A majority of states now have a medical marijuana program either in place or in the pipeline. Nonetheless, not all medically-approved states accept licenses from those who aren’t permanent residents. Not all MMJ states accept out of state medical marijuana cards. In fact, fewer than half of states that allow recreational weed have a reciprocity agreement. However, you can buy cannabis in these locations if you’re aged 21+.
Not all MMJ states accept out of state medical marijuana cards.
Furthermore, even in the states that do accept out of state MMJ cards, patients may run into issues between dispensaries. Depending on the state in question, dispensary managers can accept or reject patients based on local regulatory criteria.
Here, we provide a recent rundown of all U.S. states that accept out of state medical marijuana cards. We frequently update the list, so readers are kept up-to-date. If you were approved for medical cannabis in your state but plan to travel, keep reading.
Which States Accept out of State MMJ Cards?
Providing a cut-and-dry list of all the states that accept out of state medical marijuana cards is difficult. Some states overlap and also offer legal recreational cannabis to adult residents over the age of 21. Because of this, only a handful of these states also have reciprocity in place.
Of course, medical and recreational programs are always separate, no matter what the state is. We’ll add asterisks next to the states that allow out-of-state registrations and permit recreational use. Please note that recreational programs were voted for in some states, but consumers must wait for sales to begin.
Here are the states that accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Puerto Rico^
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.*
^ Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory
There isn’t a reciprocity program available in Michigan or Oregon. However, both states allow adults aged 21+ to purchase up to an ounce of cannabis with no MMJ card.
California also doesn’t have a dedicated reciprocity program, but MMJ patients can make legal purchases from dispensaries. California also permits recreational cannabis use.
Colorado is another state that technically doesn’t recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, the Colorado card is recognized in Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, in Michigan and Alaska, it is at the dispensary’s discretion whether to accept out-of-state cards. These are two states where recreational cannabis is legal, however. Arizona’s reciprocity law is confusing, as you’ll see below. In some locations, your out-of-state MMJ card allows you to possess cannabis only. It doesn’t allow you to buy in that state.
Recreationally Legal States That Accept Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards
Here is a brief run-down of the states where cannabis is legal recreationally that also accept out-of-state MMJ cards:
In Maine, out-of-state visitors with a valid MMJ card from another state can purchase cannabis. Originally, the reciprocity program required out-of-state visitors to get certification from a licensed doctor in Maine.
Alternatively, they could designate a registered caregiver or dispensary to purchase the cannabis. The rules have recently changed so that you now only have to produce a state-issued MMJ card. Also, adults aged 21+ can buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
Nevada has an ongoing reciprocity program. As an out-of-state MMJ cardholder, you can buy cannabis in Nevada if you meet the following criteria:
- Your MMJ card is valid.
- Your home state exempts MMJ cardholders from criminal prosecution for medical marijuana use.
- Your home state’s law requires doctors to advise patients on the benefits of MMJ before issuing a card.
- The authorities in Nevada can verify your card’s validity by accessing a database of registered users.
If this sounds daunting, you’ll be glad to know that recreational cannabis is legal in Nevada. Adults aged 21+ can buy up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
In the District of Columbia, there is a reciprocity agreement. Out-of-state MMJ cards are accepted if your home state has a program that’s functionally equivalent to the Washington D.C. program. You will need to check your home state’s rules to find out more. However, D.C. seems to accept MMJ cards from at least 27 other states.
MMJ patients in the District can possess up to two ounces of marijuana flower. Unlike many states with programs, however, you must be at least 21 to imbibe, not 18. Theoretically, Washington, D.C. allows adult-use cannabis. In reality, it isn’t permitted for commercial sale.
Other States That Accept Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards
The following states also accept out of state medical cannabis cards. However, they do not offer full-blown legality to all adult residents. Make sure you check beforehand with each dispensary, as rules and allowances may differ based on location.
Arkansas has a unique rule called the “visiting qualifying patient” rule. It permits qualified MMJ patients that are not residents of the state to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days. The rule also applies if you have lived in Arkansas for less than 30 days but hold a valid MMJ card elsewhere.
