The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel

This page was last updated on November 17, 2020. Please make sure to consult local ordinances and regulations to ensure you are in compliance with the law.

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I. Introduction

Following the 2020 general election, there are currently 48 states and four territories with some form of a medical cannabis access, as well as 13 states and the District of Columbia that now permit adult-use, but the rights and privileges they extend to medical cannabis patients vary among them. As a result, patients who travel for personal or employment reasons can find themselves unsure as to how to access medical cannabis in an unfamiliar place. Given the importance of patients knowing the laws regarding medical cannabis in the states and jurisdictions they visit, ASA created The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel to help patients safely and legally learn how to acquire cannabis while travelling.

II. Know Before You Go

Before traveling, it is important for patients to review the most up-to-date information for the state(s) they will be visiting, as laws and regulations are subject to change. It is also important to remember that cannabis products cannot be taken out of the state in which they were purchased.

Laws protecting patients vary from state to state and, in some cases, among counties within a state, but no matter what state they live in, medical cannabis patients are always violating federal law when in possession of cannabis, which is still federally classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. While many of the states with medical cannabis programs offer some form of reciprocity to visiting medical cannabis patients, meaning they recognize the protections that have been granted to these patients by other states, traveling across state lines with any amount of cannabis is also a federal crime. The federal government can prosecute a patient who is caught transporting cannabis across state lines for drug trafficking. This holds true even if the patient is transporting cannabis between two states that have organized medical cannabis programs. It also should be noted that several of the states in which cannabis is legal have explicitly outlawed the importation and/or exportation of cannabis across their borders.

While the probability of arrest by federal law enforcement officers may be low, the penalties are severe: at a minimum, individuals charged with the trafficking of cannabis face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for a first offense or double those amounts for a second offense. Historically, these penalties have been reserved for high-volume distributors of cannabis, not medical patients, but because the interstate transport of cannabis remains a federal crime, it is important to be aware of the potential consequences and what is and is not legally permissible related to cannabis possession and use when traveling to other states.

Safeguarding Rights

A medical cannabis patient who has been stopped by the police should never give them permission to conduct a search. If officers try to search a patient’s car or belongings, the patient should loudly and clearly state: “I do not consent to a search.” This may not stop the police from conducting a search, but if the search is illegal, any evidence resulting from it may be inadmissible in court. If the search is consented to, any evidence it uncovers would be admissible. While patients should not consent to a search, they also should not physically resist officers in any way, even if the search is illegal. Doing so may result in charges of resisting arrest or assault on a police officer and/or may lead to the patient’s injury or death. If the police conduct a search over a patient’s objections, the patient should continue to state "I do not consent to this search" loudly enough for the officers and all witnesses to hear.

Information on rights as a patient, existing federal laws, avoiding law enforcement encounters, preparing for law enforcement encounters, and navigating the legal system after an encounter is available at https://www.safeaccessnow.org/knowing_your_rights.

Using a Retail Dispensary

Patients traveling to states that permit the adult-use of cannabis but do not extend reciprocity to non-resident patients may have to obtain cannabis from an adult-use dispensary. While some dispensaries cater more to patients than others, patients who are unsure about the suitability of specific options offered by a dispensary should inform staff of their patient status and ask for help identifying appropriate products for their conditions.

Product safety testing and labeling requirements vary from state to state, and one state may have different testing requirements for adult-use and medical cannabis products. Appropriate certifications from an independent oversight body, such as ASA’s Patient Focused Certification, can help patients identify companies that voluntarily subject themselves to robust oversight and products that are well made and accurately labeled. A list of PFC-certified companies is available at https://patientfocusedcertification.org/companies.

Storing Cannabis

After obtaining cannabis at their destination, patients should ensure that it is stored properly. Light, heat, and oxygen can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes. Excessive moisture in a product can promote spoilage and fungal growth. Generally, cannabis floral material and products derived therefrom should be kept in a container that minimizes exposure to these factors and should be stored in a climate-controlled setting to avoid elevated temperatures and humidity. To protect the contents within and to minimize the release of odor, containers should be rigid, airtight, and made out of a non-absorptive material (e.g., glass, stainless steel) that is appropriate for the type of product in question.

