been recently rescinded.
Per the state regulations, only terminally ill cancer patients in states that have comparable medical cannabis programs may use and make lawful purchases in West Virginia. Please contact the state authorities to confirm which states have a reciprocating agreement with West Virginia.
At this time, Wyoming only has laws in place for eligible patients to access low THC high CBD products. Marijuana is completely illegal.
States That Won the Vote in 2020 for Medical or Recreational Marijuana Use
In November 2020, cannabis was the real winner of the election. Four states voted to legalize marijuana: Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota. Additionally, Mississippi approved medical marijuana. Here are what’s expected from these states.
Arizona has already rolled out recreational sales for all individuals over the age of 21.
Mississippi leaders are currently working to establish production, regulation, and licensing structures in time for the target date of Aug. 15, 2021. Initiative 65 requires that regulations for all aspects of the program, including production and licensing for sale, must be in place by July 1, 2021.
As of Jan. 1, 2021, Montana residents age 21 and older are allowed to possess, use, and grow up to 1 ounce of marijuana. It is unclear when recreational retail sales will begin.
As of Jan. 1, 2021, recreational marijuana is legal in New Jersey for adults 21 and older. Recreational sales are not yet legal.
Starting July 1, 2021, adults 21 and older will be able to possess 1 ounce of cannabis with no more than 8 grams of that being concentrate. They will also be able to grow three plants and possess the harvest if there are no retailers in their area. Registered patients will be able to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and six plants.
While Texas does have legal medical marijuana, it is considered one of the strictest laws of its kind. To qualify to receive medical marijuana in Texas, the Compassionate Use Act states that you must be a permanent resident of the state and suffer from one of the state’s few qualifying conditions, which includes epilepsy and terminal cancer. “intractable epilepsy.” There are no other qualifying conditions. For those who do qualify, only medical cannabis products that contain 1% THC, or hemp-derived products with less than .3% THC are legal.
Wisconsin has CBD-only medical marijuana provisions.
States Where Medical and Recreational Marijuana Is Illegal or Very Limited
In the following states, no version of marijuana is legal:
Indiana – low-THC : high-CBD products only
Kansas – medical CBD only
Kentucky – medical CBD only
South Carolina – low-THC : high-CBD products only
Tennessee – low-THC : high-CBD oil only
Texas – low-THC products only
Wisconsin – CBD-only products only
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity FAQ
Can You Get a Medical Card if You Don’t Live in That State?
This varies widely by state, but usually, the answer is no. One exception is Hawaii, which allows you to apply for their program in lieu of reciprocity.
Dispensaries that Accept Out-of-State IDs
For all the states listed above, dispensaries should accept out-of-state IDs. Happy shopping!
Does California Accept Out-of-State MMJ Cards?
While California did not accept out-of-state MMJ cards, the point is moot since they legalized recreational cannabis.
If you have questions about obtaining a medical card, Veriheal makes the process simple and quick. Sign up today to speak with an MMJ doctor through our online platform.
This blog post was originally published on 3/1/21 and updated on 3/28/22. We will continue to update it as states change their regulations nationwide.
Emily Overholt is a writer and editor with a longstanding passion for the political and personal impact of cannabis. She often looks at the intersection of cannabis, business, politics and human stories. When not online, she can be found spoiling her dogs.
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