In Hawaii, out of state MMJ cardholders can apply for a medical card. You can do so up to 60 days before visiting the state. However, all applicants must provide a photo ID of the valid MMJ card they hold from their home state. This system eliminates an overlap period and is potentially useful for those planning a trip.
If approved, the temporary card is valid for 60 days. Once you arrive, you can apply for a permanent card if you intend on moving to the state. MMJ patients in Hawaii can possess up to four ounces.
Unfortunately, NH doesn’t have a formal reciprocity agreement. As a result, you can’t purchase cannabis in New Hampshire with an out-of-state MMJ card. However, you will not be arrested for possession of up to two ounces if you have a valid card.
The issue, once again, is that transporting cannabis across state lines is a federal crime. Also, there is a possibility that you may need to have a condition that qualifies in New Hampshire.
In mid-2020, New Mexico initiated a widespread reciprocity program. It allows MMJ cardholders in every state with an active medical cannabis program to legally purchase from New Mexico MMJ dispensaries. New Mexico native tribes, D.C., and U.S. territories are also included.
You only need proof of a doctor’s authorization in your state rather than producing an MMJ card. Qualifying patients can possess up to eight ounces in 90 days. Moreover, out-of-state cardholders are allowed to buy marijuana for conditions other than what qualifies in New Mexico. If it qualifies in your state and you have proof of certification, you can avail of the NH MMJ program.
Voters approved medical marijuana via Question 788 in June 2018. Fortunately, Oklahoma does have a reciprocity program. However, you need to apply for a temporary MMJ card and are only approved if you can show evidence of your out-of-state MMJ card.
The temporary license costs $100 and is valid for 30 days. It is also renewable. Candidates need to apply to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. The possession limit is three ounces of marijuana flower, an ounce of concentrate, or 72 ounces of edibles.
Puerto Rico is a United States territory and is friendly towards visiting MMJ cardholders. Its reciprocity program enables you to purchase marijuana from a dispensary if you produce an out-of-state MMJ card. Registered patients in PR are allowed up to an ounce of cannabis flower a day! However, please note that some dispensaries may not sell to non-PR residents.
Rhode Island is traditionally a liberal state regarding medical marijuana policies. Therefore, it is no surprise to learn that it has a reciprocity program in place. Out-of-state MMJ cards are accepted, but you need to bring two forms of identification. You must also bring your physical MMJ card.
Visitors must also be registered in a state that uses a database with trackable medical cannabis sales. Once approved, you can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
The state of Utah only legalized MMJ in December 2018. Sales only began in March 2020. At present, Utah accepts out-of-state MMJ cards. However, you need to have one of the qualifying conditions listed in Utah.
New residents that have lived in Utah for less than 45 days can also use an out-of-state MMJ card. However, the card only allows them to possess marijuana. They can’t purchase it from a Utah dispensary. When the 45 days are up, they have to apply for a Utah medical marijuana card. MMJ patients are allowed up to four ounces of cannabis.
Rules in Other States Where Recreational Cannabis is Permitted
In the following states, adult-use marijuana is allowed. However, they don’t necessarily have a specific reciprocity agreement in place.
In Alaska, adults over the age of 21 can use cannabis without a medical card. However, possession limits for medical patients are 1 oz of “usable” marijuana. You are also allowed to grow up to three mature plants and six plants in total. There is technically no reciprocity program in place. It is up to the dispensary to decide whether to accept an out-of-state MMJ card.
Arizona residents voted for legal recreational cannabis in November 2020. Sales could begin as early as April 2021. At present, the state does recognize out-of-state MMJ users. You can technically bring cannabis into Arizona according to its medical cannabis law. However, such an act is federally illegal.
Also, even though you can’t buy it, you can possess up to 2.5 ounces as long as you have your out-of-state card! Fortunately, adult visitors to Arizona can purchase recreational marijuana soon. The aim is to begin sales by mid-2021, if not sooner.