Helpful Tips for Travel

Patients are encouraged to:

  • Maintain a current doctor's recommendation.
  • Keep their medical cannabis ID card and/or a copy of their doctor’s recommendation current and on their person at all times.
  • Keep another copy of their current doctor’s recommendation and/or medical cannabis ID card in their luggage when they travel.
  • Memorize their physician's and lawyer's phone numbers or write them down and keep them with their current medical cannabis ID card and/or doctor's recommendation.
  • Contact dispensaries in the destination state(s) prior to travel to determine where appropriate cultivars and products can be obtained.

III. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows the transport of prescribed, FDA-approved cannabis products (e.g. Epidiolex) as well as the transport of CBD products manufactured pursuant to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which is also known as the 2018 farm bill. Products that fall into the latter category must be made from industrial hemp, which cannot contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). ASA strongly encourages patients to avoid flying with cannabis-derived products that were not made from industrial hemp unless they have a prescription for an FDA-approved product.

The TSA’s screening procedures are focused on detecting security threats to aviation and passengers. While TSA agents do not actively search for cannabis or other drugs, they are required to report the discovery of such substances to law enforcement.1 Some major airports have cannabis “amnesty boxes” where patients can dispose of any cannabis remaining in their possession before boarding their flights. In the absence of such amnesty boxes, patients may wish to discreetly dispose of any remaining cannabis in a trash can before undergoing security screening.

Some airlines, including Delta and American, have created specific policies prohibiting the transport of cannabis on their aircraft while acknowledging that a growing number of states have legalized cannabis for medical and/or recreational use.2,3 Patients may wish to check their airlines’ baggage policies for any cannabis-specific information.

Operators of other popular forms of transportation have also created restrictive policies regarding cannabis. Amtrak bans “the use or transportation of marijuana in any form for any purpose… even in states or countries where recreational use is legal or permitted medically.”4 Greyhound’s policy prohibits “alcohol, drugs, or weapons anywhere on the bus (including in your checked baggage).”5 Patients should check their carriers’ policies for more information.

Popular ridesharing companies seem to be staking out different, and at times self-contradictory, approaches to cannabis. Uber states that using its app “to commit any crime - such as transporting drugs… or to violate any other law is strictly prohibited,”6 but the company has sponsored cannabis-related celebrations.7 Lyft, on the other hand, has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy for its drivers but only prohibits passengers from transporting open containers of alcohol.8 Additionally, the company has sponsored cannabis-related events and has offered discount codes on April 20th (i.e., 4/20, a day of significance to some cannabis consumers) in the past.9,10 It is important to recall, however, that rideshare drivers are using their personal vehicles and that some may object to the smell of cannabis in their car. To be respectful of the driver and his or her vehicle, patients are encouraged to explore scent-reducing or -eliminating storage and transportation solutions.

To protect others and preserve their own safety and liberty, patients should never drive under the influence of any substance that may negatively impact their driving ability, including cannabis. Patients who intend to drive while in possession of cannabis should make sure their vehicle registration, driver’s license, and license plates are unexpired and that all lights (including turn signals) are operational. Observing basic rules of the road, such as using a turn signal when changing lanes and keeping license plates current, can help to minimize the potential for interaction with law enforcement. When driving, patients should keep cannabis locked in the trunk. In some states where cannabis is legal, driving with cannabis that is stored anywhere other than in the trunk - including in a locked glove compartment - is illegal.

IV. Reciprocity

As was touched upon in Section II, reciprocity refers to laws providing some measure of legal protection for non-resident medical cannabis patients. These laws generally require that patients carry documentation of their status in their home state’s program, such as their medical cannabis cards. Reciprocity is important for traveling patients, patients who are seeking specialty treatments outside of their home state and patients who need to stay in the care of friends or family out of state. But historically, many states have imposed residency requirements for participation in medical cannabis programs and the benefit of legal protections. The adoption of reciprocity provisions by more states in recent years has given medical cannabis patients and their caregivers the ability to travel more freely without concern for access to medicine. However, not all reciprocity programs are created equal - some states only provide basic protections, while others grant visiting patients the same rights as resident patients. It is important for patients to know where, and how, they can legally access cannabis while traveling.

