Updated on June 25, 2021.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Most folks with a medical marijuana card have to travel outside of their home state from time to time. After all, medical marijuana patients go on work trips, visit loved ones and go on vacation like everyone else. But, since cannabis laws vary from state to state, it can be difficult to determine how to medicate when out of state.
Things get especially tricky when you need to buy new medicine in a different state. Not every state that accepts medical cannabis cards from other states lets the cardholder buy medication.
But, that still means some states do allow the purchase of marijuana medicine by non-residents. Let’s look at these states and learn what you need to know as a medical marijuana patient.
Recreational vs. Medical Marijuana Use
When using the list of states below, it helps to know the difference between recreational marijuana use and medical marijuana use. Legally, they can be entirely different.
States that permit recreational cannabis use let anyone 21 or over use weed to get high. They often treat marijuana like alcohol, imposing standard regulations to discourage abuse. Patients 21 and over who visit these states can buy medicine, but you should do further research if you have a minor patient in tow.
Medical marijuana states have a program that lets patients with specific conditions use weed to find relief. While many recreational states also have medical programs, not every medical state lets you use pot recreationally.
What Is Reciprocity?
Reciprocity means that a state accepts medical marijuana registrations from other states. It permits different things for different states. Depending where you go, you may be allowed to possess medicine only or both possess and purchase medication.
Here’s what you need to know when visiting the following states.
Alaska Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase: — Alaska permits recreational marijuana use, so anyone 21 and over can buy marijuana products. Dispensaries do not accept out-of-state cards for medical purchases.
Types of Medicine Sold: You can buy just about any quality-tested recreational product.
Possession Limits: Visitors can carry up to one ounce of marijuana on their person.
Other Things to Consider: Alaska residents can possess up to four ounces of medicine in their home.
California Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase: As a recreational state, California allows people over 21 to buy from a dispensary. It does not recognize out-of-state medical IDs, so you can’t make medical purchases.
Types of Medicine Sold: California dispensaries sell any marijuana product approved through quality testing.
Possession Limits: You can keep up to eight ounces of cannabis at a time.
Requirements for Purchase: While Colorado doesn’t recognize out-of-state cards for buying medicine, folks over 21 can buy marijuana products.
Types of Medicine Sold: You can purchase any kind of cannabis item that has gone through inspection for quality.
Possession Limits: Colorado will let you carry up to two ounces of cannabis.
Other Things to Consider: You can’t smoke or vape in public.
Hawaii Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase: In 2018, out-of-state patients can buy medical marijuana by registering with the state.
Types of Medicine Sold: Dispensaries in Hawaii can sell strains and concentrates.
Possession Limits: Hawaii lets you have four ounces of weed within a 15-day period and eight ounces within a 30-day period.
Other Things to Consider: Many aspects of Hawaii’s medical marijuana laws are still under discussion.
Maine Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase:Maine permits medical sales and will soon offer recreational sales. Members of the state’s program and out-of-staters who complete the proper paperwork can possess and purchase medicinal weed.
Types of Medicine Sold: You can find any marijuana medicine produced in a legitimate facility in Maine dispensaries.
Possession Limits: Visiting patients can have up to two and a half ounces of weed.
Other Things to Consider: Since recreational laws went into effect at the beginning of 2017, dispensaries are still preparing for compliance.
Michigan Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase:Michigan permits medical purchases only.
Types of Medicine Sold: Patients can buy both inhalable and non-inhalable marijuana medicine.
Possession Limits: You can hold up to two and a half ounces of medicine at a time.
Other Things to Consider: Each city in Michigan can decide whether to allow dispensaries, so access depends on where you visit.
Nevada Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase: You can buy both recreational and medical marijuana in Nevada. So, only patients under 21 need to worry about bringing their card.
Types of Medicine Sold: Nevada dispensaries sell any marijuana product made in a safe and high-quality facility.
Possession Limits: Marijuana users can possess up to two and a half ounces of edibles and other cannabis-infused items or up to one ounce of bud.
Other Things to Consider: You can’t use marijuana in public spaces in Nevada.
Oregon Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase:Oregon does not recognize medical cards from non-residents, but many of its counties allow recreational sales.
Types of Medicine Sold: Dispensaries sell any inspected and approved cannabis products.
Possession Limits: Patients can have up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana at once.
Other Things to Consider: Each county determines its marijuana laws, so some will sell recreational weed while others won’t.
Washington Reciprocity Laws
Requirements for Purchase:Washington lets you purchase marijuana recreationally, but it does not accept out-of-state licenses.
Types of Medicine Sold: Patients can get any kind of quality-tested medication.
Possession Limits: You can carry up to 24 ounces of pot at home and up to one ounce in person.
Other Things to Consider: Patients can’t medicate in public spaces.
Go on a Medical Marijuana Information Journey
Whether you’re new to medical marijuana or have been using it to medicate your symptoms for years, you can always use up-to-date knowledge about the medicinal cannabis scene.