California is regarded as a very marijuana-friendly state. This applies to outsiders looking to buy quality cannabis. However, the Golden State doesn’t have a dedicated reciprocity program. Nonetheless, you have the option to apply for a California MMJ card when you arrive. The downside is that the process can take up to 30 days.
You can at least purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower or five grams of concentrates. Hopefully, this will tide you over during your stay.
This is another state that doesn’t have a specific allowance for out-of-state cardholders. However, it does enable you to possess up to an ounce of cannabis if aged 21+. Purchases are limited to a quarter of an ounce for visitors to the state.
Recreational sales began on January 1, 2020. At present, Illinois doesn’t have a reciprocity agreement in place. If you are aged 21+, you can visit the state and buy up to half an ounce of cannabis flower. Alternatively, you can possess up to 2.5 grams of concentrates or 250mg of THC in marijuana-infused products.
Massachusetts is another state that doesn’t technically have a reciprocity program in place. However, recreational sales are ongoing, and adults aged 21+ can possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Alternatively, you can possess up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Michigan is another relatively recent addition to the recreational cannabis list. Once again, it doesn’t have an official reciprocity program. Your out-of-state MMJ card may be accepted, but only if your home state also allows for reciprocity. You can also bring two ounces into the state for use over a 10-day period. However, bringing cannabis across state lines is illegal.
Fortunately, recreational sales began in December 2019. Anyone aged 21+ with a valid ID can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower.
This is another state with unusual MMJ laws. Out-of-state cardholders are allowed to consume and possess cannabis in Montana. However, they are not permitted to buy from a Montana dispensary! The state voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November 2020. Adult-use sales are slated to begin in October 2021.
New Jersey legalized recreational cannabis in November 2020. The hope is for sales to commence in 2021, though there is nothing concrete at this time. There are also plans to create a reciprocity program, though it isn’t yet in place.
The state of Oregon is another example of a cannabis-friendly location. It doesn’t have a specific reciprocity agreement in place for MMJ cardholders, however. Instead, people aged 21+ can buy marijuana recreationally. The maximum possession limit for non-MMJ cardholders is an ounce.
The state of Vermont doesn’t have a reciprocity agreement in place either. HB511 passed in January and legalized recreational cannabis in January 2018. However, Governor Scott only signed the law to permit legal sales in October 2020. Therefore, residents won’t be able to purchase it before October 2022.
As a result, out-of-state MMJ cardholders are out of luck in Vermont at present.
There is no reciprocity agreement in Washington state either. It doesn’t honor out-of-state MMJ cards. Fortunately, it is yet another state where recreational cannabis is legal. You can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana or seven grams of concentrates if aged 21+. However, MMJ cardholders within the state can possess up to three times the amount of their recreational counterparts.
New MMJ States Where Laws Are Not Yet Known
Two states, Mississippi and South Dakota, recently voted in favor of medical marijuana. At present, we aren’t aware of whether either state will definitely have a reciprocity program.
Residents of the state voted to legalize medical marijuana in November 2020. The framework is not fully in place at the time of writing. As such, we don’t yet know if Mississippi will have MMJ card reciprocity. However, many of the states that permit out-of-state cards could accept ones from Mississippi.
This state’s residents also voted in favor of MMJ in November 2020. Once again, there is little concrete information relating to reciprocity in South Dakota at present. The state also voted to legalize recreational marijuana. However, residents may not be able to make purchases until 2022.
Final Thoughts on Which U.S. States Accept Out-of-State MMJ Licenses
As you can see, trying to buy legal medical cannabis with an out-of-state MMJ card isn’t easy. Fewer than half the states where marijuana is legal have a reciprocity program in place. In states with recreational sales, you don’t need your card. However, the purchase and possession limits are likely lower than what you’re used to.
As you can see, trying to buy legal medical cannabis with an out-of-state MMJ card isn’t easy.
Always be sure to call ahead and confirm with the dispensary you intend to use. You need to know whether you’re wasting your time or not. Hopefully, this article has helped clear up some of the confusion on out-of-state MMJ cards.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, leave a comment in the comments section below. Best of luck!