Colorado MMJ Reciprocity: Where Can I Use my Colorado Medical Card?
Published on 7/31/22
After two years of fully remote work, lockdowns, and as little travel as possible amid a global pandemic, there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel. U.S. health officials declare the pandemic stage of the fight against COVID to be over (at least for now), the summer months are fast approaching, and people are ready to get out and travel again. For medical patients, however, traveling can be a bit more complicated than it seems on the surface.
For example, if you live in a legal state like Colorado, it might be easy to forget that cannabis is still federally illegal. With dispensaries scattered all over the state and legal cannabis businesses thriving in the Centennial State, it's clear why the state of Colorado has one of the most mature and well-developed legal cannabis markets on the planet. For Colorado medical patients, leaving their home state might present some challenges.
Naturally, Colorado-based patients planning summer trips of their own will have to ponder questions like, "can I use my medical card in another state?" After all, patients need their medicine, so knowing what states accept out-of-state medical cards is a crucial question. That's where we here at Where's Weed have your back!
This article will be your go-to guide for anything medical cannabis reciprocity-related. Whether it's a complicated question like "does Florida accept out-of-state MMJ cards" or a simple one like what's the process for buying in a different state, we've got you covered.
What is Medical Cannabis Reciprocity?
Before we do a deep dive on where and how out-of-state medical patients can buy medical cannabis without issues, let's first break down exactly what medical cannabis reciprocity is in the first place. After all, not everyone is a cannabis enthusiast with years of experience. The growth of the legal industry is bringing in new people, which is good for the industry's overall health.
So what exactly is medical cannabis reciprocity? Well, it's a collective name for state-level laws, rules, and regulations that allow traveling patients to use their Colorado medical card out of state. While you would naturally think that every state with a legal program would enable out-of-state patients to buy from their dispensaries, it's just not that simple. If you don't believe me, Google something like "does Colorado accept out-of-state medical cards" or "Colorado reciprocity medical card."
Unfortunately, Colorado, one of the most progressive and forward-thinking states regarding legal cannabis, doesn't allow out-of-state patients to purchase from their medical dispensaries. You'll need your own Colorado MMJ badge if you want to do that. While it's not a huge deal due to the abundance of recreational options, it's still surprising at the very least!
Which States Have Medical Cannabis Reciprocity?
So now that we've defined our terms and broken down exactly what medical cannabis reciprocity is let's go into a bit of detail on which states do and don't have it.
Alaska's medical marijuana program does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, purchasing up to 1 ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes in Alaska is legal.
Arizona provides limited reciprocity to those considered "visiting qualifying patients."
To be a visiting qualifying patient, the out-of-state MMJ cardholder must not be a resident of Arizona or have resided in Arizona for less than 30 days. The cardholder must also match Arizona's qualifying condition and home state. So, if your qualifying condition in your home state doesn't match Arizona's, you cannot technically qualify for Arizona's MMJ card program.
However, recreational cannabis is legal to purchase in Arizona, with a possession limit of up to 2.5 ounces.
Those with a valid out-of-state medical recommendation and card can legally purchase medical marijuana in Arkansas. They fill out a visiting patient form and provide proof of their out-of-state medical marijuana registration.
California doesn't recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, but visitors to California can apply for a California medical marijuana identification card (MMIC). Recreational cannabis is also legal in California, with a possession limit of up to 1 oz., or 8 grams of concentrate.
Colorado residents may apply for the medical marijuana program, and Colorado doesn't recognize out-of-state medical cannabis cards. However, recreational cannabis is legal in Colorado, with a possession limit of 1 ounce.
Illinois does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, but recreational cannabis is available for adults over 21.
As with California, Hawaii allows out-of-state patients to apply for their medical marijuana program instead of recognizing other states' medical marijuana programs. Those with severe or terminal conditions can get their applications fast-tracked.
Maine does recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, but patients must register with the Maine MMJ program to access dispensaries. When out-of-state patients register, they legally have a temporary registration to purchase cannabis from a dispensary. The possession limit is 2.5 ounces.