Access to Medical Cannabis by Jurisdiction

Alaska

Alaska’s medical cannabis law does not contain provisions for dispensaries, but the 2015 adult-use legalization of cannabis in the state has resulted in the creation of a regulated sales system that serves adult residents and visitors alike. Visiting patients who are 21 years of age or older with a valid and current state-issued identification such as a driver's license can obtain cannabis from a retail dispensary. Unfortunately, this leaves the needs of visiting minor patients unaddressed. Alaska prohibits all public use of cannabis (not just smoking), to include use of cannabis in schools and universities, amusement venues, businesses, parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, or roads, just to name a few. Responsible cannabis consumption in Alaska occurs on private property, though some property owners or homeowners associations may have policies that prohibit cannabis use. For more specific information regarding Alaska cannabis consumption laws visitors should review this Alaska Department of Health and Social Services FAQ document.

While Alaska does not have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their current and valid medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) issued by their home state in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis

Arizona

Arizona allows visiting patients with a current and valid registry ID card or its equivalent issued by the visiting patient’s home state to possess and use cannabis. However the state does not permit visiting patients to purchase cannabis from any of Arizona’s licensed dispensaries because the state does not allow patients to be added to its electronic verification system, which dispensaries must access before dispensing cannabis. As such the state’s policy for visiting patients requires patients to violate federal law by transporting cannabis across state lines, which is federally illegal even when patients are traveling between states that authorized cannabis possession, use and sale.

In November 2020 Arizona voters approved Proposition 207, authorizing adults who are 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess and consume cannabis in the state. Adult patients visiting Arizona should also be prepared to present a valid and current state-issued identification such as a driver's license. While the language of the initiative requires immediate implementation, it will likely be several months before in-state and visiting adult consumers can purchase cannabis in the Grand Canyon State. Arizona law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place, however public consumption of cannabis edibles is authorized.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis and, if authorized, 12 cannabis plants
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14-day period
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Visiting patients are not allowed to purchase

Arkansas

Arkansas allows qualified visiting patients to use the state’s medical cannabis program. Non-residents and those who have been residing in Arkansas for fewer than 30 days are eligible. Eligible visiting patients must possess a registry ID card or its equivalent issued by their home state and have a qualifying condition that has been approved in Arkansas. Visiting patients who do not have a qualifying condition that has been approved in Arkansas will not be able to secure legal access. Visiting patients should also be prepared to provide a valid and current state-issued identification such as a driver's license. Additionally, visiting patients must fill out the visiting patient application and pay a non-refundable $50.00 fee. It is critical that patients who intend to travel to Arkansas plan ahead, as the processing of a visiting patient card may take up to two weeks. Once issued, the card is valid for 30 days.

Once their applications have been approved, visiting patients can obtain cannabis in the state’s dispensaries if they show their AR registry card or its equivalent from their home state. The dispensary will retain a copy of the card as well as a second form of ID, such as a driver’s license, and will require visiting patients to sign a form affirming that they have been diagnosed by a healthcare provider to have a qualifying condition. Visiting patients should be aware that Arkansas law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14 days
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14 days
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14 days
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14 days

California

California legalized the adult-use of cannabis in 2016 but does not recognize medical cannabis cards from other states, which poses a problem for minor patients given that they cannot access retail dispensaries. Visiting patients who are 21 years of age or older with a valid and current state-issued identification such as a driver's license can obtain cannabis from a retail dispensary. Unfortunately, this leaves the needs of visiting minor patients unaddressed. While California does not have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their valid and current medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) issued by their home state in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Visiting patients should be aware that California law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 8 oz of dried flower and 6 mature cannabis plants or 12 immature cannabis plants unless a physician recommends that these limits be higher to be consistent with patient needs
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 8 oz of dried flower or the plant conversion per day
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of dried flower or 8g of concentrate
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of dried flower or 8g of concentrate may be purchased from retail dispensaries per day by those aged 21 or over

Colorado

Colorado has legalized the adult-use of cannabis, but its medical cannabis program is limited to residents. Individuals who are at least 21 years of age with a valid and current state-issued identification such as a driver's license may purchase cannabis from a retail dispensary, but visiting minor patients cannot access cannabis in the state. While Colorado does not have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Visiting patients should be aware that Colorado law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place, specifically including sidewalks, or at public or amusement parks, ski resorts, concert venues, businesses, bars and restaurants, common areas of apartment buildings or condominiums and federal lands).

