Can I Use My Pennsylvania Marijuana Card In Other States?
If you are a patient living in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering about medical marijuana reciprocity. Or places you could travel to and be allowed to purchase medical cannabis at dispensaries that accept out-of-state medical cards.
What are your options to buy, legally possess, and use medical marijuana when you are away from home? Which states may recognize your rights as a registered patient when you travel outside of Pennsylvania? Check out these important facts to help you plan ahead.
Does Pennsylvania Recognize Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards?
At the time of writing, Pennsylvania does not provide access to medical cannabis or legal protections for anyone other than state residents. You must live within the state of Pennsylvania to get a Pennsylvania medical cannabis card and legally use medical marijuana.
Currently, Pennsylvania is in the process of legalizing recreational cannabis. If that happens, any visiting patient will be permitted to purchase and consume cannabis. However, the cost of retail cannabis will be more expensive because taxes are higher for people who do not have a medical card.
States That Accept Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Cards
Just because Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize out-of-state patients doesn’t mean that you can’t travel with your medical card. Many other states are very accommodating to patients.
In 2023, here are the states that welcome non-resident medical cards:
Recreational cannabis is legalized in Arizona, so you do not need a medical card to visit a dispensary. But when you see how much more expensive recreational cannabis is in Arizona, you are going to want to use your medical card to save money.
Arizona purchases are subject to a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) and an excise tax that adds up to 16% charged on retail sales of adult-use (recreational) cannabis products. Patients with a valid Arizona MMJ card will only pay 5.6% TPT when they purchase medical marijuana.
Some of the accepted medical cannabis conditions in Arizona include:
- Cancer (to alleviate pain, nausea, etc.)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Wasting syndrome (cachexia)
- Chronic pain
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
One of the benefits of presenting your Pennsylvania medical card in a non-residential state is the ability to purchase more cannabis compared to recreational users. This is true for most states where both medical and recreational marijuana are legalized.
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C., is friendly to patients visiting from other states. If you have a Pennsylvania medical card that is valid (not expired) and government-issued photo identification (driver’s license), you can visit a medical cannabis dispensary to purchase products.
Pennsylvania is one of twenty (20) states that D.C. approved with medical cannabis reciprocity laws. Recreational cannabis was voter-approved in the District of Columbia back in 2014. Visiting a medical cannabis dispensary would be the same as a recreational dispensary in D.C., however, because all products are taxed at 6%.
The Aloha state accepts medical cannabis cards from every other jurisdiction. You will need to present a valid medical card and a piece of government-issued photo identification to legally purchase cannabis at a medical dispensary in Hawaii. Visiting patients enjoy the same legal protections and rights as residents.
In 2022, the state of Louisiana amended laws so that a visiting qualifying patient with an out-of-state medical card could purchase and possess medical marijuana. Pennsylvania medical cardholders can present their valid medical cannabis card and government-issued photo identification at dispensaries and are legally protected.
Viva Los Vegas! Nevada openly accepts all out-of-state patients with a valid medical marijuana card. Both medical and recreational use are legalized in the state. So, why would you use your medical card? Because membership has its rewards!
You can save extra money for the slot machines if you choose to purchase cannabis at a medical dispensary. Patients pay only 6.85% sales tax on medical marijuana products, whereas recreational users (without a medical card) pay almost 17% tax on all purchases.
New Jersey allows any visiting qualifying patients with a valid medical marijuana card from another state to legally purchase and possess medical cannabis.
The state of New Mexico provides full medical marijuana reciprocity to patients who have a medical card issued in another state. Each visiting patient will be provided with a New Mexico Reciprocal Patient ID when they make their first transaction at a licensed medical dispensary.
You can use your Pennsylvania medical cannabis card in Puerto Rico. The state recognizes medical cards from all jurisdictions, and visiting patients have the same rights and protections as resident medical cannabis patients.
Pack your driver’s license and your valid Pennsylvania medical marijuana card. That is all that out-of-state visitors need to legally purchase and possess medical marijuana in Rhode Island. A valid medical card allows visiting patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower.
States That Do Not Recognize Pennsylvania Medical Cards
There are many states that will not allow you to use your Pennsylvania medical card to visit a dispensary. Most of the states that have no reciprocity have legalized recreational cannabis.
The only difference, in many cases, is the amount of tax you can expect to pay at the register when you buy products. And it is going to pinch your wallet a little. But you do have a safe way to legally purchase medical marijuana despite the lack of any reciprocity agreements.
Here are the states that won’t accept your PA medical marijuana card:
Your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card is no good in Colorado, as the state does not recognize patients with valid medical cards from other jurisdictions. It is not much of a problem, though, because recreational cannabis is legalized in Colorado, and anyone 21 years or older can visit a medical or recreational dispensary.
Why do Colorado residents visit a medical dispensary, then? Well, medical cannabis products are only charged the general sales tax rate of 4.31%. At the same time, recreational marijuana products sold carry a hefty 10.31% excise tax.
In Iowa, visiting patients are permitted to possess medical marijuana in the accepted forms outlined by the state Department of Health and Human Services. That includes vaporizable cannabis, oral forms (tablets, capsules, liquids, and tinctures), topical creams and transdermal patches, nebulized inhaled forms, and suppositories.
Cannabis flower and edibles are illegal in Iowa. Visiting patients may possess medical cannabis with full legal protections (with a valid medical cannabis card), but they may not purchase medical marijuana from an Iowa dispensary.
