Can I use my out-of-state medical marijuana card in Florida?
Many U.S. states that issue medical marijuana cards offer reciprocity with other MMJ states. Unfortunately, Florida is not one of them, yet. Even though there are several states where Florida medical marijuana patients are permitted to buy marijuana (see list below), patients from other states can’t buy marijuana legally in Florida.
With Florida being one of the most visited states in the U.S., this can be a problem for many medical marijuana patients wishing to vacation here in the Sunshine State. Florida is not alone, other states with medical marijuana programs such as Texas and Ohio also prohibit out-of-state cardholders from possessing marijuana.
Bringing medical marijuana on a plane or on road trips is unwise. However, as with most U.S. states, it isn’t difficult to buy illicit marijuana in Florida. That being said, if a patient with an out-of-state medical marijuana card is caught with marijuana, they’ll get little sympathy. A non-Florida MMJ card won’t protect patients from arrest and prosecution for the possession of marijuana here in Florida.
Is it worth the risk either to buy medical marijuana in Florida or to bring it into the state?
Although patients cannot use an out-of-state medical marijuana card to shop at Florida dispensaries, there are some other options that might hold them over for a week or two while on vacation.
CBD is legal in Florida
First, hemp-derived products are legal in Florida. Although hemp doesn’t contain THC, the cannabinoid compound found in marijuana buds, it does produce CBD. Although CBD is non-intoxicating, it offers many similar medicinal benefits to THC.
For example, CBD can help with chronic pain, anxiety disorders, PTSD, seizures, mood disorders, and much more.
Aside from the usual hemp-derived products such as CBD oil, CBD tinctures, and CBD vape pens, high-CBD hemp flower is also available at some smoke shops in Florida. Patients can also buy CBD products online and have them shipped overnight to their place of lodging.
Delta-8 THC is also currently legal in Florida
Another option is a relatively new-to-the-scene product known as delta-8 THC. As with delta-9 THC which is common in marijuana, delta-8 THC also interacts with receptors in the brain. As such it offers a modicum of psychoactive effects and does produce a little bit of a high.
The reason delta-8 is legal in Florida is that it is technically derived from hemp. Delta-8 is actually produced from CBD using an industrial process. As such it is legal under Florida’s hemp laws.
For some patients, delta-8 might be more effective at treating their symptoms than CBD. As with CBD, patients can easily buy delta-8 THC online and have it shipped to their hotel or vacation rental.
Although delta-8 is currently legal in Florida, it does kind of fall into a gray area in Federal law. While the DEA considers delta-8 to be a “synthetic cannabinoid” and therefore illegal, it’s highly unlikely that a medical patient carrying delta-8 THC in Florida will be arrested for marijuana possession in Florida.
That being said, it’s probably not a good idea to try to bring delta-8 on a plane. It’s a better idea to purchase it after arriving in Florida.
States that offer medical marijuana card reciprocity:
If and when Florida lawmakers do decide to implement a reciprocity program, patients from several states will immediately be able to buy marijuana at Florida dispensaries and vice-versa (depending on how the law is set up).
The following states either offer medical marijuana reciprocity or they have an adult recreational marijuana program that allows anyone 21 or older to buy marijuana.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York