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2 oz
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2 oz of dried flower and 6 immature cannabis plants or cannabis seeds per day unless a physician provides documentation that more is necessary
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of dried flower, 8g of cannabis concentrate, or 800mg of cannabis edibles
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of dried flower, 8g of cannabis concentrate, or 800mg of cannabis edibles may be purchased from retail dispensaries per day by those aged 21 or over

District of Columbia

In 2019 the District of Columbia announced that it would extend reciprocity to patients from any state that issues medical cannabis cards or their equivalents. This list includes 27 states which are Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington. Visiting patients must present current and valid medical cannabis cards (or their equivalents) and another form of unexpired photo ID from their home state at any of DC’s licensed medical dispensaries in order to purchase cannabis. Note that dispensaries will not be permitted to dispense medical cannabis to visiting patients if the DC Department of Health determines that there is a shortage of medical cannabis or if the real-time electronic records system is inactive. Visiting patients should be aware that District of Columbia law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 4 oz of dried flower or its equivalent when sold in any other form
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 4 oz of dried flower or its equivalent per 30 days
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 4 oz of dried flower or its equivalent when sold in any other form
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 4 oz of dried flower or its equivalent per 30 days

Guam

Guam legalized medical cannabis in 2014 and the adult-use of cannabis in 2019, however dispensaries are not yet operational in this U.S. territory. Guam removed residency requirements in 2018 permitting visiting patients to possess and use medical cannabis. Visiting patients may register with Guam's Department of Public Health & Social Services (DPHSS) by obtaining a written certification from a Guamanian healthcare practitioner, completing a qualified patient registration form, and paying the $15 registration fee. Cards will not be required to participate in the program. Once registered visiting patients may possess 2.5 oz of cannabis flower or its equivalent of authorized extract products. However with no legal retailers to patronize, Guam's reciprocity system authorizes only adult patients who are 21 years of age or older and seeking legal access to cannabis to obtain it from securing gifted cannabis (selling cannabis is currently prohibited in Guam) from Guamanian cannabis home cultivators. Guam does not permit visiting minors to legally obtain access to cannabis or cannabis products. Visiting patients should be aware that Guam law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of dried cannabis or its THC product equivalent
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: Once dispensaries are operational, 2.5 oz of dried cannabis or its THC product equivalent per 14-day period unless a higher amount is approved by the recommending physician
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of dried cannabis or its THC product equivalent
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Once dispensaries are operational, 2.5 oz of dried cannabis or its THC product equivalent per 14 -day period unless a higher amount is approved by the recommending physician

Hawaii

Hawaii provides a comprehensive online application process for out-of-state patients who are certified in their home state as having a debilitating medical condition as defined in Hawaii State Law to obtain a Hawaii 329 Registration Card, which grants access to medical cannabis dispensaries. A visiting patient who wishes to obtain a 329 card must submit his or her valid, unexpired medical cannabis card from their home state and an additional form of state-government-issued ID from the same state (e.g. a driver’s license), and bearing the same name as, the medical cannabis card. If the out-of-state card does not have an expiration date, the patient will be required to submit additional documentation. Unlike some other states, Hawaii will not accept a medical cannabis certification/recommendation in lieu of a medical cannabis card. Note that passports and military ID cards are not accepted forms of ID for the purposes of obtaining a 329 card. Visiting patients should be aware that Hawaii law prohibits the smoking of cannabis in any public place.

Hawaii 329 Registration Cards for out-of-state patients are valid for 60 days, and the patient may apply for a 329 card up to 60 days before the requested start date. Visiting patients are limited to two 60-day terms per calendar year, and there is a non-refundable fee of $49.50 per application.

The Hawaii Department of Health has put together an instructional video and a checklist for visiting patients and urges visiting patients to ensure that the island they are traveling to has a dispensary with the products they need, as traveling between islands could involve crossing a federal waterway. This should be done prior to submitting an application.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 4 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 4 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent per 15-day period
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 4 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 4 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent per 15-day period

Illinois

Illinois does not extend reciprocity to medical cannabis patients. However, as of January 1, 2020, non-residents who are 21 years of age or older are authorized to purchase and possess up to 15 grams of cannabis flower, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 250 mg of THC in cannabis-infused products. Illinois residents who are not medical cannabis patients will be able to purchase and possess double these amounts. Unfortunately, this leaves the needs of visiting minor patients unaddressed. While Illinois does not have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their current and valid medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Illinois prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis, unless a physician waiver is obtained
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14 days, unless a physician waiver is obtained
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: Beginning January 1, 2020, adults 21 and over may possess 15g of cannabis flower, 250 mg of THC-infused edible cannabis products, and 2.5g of concentrated cannabis product
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Beginning January 1, 2020, adults 21 and over may purchase 15g of cannabis flower, 250 mg of THC-infused edible cannabis products, or 2.5g of concentrated cannabis product

