Medical Marijuana Reciprocity – Which States Accept Out-of-State Cards?


What is Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Medical marijuana reciprocity is a law that enables medical marijuana card holders to access their medicine in states where cannabis has been legalized, even if they are from out-of-state. This policy allows for those with a valid medical marijuana card from one state to be recognized and receive the same legal protections as patients in the state where they are accessing their medicine.

In other words, medical marijuana reciprocity grants access to certified medical marijuana products in different states without having to obtain another license.

This helps ensure that all medical marijuana patients have access to their medication regardless of where they travel, while also providing protection against any criminal prosecution related to possession and consumption of this medicine on a state level. Additionally, medical marijuana card holders are able to purchase the same amount of cannabis flower or concentrate as allowed by each state’s individual laws. This policy makes it easier for travelers to visit other states and still have access to their medication, while also allowing them more freedom when it comes to managing symptoms associated with their health condition(s).

Can I Use My Card in Another State?

“Are medical marijuana cards valid in other states?” isn’t a simple yes or no question yet.
The good news is that an increasing number of states are starting to accept medical marijuana use from
both residents and visitors. However, even in medical marijuana reciprocity states, rules still vary on
how you can use your out-of-state medical marijuana card.

Once you find out whether the state you are visiting honors medical marijuana reciprocity, your next
step is to find out the exact details of what they allow. Whether or not you can purchase or only
possess, rules about recreational marijuana, possession limits, extra registration steps, and time limits
on how long you are considered a visitor are a few of the things that can vary.

Just like any other part of your vacation, using your cannabis while traveling requires a little planning –
but sometimes planning and learning new things along the way can be part of the fun and anticipation.
When researching “do medical marijuana cards work in other states?” here are a few of the variations
you might come across:

Possess but not purchase states

In some states, carrying your card allows you to be in possession of your out-of-state medical marijuana,
but it doesn’t let you purchase marijuana in the state where you are visiting. This wouldn’t be a big deal
if federal rules allowed you to carry cannabis across state lines – unfortunately, federal laws are still
catching up to state changes, and crossing state lines with marijuana is still a federal offense.
If federal rules change and it becomes completely legal to travel with marijuana, you will still need to
plan ahead carefully to ensure that you have enough to last during your trip. You also need to find out
how much you can possess at one time – make sure that taking enough to get you through the entire
vacation doesn’t put you over the limit.
However, in some of these places where medical purchases are restricted, it is legal to purchase and
possess a small amount of recreational marijuana – usually 1 ounce, but sometimes more. This could be
a practical workaround for you during your visit.

Okay, but don’t stay

Other states with medical marijuana reciprocity will allow you to purchase cannabis with an out-of-state
marijuana medical card as long as you are just a temporary visitor. But if you move there or stay longer
than a certain amount of time, you’ll need to get a new card pretty quickly – sometimes within 30 days
of becoming a resident of the state.
In some cases, the time you can be considered a visitor is up to six months. For vacation or a temporary
work assignment, you’ll be fine. But if you are planning on visiting or working on location for more than
six months, you might need to consider switching your residency.

Approved if you check their boxes too

Some states won’t recognize your out-of-state medical marijuana card, but they will allow you to apply
for a marijuana card or special exemption for visitors from their state. And patients with severe or
terminal conditions can sometimes get their applications processed faster. This is especially helpful if
you are traveling out-of-state for medical treatment or to stay with family because you are sick.
Still, other states will recognize your card, but they allow medical marijuana reciprocity only if you also
register through their system or fill out special forms.
Getting these special permissions usually needs to be done ahead of your visit – you may have to apply
60 days or more in advance of when you plan to travel. So, these states may be on the top of your list
for impulsive, last-minute getaways. Then again, there may be legal recreational marijuana workarounds
that could get you through the vacation in these states as well.

Depends on why you need the weed

Sometimes whether you can use a medical card in another state depends on your diagnosis. This
state-specific rule applies to the qualifying condition that allowed you to obtain the card in the first
Each state’s rules about which medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana use vary. And some
states will only recognize medical marijuana reciprocity if your condition is on their list, regardless of
what your home state approved.
Others will process your application to register in their state more quickly if your situation is dire – such
as a terminal illness.

Let the dispensaries decide

Some states with legal medical marijuana let the dispensaries decide whether to honor medical
marijuana reciprocity. Each business in that state can decide whether to sell you cannabis when you
present your MMJ card.
When visiting these states, it’s a good idea to shop around ahead of time, just as you do for hotels and
other amenities. This will help you ensure that you have some dependable sources lined up during your

Numbers matter

The age you can use cannabis legally can affect medical marijuana reciprocity. You may have to be 18 or
21 to use your treatment legally.
The other number that affects you is the amount that you can possess or purchase. This could range
from 1 to 4 ounces, so it’s good to check ahead and know how much you have with you to be sure to
stay in compliance.

Where you smoke

Another detail to consider when visiting a new location is public versus private smoking. You may be able
to light up right on the boardwalk, or you may have to keep your smoke to yourself in a private home or
business. National parks are generally off-limits, and most hotels have no-smoking rules that apply to

marijuana as well as cigarettes. Of course, if you are using edibles, this is one rule that you won’t have to
worry about.

