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Can I Use My Medical Card In Another State?

If you are about to travel and have a medical marijuana card, the first you wonder is if your card will be valid in the state you are visiting. 

Every state has its own set of rules and regulations concerning the possession of medical marijuana. In a few states, your card is valid, but in others, they will not recognize it. 

Read on to discover what states let you use your medical card and which have at least legalized recreational cannabis, so you don’t have to worry if you’ll be able to use, possess, and purchase your medication.

medical joint

Do Medical Cards Work in Other States?

It depends. In some states, your medical card will be valid for use in other listed states. It varies because it depends if your state has agreements with others that allow for medical cannabis reciprocity

If the state where you are a medical patient has marijuana reciprocity with the state you’re visiting, then yes, your medical card will work in that state.

However, the exact mechanics vary at a state level. And although a state may recognize your medical marijuana status, they may have different rules regarding how you may access and use the medical marijuana legally. 

If you do not follow the protocols and use cannabis in another state, you may break the state law. So that’s why it is vital to know which states will recognize your home state’s MMJ card and which ones won’t. 

The more conservative reciprocal programs will require you to first sign up for their local medical program as a visitor, while others will let you shop at a dispensary as if you were home from the get go. 

Sometimes it is a matter of what condition you are using your medical marijuana for. The state may have a specific list of conditions that you must have to use your MMJ card. And if you are not on that list of conditions, you’re out of luck. 

Yup. It sucks!

Even worse, some states which have an MMJ program don’t allow for out of state medical cards. 

For example, Alabama has a medical marijuana program for qualifying patients that live in the state.

But they do not have a reciprocity program at the moment, no matter what state you come from. And on top of that, recreational use is still illegal as well.

States that accept out-of-state medical cards 2023

medical marihuana

Can You Carry Medical Marijuana Across State Lines? 

No. You cannot carry marijuana across state lines. Medical marijuana is still a schedule 1 substance in the U.S. at a federal level. Therefore, carrying your stash of medical weed from one state to another is still a felony.

Instead, you can check if the state you are planning to visit accepts your medical card. 

As noted earlier, some medical problems do not accept out-of-state cards. But they may have legalized recreational marijuana. 

For example, Alaska is not part of the reciprocity program. But they have legal medical and recreational marijuana. 

In that case, just go out to buy cannabis at a legal dispensary or use a delivery service for greater convenience.

For instance, California does not have state reciprocity. But you can legally purchase up to 28.5 gram of cannabis or eight grams of concentrates. That is because they have cannabis for recreational purposes. 

While you won’t benefit from the tax savings of buying medical marijuana (many states tax MMJ less than recreational weed), you can still access the same quality of cannabis in recreational states.

Sates that have legalized recreational cannabis include:

  • Alaska (you can purchase up to an ounce of cannabis)
  • Arizona (you can purchase up to one ounce of cannabis)
  • California (you can purchase up to 28.5 grams)
  • Colorado (you can possess up to 2 ounces)
  • Maine (you can purchase up to 2.5 ounces)
  • Massachusetts (you can buy up to one ounce)
  • Michigan (you can buy up to 2.5 ounces)
  • Montana (you can posses up to one ounce)
  • Nevada (you can have up to an ounce of cannabis)
  • New Jersey (you can buy an ounce of cannabis)
  • New York (you can posses 3 ounces of cannabis)
  • Oregon (you can hold one ounce of cannabis)
  • Vermont (you can posses one ounce of marijuana)
  • Virginia (you can possess up to an ounce)
  • Washington (you can purchase up to an ounce)

Then there are these oddities. 

Connecticut is different in how adults can possess up to 1 ½ ounces of cannabis, but there are no adult-use dispensaries. You can possess it, but you will not be able to buy it. 

In New York, adults can possess up to five pounds of cannabis in their homes! They also allow you 24 grams of concentrates. 

Make sure you check out the rules and laws of both the state you are departing from and the state that you are going to as every state has its own protocols and regulations.

ground buds

Wrapping Up

Medical marijuana is a wonderful thing that helps people around the world, including myself. Though it is disappointing that it remains a schedule 1 substance on the federal level. 

Until the rest of the United States catches up with every other state when it comes to legalizing the use of medical marijuana, we will just have to make due. 

But luckily, even if the state doesn’t recognize your MMJ card, it may have recreational cannabis for sale and possession. 

Either way, do your research and your own due diligence. And never cross state lines with marijuana, whether it is medical or recreational.