Maine

Medical cannabis patients from the states to which Maine extends reciprocity may use their current and valid home-state patient ID cards and a current and valid photo identification such as a driver’s license to purchase cannabis through Maine’s medical program. As of November 13, 2019, the 25 states to which Maine extends reciprocity include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. And in October 2020, four years after Maine voters approved adult-use cannabis via Question 1 in 2016, Maine initiated adult-use sales. For the first time Maine allows out-of-state adults who are 21 years of age or older with a current government identification issued by their home state to purchase and possess cannabis in Maine. Consumption of cannabis in any public place is prohibited in Maine.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 8 pounds of harvested cannabis (which includes all prepared forms), 6 mature cannabis plants, 12 immature cannabis plants, and unlimited cannabis seedlings
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of harvested cannabis per transaction
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of harvested cannabis in a 15-day period
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis, cannabis products, or a combination thereof every 15 days

Massachusetts

Massachusetts does not recognize medical cannabis cards issued by other states, but individuals who are at least 21 years old with a valid and current identification issued by their home state such as a driver's license may obtain cannabis through the state’s adult-use market. Unfortunately this leaves the needs of visiting minor patients unaddressed. While Massachusetts does not have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their current, valid medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Massachusetts prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 10 oz of cannabis or its equivalent every 60 days unless a healthcare provider determines and certifies that a different amount is required
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 10 oz of cannabis or its equivalent every 60 days unless a healthcare provider determines and certifies that a different amount is required
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of cannabis on one’s person if age 21 or over, except not more than 5g may be in the form of a cannabis concentrate
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of cannabis or 5g of cannabis concentrate may be purchased from retail dispensaries per day by those aged 21 or over

Michigan

Michigan’s reciprocity program permits visiting patients to purchase, possess and use medical cannabis. To secure access patients must provide a current and valid medical cannabis identification card issued by their home state and a current government issued identification card from the same home state to a licensed cannabis retailer. Visiting patients may not purchase or possess more than 2.5 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent, not to exceed 10 oz per month. And two years after Michigan voters approved adult-use cannabis via Ballot Proposal 1 in 2018, the state began adult-use sales in January of 2020. Under this policy out-of-state adults who are 21 years of age or older with a current government identification issued by their home state may purchase and possess cannabis in Michigan. Michigan prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent and 12 cannabis plants
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per day, not to exceed 10 oz per month
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent and 12 cannabis plants
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per day, not to exceed 10 oz per month

Mississippi

Mississippi does not have a dedicated reciprocity program, however 74.1% of Hospitality State voters approved medical access constitutional amendment Initiative 65 in November of 2020. Section 5 of the initiative indicates that the Mississippi State Department of Health will organize specific rules for the operation of the program, to include provisions permitting out-of-state patients to secure access in the state. However patients visiting Mississippi will need to be patient, as the department has until August of 2021 to begin licensing medical cannabis businesses and certifying eligible patients. Until then ASA recommends that visiting patients adhere to all state laws pertaining to cannabis possession, use and sale, which is currently prohibited. Visiting patients are still encouraged to travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: Not authorized until August 2021
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: Not authorized until August 2021
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: Not authorized until August 2021
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Not authorized until August 2021

Montana

Montana does not have a dedicated reciprocity program, however 56.5% of Big Sky Country voters approved adult-use access Initiative 190 in November of 2020. The initiative authorizes state residents who are 21 years of age and older to purchase, possess and use up to 1 oz of cannabis flower or 8 grams of cannabis concentrate, and grow up to 4 cannabis plants and possess 4 seedlings starting on January 1, 2021. However the initiative does not require the Montana Department of Revenue to begin accepting cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution or retail cannabis license applications until January 1, 2022, leaving visiting adult patients without a way to purchase, possess or consume cannabis in Montana until then. ASA recommends that patients visiting Montana to adhere to all state laws pertaining to cannabis possession, use and sale, which are currently only authorized for in-state residents. Visiting patients are still encouraged to travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Montana prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of cannabis flower or 8 grams of cannabis concentrate; 800 mg of THC infused cannabis products or edibles or 16 0.5 ml vape cartridges or 8 1.0 ml vape cartridges.
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 5 oz of usable cannabis per month; and no more than 1 oz per day
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: Not authorized until January 2022
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Not authorized until January 2022