Massachusetts does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana certificates or cards but allows recreational sales for those aged 21 or over. Massachusetts does, however, offer reciprocity regarding possession of medical marijuana within the state, and the possession limit is one ounce.
Michigan's dispensaries can choose whether or not they will recognize an out-of-state medical marijuana card. However, recreational cannabis is legal for those aged 21 or over in Michigan. The possession limit is 2.5 ounces.
Minnesota does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
There are no laws regarding medical marijuana reciprocity established in Mississippi yet.
Reciprocity laws are a little confusing in Missouri. However, Amendment 2, Subsection 5 (1) suggests that reciprocity laws exist. Those with a valid medical marijuana recommendation and card from another state can legally possess the established legal limit of cannabis in Missouri. The possession limit is 4 ounces unless the patient has a second physician's recommendation stating otherwise.
Montana recognizes other states' medical marijuana cards. Dispensaries will check to see if your qualification is valid, that you have a medical marijuana card, and your state ID.
Nevada recognizes all other states' medical marijuana cards.
If the qualifying condition for your medical marijuana card from your home state matches New Hampshire's qualifying condition, then New Hampshire will recognize your medical marijuana card. Out-of-state patients may not service New Hampshire dispensaries but may legally possess medical marijuana if they have entered the state.
Yes, New Jersey does recognize other states' medical marijuana cards. Individuals registered as patients under their states' medical marijuana programs can receive reciprocity or be considered qualifying patients under New Jersey's medical marijuana program for up to six months while visiting the state. Out-of-state medical marijuana patients may also get certified for cannabis by a New Jersey doctor!
Patients are allowed to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis flower. New Jersey has recently legalized recreational cannabis as well.
Yes, New Mexico recognizes medical marijuana cards from other states, and this is one of the most liberal and relaxed states for out-of-state users.
New York does not recognize other states' medical marijuana cards or certificates.
Ohio does not have medical marijuana reciprocity with other states at this time.
Oklahoma recognizes other states' medical marijuana certificates and identification cards. However, visiting patients must fill out the Temporary Patient Application Information form to legally purchase medical marijuana from an Oklahoma dispensary.
Oregon does not recognize out-of-state medical cannabis cards. Still, cannabis is legal for recreational use in Oregon, so anyone over 21 can purchase an ounce of pot at retail dispensaries.
Pennsylvania does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards; however, the laws may be slightly different for minor patients. Under Section 2106 of the law, it is not a violation of state law "if a parent or guardian of a minor under 18 years of age lawfully obtains medical marijuana from another state, territory of the United States or any other country to be administered to the minor."
Puerto Rico recognizes other states' medical marijuana cards, and cardholders can purchase from a dispensary legally. Recreational cannabis is not legal in Puerto Rico.
Rhode Island doesn't recognize other states' medical marijuana cards.
Vermont does not recognize other states' medical marijuana cards. However, adults 21 and older who are not patients can possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish for recreational purposes and grow a maximum of two mature marijuana plants or four immature marijuana plants.
Visiting medical marijuana patients who meet one of Utah's qualifying conditions may possess and use medical cannabis per Utah's legal restrictions. New residents with a valid MMJ card can have medical cannabis from out of state for 45 days. Longer than this, those who wish to purchase from a dispensary in Utah and patients must apply for a Utah medical cannabis card.
Virginia doesn't recognize other states' medical marijuana cards.
Washington does not have medical marijuana reciprocity. However, it is legal for those over 21 with photographic identification to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis.
Washington, D.C. recognizes other states' medical marijuana cards. The possession limit is 1 ounce.
The Bottom Line
Colorado residents looking to travel and still have access to their medicine have a wealth of options to consider. The first step, however, is getting a medical cannabis card of your own. If you're a Centennial State resident, despite its thriving recreational side, instead of sitting there and wondering if it is easy to get a medical card in Colorado, go ahead and just get one! Thankfully, our friends over at Leafwell can help you out with that!
They can quickly and easily connect you with top-notch, certified cannabis doctors via telehealth services or close to where you live to get you a card of your own in no time!
To learn about getting a Colorado medical cannabis card of your own, click here!