One of the most common questions is if you can use your Maryland medical marijuana card in other states? It is understandable why you would be curious about this and how it could be confusing. After all, you are issued a medical card that looks like a driver’s license. You can drive on other state’s roads using your Maryland driver’s license, so why shouldn’t you be able to go to another state’s medical cannabis dispensaries and purchase products?
Well, unfortunately there are several barriers in place to your ability to use your Maryland medical marijuana card in other states. In this article we will explore your ability to access medical cannabis in other states and walk through any legal concerns you should be aware of.
Medical marijuana is used to treat several qualifying conditions in Maryland. Those explicitly defined in Maryland’s medical marijuana law are cancer, glaucoma, seizures, chronic muscle spasms, PTSD, and more. Find out if you qualify for a certification today with your Green Relief Health team. Schedule a consultation so we can walk you through the entire process with one of our Maryland Medical Marijuana Doctors.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
One factor that gets in the way of being able to automatically use a medical marijuana card in other states is that marijuana is still a Schedule I narcotic at the federal level. This means that it is still not federally legal to buy or sell medical marijuana. Many states like Maryland have created medical marijuana card programs at the state level that allow you to purchase medical marijuana in your own state. This has been life changing for many patients, but there is one drawback with this system. It means that all regulations are done on a state-by-state basis. To deal with this problem, many states have agreements between them to allow out-of-state medical marijuana cards to be used in their state. This is known as “reciprocity.”
Maryland does not yet offer reciprocity, that is, those with out-of-state medical marijuana cards cannot use them in Maryland. It also means that you will be unable to use your Maryland medical marijuana card in many other states. However, Marylanders can use a medical marijuana card in some other states with certain guidelines.
There are now thirty-three states that have implemented medical marijuana programs, with many more seeking legalization via their respective voting measures. It understandable then why many Maryland medical cannabis patients want to know whether they can buy medical marijuana in other states where it is legal, and whether they can take medical marijuana products across state lines.
Where Can I Use My Maryland Medical Marijuana Card?
Ok so we’ve looked at what reciprocity is and what the federal law says about medical marijuana, but the question still remains about where you can use your Maryland medical marijuana card. First, reciprocity entails one states’ acceptance of a medical marijuana card obtained in another state. When visiting one of these states, card carrying medical marijuana patients will not be prosecuted for possession of marijuana if they follow the laws in that state. The following are states that honor out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
What Are The Rules For Using My Maryland Medical Marijuana Card In Other States?
Since there isn’t a federal standard for medical marijuana cards it means that rules can vary from state-to-state. In some states, for example, patients may use their card to purchase products at local dispensaries, whereas others only protect from criminal charges but do not allow purchases at their dispensaries. In states that do allow Maryland medical marijuana card holders to make purchases, it is still possible for a dispensary owner to not allow it. Therefore, it is always a good idea to call ahead to check with a particular dispensary to see if they will allow you to use a Maryland medical marijuana card in their dispensary.
In states where recreational marijuana is legal like California, Colorado, Nevada, and others, patients do not need to show their medical marijuana card to make a purchase. However, the one notable exception is there are age restrictions in these states. You must be over 21 to purchase marijuana in these states without a medical card. If you are under 21 or your patient is under 21 it will still be necessary to show a medical marijuana card.
When visiting dispensaries in other states, most require registration as a new patient to receive an out-of-state medical marijuana card. For example, Hawaii requires patients to pay $49.50 within 60 days prior to arrival and an application for an electronic certification.
Many states impose possession limits for out of state card holders, such as Colorado, where patients are limited to 1 oz. “usable,” 6 plants (no more than 3 mature at a time), and 1 oz. of hash or concentrates. For more information on marijuana state laws and possession limits, see “Medical Marijuana Laws by State” at FindLaw.
Interstate Travel With Maryland Medical Marijuana
Unfortunately, marijuana is still federally illegal, and this is extremely important to remember when traveling from Maryland to another state. While the federal authorities have made it public that they will be turning a blind eye to state initiatives and allowing the states to determine how to handle these matters themselves (for now), they have not agreed to stop enforcing the laws where they have jurisdiction. This specifically means that the federal government still can and has said it will exert its jurisdiction on things that cross state lines.
This means that regardless of the law in Maryland or the state you are entering the act of crossing a state line with medical marijuana is still illegal. This means that you run the risk of being charged federally when going from one state to another with medical cannabis. In addition, federal laws aren’t the only rules at play here. Many people think of a medical card as if it is like a driver’s license. It is not. What we mean by this is that unlike a driver’s license that is issued by the state of Maryland it does not have to be honored by other states.
Is Medical Marijuana Right for Me?
Whether medical marijuana will help your condition depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to contact us. A Maryland medical marijuana doctor can then determine if you qualify for a medical cannabis card.