Nevada

Nevada allows reciprocity through its medical program and also permits the adult-use of cannabis for visitors who are at least 21 years of age with a current and valid state-issued identification such as a drivers license. Non-resident patients may use their current and valid home-state medical cannabis cards and photo IDs to purchase medical cannabis from Nevada dispensaries. The purchase and possession limits are higher for medical patients than for other adult consumers of cannabis. Nevada prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14-day period, an amount of edible cannabis products and cannabis-infused products that is equivalent to 2.5 oz of usable cannabis (with a cap of 10g of THC) per 14-day period, and 12 cannabis plants.
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14-day period and an amount of edible cannabis products and cannabis-infused products that is equivalent to 2.5 oz of usable cannabis (with a cap of 10g of THC) per 14-day period
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14-day period and an amount of edible cannabis products and cannabis-infused products that is equivalent to 2.5 oz of usable cannabis (with a cap of 10g of THC) per 14-day period
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis per 14-day period and an amount of edible cannabis products and cannabis-infused products that is equivalent to 2.5 oz of usable cannabis (with a cap of 10g of THC) per 14-day period

New Hampshire

Patients visiting New Hampshire from another state may possess cannabis but are unable to purchase it in the state’s dispensaries. To benefit from New Hampshire’s medical cannabis law, the visiting qualifying patient must provide a current and valid registry ID card (or its equivalent) from their home state and a statement from their healthcare provider stating that the patient has a qualifying condition that is recognized by New Hampshire law. The visiting patient provisions only apply to those who are not residents or to residents who have been in the state for fewer than 30 days. Visiting patients cannot receive cannabis via the state’s gifting provisions or cultivate medical cannabis in New Hampshire. New Hampshire prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2 oz of usable cannabis
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2 oz of usable cannabis every 10 days
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2 oz of usable cannabis
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Visiting patients are not allowed to purchase

New Jersey

While New Jersey does not have a dedicated reciprocity program, 66.9% of Garden state voters approved adult-use access initiative Question 1 in November of 2020. As of the time of this writing, state lawmakers are working to consider and approve a legislative package required for the initiative to take effect which is expected before the end of the year. Once final, the initiative and the legislation will enable individuals who are at least 21 years of age or older with a current and valid state-issued identification from their home state such as a driver’s license to purchase cannabis in the state’s licensed retail dispensaries. Until then ASA recommends that patients visiting New Jersey adhere to all state laws pertaining to cannabis possession, use and sale, which are currently only authorized for in-state residents. Visiting patients are still encouraged to travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. New Jersey prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 3 oz per month except for hospice and terminally ill patients who have no purchase limit
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 3 oz per month except for hospice and terminally ill patients who have no purchase limit
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: Not authorized until 2021
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Not authorized until 2021

New Mexico

In 2020 New Mexico updated the rules to its reciprocity program to close a loophole that resulted in roughly 600 out-of-state patients registering as New Mexico in-state cannabis patients. Changes made to the program clearly separate possession, use and sale requirements for in-state versus visiting patients, while maintaining the same welcoming legal access features of the original state reciprocity model. This system permits visiting patients to purchase, possess and use medical cannabis from a licensed cannabis retailer. To obtain legal access patients must provide proof of authorization to participate in the medical cannabis program of their home state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or NM Indian nation, tribe or pueblo, and must adhere to New Mexico purchase limits. Proof of authorization is defined as a current identification card issued by the patient's home state authorizing the patient to participate in their home state's medical cannabis program. New Mexico does not accept written permission from a medical practitioner from another jurisdiction as proof of authorization. Patients demonstrating proof of authorization will have a copy of their home state-issued medical cannabis patient card as well as a copy of their government-issued photo i.d. scanned and uploaded by authorized retailer staff into NM's electronic tracking system. This system tracks visiting patient's purchase limits and safegaurds against visiting patients exceeding purchase limits by patronizing multiple licensed cannabis retailers. New Mexico expresses possession limits in units. New Mexico purchase limits permit visiting patients to buy and possess up to 230 units/grams (approximately 8 oz) of flower during a three-month period. Visiting patients are not required to pay a fee to legally participate in the state’s reciprocity program. New Mexico prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 230 units per 90-day period
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 230 units per 90-day period
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: TBD
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: TBD

