What is medcard reciprocity?
Reciprocity is defined as: “The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.”
This definition most certainly applies to the cooperative effort of several U.S. states in regard to the purchase and use of medical marijuana. Some medical marijuana-friendly states will honor a medical marijuana card and certificate from another state, allowing qualified patients to purchase medical cannabis at any of the state’s licensed dispensaries.
Why medical marijuana reciprocity is a good idea
Bringing medical marijuana on flights or on road trips is unwise. Cannabis is still federally illegal and, in most states, there exist stiff penalties for the possession of marijuana. If you’re caught with marijuana in a state where you’re prohibited from possessing the drug, having a medical marijuana card will get patients a modicum of sympathy.
State-to-state reciprocity programs effectively eradicate the need to travel with medical marijuana and reduce any anxiety related to breaking laws or having lack of access to medication.
Which U.S. states have medical marijuana reciprocity programs?
Reciprocity doesn’t always equate to being able to walk into a dispensary with your out-of-state card and purchase medical marijuana. There are at present just a handful of states that offer medical marijuana reciprocity.
Every state is different when it comes to its marijuana policies. Many states now offer recreational marijuana programs, making procurement of cannabis a non-issue for qualifying patients visiting from out of state.
Below is a list of 29 states with medical or recreational programs and their policies regarding reciprocity.
Alaska - Recreational 21+
Alaska does have a medical marijuana program but they don’t honor out-of-state cards. However, recreational marijuana is available to residents and visitors alike.
Arizona - Limited reciprocity
Arizona has a limited reciprocity program for visitors who can prove they are qualifying patients. The visiting cardholder must have one of the designated qualifying conditions listed in Arizona, otherwise, they cannot qualify for an Arizona medical marijuana card. That being said, recreational marijuana is now available in Arizona, and it’s legal to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis at a dispensary.
Arkansas - Reciprocity
Out-of-state patients can legally purchase medical marijuana in Arkansas if they fill out a form and provide proof to verify their valid home-state registration.
California - Reciprocity and recreational 21+
The state of California does not have a reciprocity program for out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders. However, visitors may apply for a California medical marijuana identification card (MMIC). For adults 21 and older, California has abundant recreational marijuana dispensaries at which visitors may purchase up to one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrate.
Colorado - Recreational 21+
Colorado does not offer reciprocity to out-of-state medical marijuana patients. At present only residents of the state may apply to the program. However, Colorado now has a fully operational recreational marijuana program allowing residents and visitors 21 and older to legally purchase up to one ounce of cannabis.
Illinois - Recreational 21+
The state of Illinois does not have a reciprocity medical marijuana program and will not accept or recognize out-of-state cards. However, Illinois offers recreational marijuana to visitors 21 and older.
Hawaii - Non residents may apply
Hawaii does not have a reciprocity agreement with other states, but they do allow visitors to apply for a Hawaii medical marijuana card. Visiting patients with terminal or serious medical conditions can get their applications fast-tracked.
Maine - Reciprocity, recreational 21+
The state of Maine does honor out-of-state medical marijuana cards, however, visitors must first apply for temporary registration with the Maine MMJ program. Once the temporary registration process is complete, visiting patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces. Maine also offers recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.
Massachusetts - Recreational 21+
Michigan - Reciprocation, recreational 21+
Michigan dispensaries are allowed to use their discretion when it comes to recognizing an out-of-state medical marijuana card. Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, and available to residents and visitors over the age of 21. The possession limit is 2.5 ounces.
Minnesota - None
Mississippi - None
At present, there are no existing laws around medical marijuana reciprocity in the state of Mississippi.
Missouri - Reciprocity 21+
Out-of-state visitors 21 years and older, in possession of a valid medical marijuana card, can legally purchase and possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana in Missouri. Additionally, if the visiting patient has a recommendation from their health care provider, they may purchase more than the recommended amount.
Montana - Reciprocity
The state of Montana honors out-of-state medical marijuana cards. Dispensaries are required to check to ensure the patient’s MMJ card is valid.
Nevada - Reciprocity, recreational 21+
The state of Nevada accepts medical marijuana cards from all other states and also offers recreational marijuana to adults 21 and older.
New Hampshire - Limited legal protection
New Hampshire offers legal protection to holders of all medical marijuana cards if the patient’s qualifying condition is on the state’s list of qualifying conditions. However, visiting patients with valid cards are not allowed to purchase marijuana at dispensaries.
New Jersey - Reciprocity, recreational 21+
The state of New Jersey offers reciprocity to out-of-state patients with qualifying medical marijuana status for a six-month period while visiting. Out-of-state patients also have the option of getting certified by a medical marijuana doctor in New Jersey. However, New Jersey has recently legalized recreational marijuana, allowing residents and visitors to possess up to three ounces of flower.
New York - Reciprocity, recreational 21+
At present New York does not have a reciprocal medical marijuana program for out-of-state patients. Recently, however, New York legalized the sale and possession of up to 3 ounces of recreational marijuana to both residents and visitors 21 and older.
Ohio - None
Oklahoma - Reciprocity
The state of Oklahoma honors out-of-state medical marijuana cards. However, visiting patients must fill out a Temporary Patient Application.
Oregon - Recreational 21+
Oregon does not have a reciprocal medical marijuana program at present. However, cannabis is legal for recreational use in Oregon, so anyone over 21 can purchase an ounce of flower at retail dispensaries.
Pennsylvania - Reciprocity for minors only
Although the state of Pennsylvania does not have a reciprocity agreement for out-of-state medical marijuana cards, they make exceptions for minors.
Puerto Rico - Recprocity
Puerto Rico allows medical marijuana patients with valid cards to legally purchase cannabis from a dispensary.
Rhode Island - None
Vermont - Recreational 21+
The state of Vermont does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. However, all residents and visitors 21 years and older are able to purchase and possess up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish.
Utah - Reciprocity
Virginia - Recreational 21+
The state of Virginia doesn’t recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards. However recreational marijuana was recently legalized for adults 21 and older.
Washington - Recreational 21+
Although Washington State does not allow out-of-state medical marijuana reciprocity, they do allow residents and visitors 21 and over to purchase and possess up to one ounce of recreational cannabis with a photo I.D.
Washington, D.C. - Reciprocity, recreational 21+
Washington, D.C. offers reciprocity for out-of-state medical patients in possession of a valid medical marijuana card. All qualifying patients, both residents, and visitors may purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis.
Sign Up for Medical Cannabis Today!
For potential patients, if you’re ready, we make it easy to connect with a medical marijuana doctor nearby or online. If you are interested in getting certified, please fill out the MMJ patient registration form below and press submit to get started. See if you qualify today!