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Can You Use Your Medical Marijuana in a Different State?

May 12, 2020 • • Marijuana Laws

Some states accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards, and others don’t. Determining where you can legally purchase and carry medical cannabis can be a bit complicated, so here’s what you need to know.

  Each state that has passed medical marijuana legislation has different requirements for how to go about getting a medical cannabis card. In Ohio, for instance, before a patient can visit a dispensary, they need to get a recommendation from a certified physician allowing them to use medical marijuana to treat one or more qualifying conditions. Once the patient has received their card and registered with the state, they can then visit a licensed dispensary to purchase their medication.

However, if you are traveling and need your medication, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle. Laws vary state by state, and a medical cannabis card acquired in one state may not be valid in others. Fortunately, the policy of medical marijuana reciprocity allows you to gain access to your medication while visiting a participating state.

What Is Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Simply put, medical marijuana reciprocity is the idea that one state will recognize and accept a medical cannabis card that was issued in another state. For instance, if you get a medical card in Ohio and travel to a state that practices medical marijuana reciprocity, you would likely be able to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary there.

A number of states practice medical marijuana reciprocity (though Ohio is not currently one of them). In these states, if you happen to be stopped for possession, showing your medical card will allow you to avoid being charged — so long as you are carrying or using medical marijuana in accordance with local laws.

Currently, these states will accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards, including those from Ohio:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
 

What to Do When Visiting a State that Practices Reciprocity

While reciprocity allows patients to carry and use medical cannabis while traveling without fear of punishment, there can still be some restrictions. New Hampshire, for example, protects out-of-state patients from being charged with possession but doesn’t allow them to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. Even in reciprocal states, the decision to sell to out-of-state patients is ultimately up to the dispensary owner’s discretion.

It’s also important for out-of-state patients to note that they may be required to register with the visiting state prior to being allowed into a dispensary. This can come with a fee — patients going to Hawaii, for instance, are required to fill out an application and pay a $49.50 fee within 60 days of their visit — before they are given a recognized out-of-state medical marijuana card.

Traveling across state lines with marijuana (even if it’s for documented medical use or between states where it’s been legalized) is not recommended, as this is technically a federal crime and can be punished with hefty fines and jail time. This said, if you’re planning a trip or a vacation and know that you’ll need your medication, our advice is to do your research on all applicable laws and requirements. If you know the specific dispensary you’d like to visit, call ahead to find out what their policies are.

Your Medical Marijuana Solution

The laws surrounding medical marajuana can be complex, but don’t let them deter you. If you have questions about medical marijuana — whether it’s about the most
promising research being done or about visiting states that practice reciprocity — contact us today.

Lakewood Medical Clinic is proud to offer free medical marijuana consultations for new patients. We are a dedicated team of medical marijuana experts who strive to bring you knowledgeable advice and recommendations in a comfortable environment. Above all, we want to help you find the relief you need, so you can get back to living your life to the fullest.