Does your state reciprocate?

If you’re asking, “Can I use my Illinois medical card in another state?” and you are traveling north to
Michigan, you’re out of luck. Michigan will only honor your card if your state also reciprocates, and
Illinois does not.

What states accept out of state MMJ cards?

Remember, laws are still changing constantly. The information below is not intended to be legal advice.
Also, even where marijuana is legal, rules and restrictions are in place. Just asking, “Does Pennsylvania
accept out of state MMJ cards?” isn’t enough. You’ll need to dig a little deeper to make sure you are
following all of a state’s rules.
To find states that accept out-of-state MMJ cards for your vacation and getup-to-date information,
contact official sources such as the department of health services, consumer protection services
department, or state liquor and cannabis department in the state(s) where you are planning to travel.
Official visitor’s guides are another possible source for information. You can also research state statutes
to find current details. Elevate Holistics offers specific FAQs on our home page for certain states.

Alabama – No. Medical marijuana legislation is pending in 2021.
Alaska – No. Recreational marijuana is legal. Check out this visitor’s guide.
Arizona – Yes, with limitations. Recreational marijuana is legal.
Arkansas – Yes, with limitations. Recreational marijuana is legal.
California – Visitors can apply for a medical card in California. Recreational marijuana is legal. So,
while California doesn’t technically accept cards from other states, it is still accessible.
Colorado – Surprisingly, since Colorado legalized early on, the answer to “Does Colorado accept
out-of-state medical cards?” is no. Recreational marijuana is legal.
Connecticut – No, only state residents may possess or purchase with a medical card.
Recreational marijuana is NOT legal.
Delaware – No. Only state residents may possess or purchase with a medical card. Recreational
marijuana is NOT legal.
Florida – No, but seasonal residents can apply for cards. Recreational marijuana is NOT legal.
Georgia – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
Hawaii – Visitors can apply for a special registration card before they visit. Recreational
legislation pending in 2021.
Idaho – No. All use is illegal.
Illinois – No. Recreational marijuana is legal.

Indiana – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only. Marijuana laws still strictly enforced in most
of the state.
Iowa – No. All marijuana is illegal in Iowa, limited access to Medical CBD only.
Kansas – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.

Kentucky – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
Louisiana – No. Recreational marijuana is NOT legal.
Maine – Yes. Recreational marijuana is legal.
Maryland – No. Recreational marijuana is NOT legal.

Massachusetts – No. Recreational marijuana is legal.
Michigan – Yes, for residents of states/territories that also reciprocate. Recreational marijuana is
Minnesota – No. And for residents, only non-smokable forms of medical marijuana are allowed.
Mississippi – No. Medical marijuana and CBD oil rules extremely limited. Recreational marijuana
NOT legal.
Missouri – Yes. Though Missouri’s laws are considered complex, they offer reciprocity. That
means that you can use your Missouri card in states that only accept cards from mutually
reciprocal states.

Montana – Yes, but with limitations. You can’t bring it in from other states, and you can only
make one transaction while visiting. Recreational marijuana was just legalized in 2021, but
recreational sales are not expected to open until near the end of 2021.
Nebraska – No. Strongly prohibited – all use is still illegal for both residents and visitors.
Nevada – Yes, with several limitations. Recreational marijuana is legal.
New Hampshire – Yes, for possession only, with limitations. Recreational marijuana is NOT legal
yet, only decriminalized.
New Jersey – Yes, but with several limitations. Recreational legislations just passed in 2021, so
recreational sales are not available yet.

New Mexico – Yes, with limitations and recent legislative changes. Legislation for legalized
recreational marijuana is in process in 2021.
New York – No. Recreational use just became legal in 2021, so the processes for regulated sales
is not in place yet.
North Carolina – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
North Dakota – No. Recreational use is NOT legal.
Ohio – No. Recreational marijuana is NOT legal.

Oklahoma – Yes, but only with a temporary Oklahoma card for visitors. Recreational MJ is NOT

Oregon – No. But recreational marijuana is legal. Learn more here.
Pennsylvania – No, but the medical program there is still under implementation, and this may
change. Recreational MJ is NOT legal. Decriminalization varies across the state.

Rhode Island – Yes, with limitations. Recreational use is NOT legal.
South Carolina – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
South Dakota – Not right now. Legislation and implementation that passed at the end of 2020
are pending for 2021, with changes expected to be implemented in July and some aspects still
embattled. This legislation includes both medical and recreational marijuana.
Tennessee – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
Texas – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.

Utah – Yes, with limitations. Recreational use is NOT legal.
Vermont – No. Recreational MJ possession is legal, but retail purchasing not available.
Virginia – No, and recreational is not quite legally available yet. New legislation just passed to
legalize marijuana, and it will probably take a couple of years to get the system up and running.
Washington – No, the details of medical reciprocity are not clear in Washington. However,
recreational is legal and available.
West Virginia – For terminally ill only. Recreational marijuana is NOT legal.
Wisconsin – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
Wyoming – No. Limited access to Medical CBD only.
Washington D.C. – Recognizes specific states. Missouri and Oklahoma are two states that were
recently added to the list.

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