Oklahoma

Oklahoma offers temporary patient licenses for both minor and adult visiting patients. The temporary licenses are valid for 30 days and may be renewed, but the expiration date of the temporary license cannot be later than the expiration date of the patient’s medical cannabis ID card. To obtain a temporary ID card, a patient must submit a current and valid digital color copy of their home-state medical cannabis card and a current and valid digital color copy of their home-state driver's license, or passport, or state-issued ID. The visiting patient also must submit a passport-style photograph and pay a non-refundable $100 application fee by credit or debit card. The processing of a temporary patient license application can take up to 14 days, so it is important for travelers to plan ahead. Oklahoma prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

Detailed instructions for obtaining a temporary card are available on the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s website.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 3 oz of cannabis on one’s person; 1 oz of cannabis concentrate; 72 oz of cannabis edibles; 6 mature cannabis plants; 6 cannabis seedlings; and 8 oz of cannabis in one’s residence
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 3 oz of usable cannabis, 1 oz of cannabis concentrate, 72 oz of cannabis-infused products, 6 mature cannabis plants, and 6 cannabis seedlings in a single transaction
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 3 oz of cannabis on one’s person; 1 oz of cannabis concentrate; 72 oz of cannabis edibles; 6 mature cannabis plants; 6 cannabis seedlings; and 8 oz of cannabis in one’s residence
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 3 oz of usable cannabis, 1 oz of cannabis concentrate, 72 oz of cannabis-infused products, 6 mature cannabis plants, and 6 cannabis seedlings in a single transaction

Oregon

Oregon does not recognize medical cannabis cards from other states, but individuals who are at least 21 years of age or older with a current and valid state-issued identification from their home state such as a driver’s license may purchase cannabis in the state’s licensed retail dispensaries. Unfortunately, this leaves the needs of visiting minor patients unaddressed. While Oregon doesn’t have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Oregon prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 24 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of cannabinoid product in solid form, 72 oz of cannabinoid product in liquid form, 16 oz of cannabinoid concentrate, 1 oz of cannabinoid extracts, 6 mature cannabis plants, and 12 immature cannabis plants
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 24 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of a medical cannabinoid product in solid form, 72 oz of a medical cannabinoid product in liquid form, 16 oz of cannabinoid concentrate (whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system), 5g of a cannabinoid extract (whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system), 4 immature cannabis plants, and 50 cannabis seeds in one purchase or within one day
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis on their person in public, 8 oz of usable cannabis in their home, 16 oz of a cannabinoid product in solid form, 72 oz of a cannabinoid product in liquid form, 5g of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates (whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system), 4 cannabis plants, and 10 cannabis seeds.
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of a cannabinoid product in solid form, 72 oz of a cannabinoid product in liquid form, 5g of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates (whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system), 4 immature cannabis plants, and 10 cannabis seeds may be purchased from retail dispensaries per day by those aged 21 or over

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico extends reciprocity to medical cannabis patients with unexpired medical cannabis recommendations and medical cannabis ID cards from U.S. states for up to 30 days as long as those states maintain a database that allows verification of patient status and make such information available to Puerto Rican authorities and dispensaries. Puerto Rico does not impose a residency requirement for qualifying patients, meaning that non-resident patients may obtain a Puerto Rican medical cannabis card by visiting an authorized healthcare provider, completing the application process and paying $25. Given that reciprocity is only extended for up to 30 days, non-resident patients who need access to medical cannabis beyond that period must be certified as qualified patients under the laws and regulations of Puerto Rico.

Visitors to Puerto Rico from foreign states or U.S. states where no medical cannabis identification is issued may apply for a Puerto Rican medical cannabis card after visiting an authorized healthcare provider. If the applicant qualifies as a medical cannabis patient, the applicant’s medical cannabis card will be valid for a maximum duration of 30 days.

The act of smoking cannabis is strictly forbidden, even for medical patients, and while other inhalable products are available, vaporizing cannabis flowers (buds) is only authorized if the patient’s healthcare provider has determined that vaporization is the ideal method of administration, if the healthcare provider has determined that no other suitable alternatives or adequate treatments exist, or if the patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Puerto Rico also prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place, and dispensaries are prohibited from supplying cannabis flowers to any patient whose medical cannabis recommendation does not explicitly authorize vaporization of cannabis floral material.

It is unclear as to whether non-resident patients would be able to obtain cannabis flowers without first obtaining a Puerto Rican medical cannabis card. Non-resident patients who are unwilling or unable to obtain a Puerto Rican medical cannabis card and who rely on access to cannabis flowers are advised to obtain a note to that effect from their healthcare provider to present to dispensary staff along with a copy of their medical cannabis recommendation and home-state medical cannabis card in case the note would constitute sufficient documentation for the dispensing of cannabis flowers. Puerto Rico defines one ounce of cannabis flower as being equivalent to eight grams of THC in concentrate form or 800 milligrams of THC in edible products. or a list of qualifying conditions that Puerto Rico authorizes legal cannabis possession and use of visit the Department of Health's website.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 30-day supply
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of cannabis flower or its equivalent per day
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 30-day supply
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of cannabis flower or its equivalent per day

Rhode Island

Medical cannabis cards (or their equivalents) issued under the laws of other U.S. states have the same force and effect as medical cannabis cards issued by the Rhode Island Department of Health. Therefore, visiting medical cannabis patients from elsewhere in the United States may access Rhode Island’s compassion centers (dispensaries) with their home-state medical cannabis cards and another form of photo ID issued by their home state such as a driver’s license. Out-of-state patients will be required to complete a compassion center intake form to be entered into the compassion center’s tracking system, however the state does not require a fee to participate in the program.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of dried usable cannabis, 12.5 oz of wet cannabis, 12 mature cannabis plants, and 12 cannabis seedlings (personal cultivation is permitted when the patient or caregiver obtains a Plant Tag Certificate from the Department of Business Regulation)
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent during a 15-day period
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 2.5 oz of dried usable cannabis, 12.5 oz of wet cannabis, 12 mature cannabis plants, and 12 cannabis seedlings (personal cultivation is permitted when the patient or caregiver obtains a Plant Tag Certificate from the Department of Business Regulation)
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz of usable cannabis or its equivalent during a 15-day period

South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State does not have a dedicated reciprocity program, however 69.2% of state voters approved medical access Measure 26, and 53.3% of state voters approved adult-use Amendment A in November of 2020. Measure 26 authorizes cannabis possession, use and sale for in-state patients with eligible chronic or debilitating disease or medical conditions covering cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis to purchase and possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis with no more than 8 grams to be in a concentrated form, and grow up to three cannabis plants if no cannabis retailers are licensed by a resident’s local jurisdiction. Section 1(19) of Measure 26 specifically authorizes the creation of a state reciprocity program, however state lawmakers have until October 29, 2021 to organize comprehensive rules for the program. Similarly South Dakota’s Amendment A, which authorizes adults who are 21 years of age or over to purchase and possess up to 1 oz of cannabis and grow up to 3 cannabis plants, requires state lawmakers to develop specific program features by October of 2021. Until then ASA recommends that visiting patients adhere to all state laws pertaining to cannabis possession, use and sale, which is currently prohibited. Visiting patients are still encouraged to travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: Not authorized until October 2021
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: Not authorized until October 2021
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: Not authorized until October 2021
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: Not authorized until October 2021

Washington State

Washington does not recognize medical cannabis cards from other states, but individuals who are at least 21 years of age or older with a current and valid state-issued identification from their home state such as a driver’s license may purchase cannabis in the state’s licensed retail dispensaries. Unfortunately, this leaves the needs of visiting minor patients unaddressed. While Washington doesn’t have a reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Washington prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place.

  • Resident Patient Possession Limit: 3 oz of usable cannabis, 48 oz of cannabis-infused product in solid form, 216 oz of cannabis-infused product in liquid form, or 21g of cannabis concentrate. Recognition card holders may also grow 6 plants and possess 8 oz of usable cannabis produced by their plants; if these amounts are insufficient, a healthcare practitioner may authorize the cultivation of 15 plants and the possession of 16 oz produced by their plants.
  • Resident Patient Purchase Limit: 3 oz of usable cannabis, 48 oz of cannabis-infused product in solid form, 216 oz of cannabis-infused product in liquid form, or 21g of cannabis concentrate
  • Visiting Patient Possession Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of cannabis-infused product in solid form, 72 oz of cannabis-infused product in liquid form, or 7g of cannabis concentrate
  • Visiting Patient Purchase Limit: 1 oz of usable cannabis, 16 oz of cannabis-infused product in solid form, 72 oz of cannabis-infused product in liquid form, or 7g of cannabis concentrate may be purchased by those aged 21 or over

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