Recent changes to the medical cannabis laws in Maine allow visiting patients to use their medical marijuana cards. But you have to be from a state that allows patients to “procure medical cannabis from other jurisdictions.” There are twenty-five states that allow that, but Pennsylvania is not one of them.
So, you cannot use your PA medical card if you plan to visit Maine. But you can visit a recreational dispensary to purchase the products you need with no difficulty.
Michigan neither outright accepts out-of-state visitors with medical cards nor bans them from being used. What Michigan did was leave it to the discretion of the medical dispensary owner. The individual dispensaries can decide whether they want to recognize an out-of-state medical card.
Adults aged 21 years or older are permitted to possess up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates and 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower. That amount is at par or more generous than some medical marijuana reciprocity states.
In Montana, recreational and medical cannabis is legalized. And they do have reciprocity, but only with patients visiting from South Dakota. Pennsylvania patients with a medical card may not purchase from a licensed medical dispensary but have the option to purchase from a licensed adult-use dispensary instead.
This may sound a little confusing, but bear with us. There is no medical card reciprocity in New Hampshire, and they do not accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana patients. However, medical patients with a valid card from another state can legally possess two ounces of cannabis flower and consume it.
Traveling with cannabis is very risky and not recommended. But the visiting patient laws in New Hampshire require that you bring your bud with you. It is, however, breaking the law to travel through states with cannabis.
The legal protections are only extended for patients who have a home-state medical marijuana card and one of the accepted qualifying health conditions in New Hampshire. On that list are conditions like insomnia, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, Lupus, Cancer, ALS, and more.
This state is also known as “the right to try” state because it has accommodating laws on a variety of alternative medicines, including cannabis. Oregon doesn’t recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, but anyone 21 or older can visit a recreational dispensary and purchase products.
In Oregon, an adult can legally possess up to 16 ounces of edibles, 72 ounces of tincture, 1 ounce of concentrate, and 1 ounce of cannabis flower.
The Lonestar State does not recognize medical cards from any other jurisdiction. In fact, Texas doesn’t issue medical cards at all. The strict medical cannabis program requires a patient to be a resident and be certified by a Texas physician.
A prescription is then entered into the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) and accessed by medical dispensaries when a patient is purchasing cannabis. Don’t mess with Texas (cannabis laws) because the state has some of the most punitive criminal consequences for illegally possessing cannabis.
The state of Vermont follows suit with other jurisdictions that do not accept out-of-state medical cards. If you are visiting Vermont, a recreational dispensary is your only choice. However, the state will allow you to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 5 grams or less of hashish. Vermont has potency limits for concentrated cannabis products.
Other States Where Recreational Cannabis Is Legalized
The following states also have legalized recreational marijuana but do not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards.
- New York.
Remember to visit the medical marijuana program website for each state to learn about possession and purchase limits for recreational use.
What is a Medical Cannabis Temporary License?
Since full medical marijuana reciprocity only exists for PA patients in one state, there is another option. Rather than recognizing a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, some states have laws that allow non-residents to apply for a temporary license.
This is a permit to have all the rights of medical cannabis patients living in the state you plan to visit and legal protections. It also means that you have to abide by the state medical marijuana laws regarding potency and quantities when you purchase medical marijuana.
Which States Permit a Temporary Medical Marijuana Card for Visiting Patients?
If you are going to be a canna tourist and visit different states, some states feel you should get a temporary medical marijuana permit. It makes sense because cannabis regulators want to make sure that only qualified patients are accessing medical cannabis in their state.
Remember to research the cannabis laws in the state(s) you plan to visit. Sometimes, the temporary permits can take up to thirty (30) days to process. So apply early, and provide your date of arrival and departure so that your temporary medical marijuana card is good to go.
Here are the states where a temporary medical cannabis permit is required:
Before you visit the state of Arkansas, you must submit a visiting patient form and provide a copy of your valid medical marijuana card from your home state. The medical cannabis laws in Arkansas are comparable to medical cannabis programs in other states.
The cost of applying for the temporary permit is $50, and visiting patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower every two weeks. You will be required to present the visiting patient form (approval), your out-of-state card, and also valid photo identification.
Visiting patients must apply for a California Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC). To get an MMIC, a patient must have one of the accepted qualifying health conditions in California. Once approved, visiting patients may possess up to 28.5 grams of cannabis flower and up to five grams of concentrates.
In the state of Florida, patients really have no options because there is no recognition of the rights of patients with a medical card from another state. Recreational cannabis is not legalized in Florida either, so your options are limited if you are a short-stay visitor.
However, if you are a snowbird or staying in Florida for several months, you can apply for a temporary medical card. You must have a rental to provide proof of residency, and you have to wait thirty-one (31) days before you can apply for your temporary medical marijuana card. You must also provide proof of diagnosis for one of the accepted qualifying health conditions.
If you thought “everything is bigger in Texas,” you won’t believe the generous maximum possession limit that patients in Oklahoma have. Visiting patients with an out-of-state card must apply for a temporary license. This license is good for a maximum of thirty (30) days, but patients can reapply monthly if they are staying for a longer duration.
The temporary medical marijuana card costs $100. If it is approved, you may possess up to eight ounces of flower in your home (vacation rental, RV, etc.). You may legally carry up to three ounces of flower and possess up to one ounce of cannabis concentrate. But you may also purchase up to 72 ounces of edibles.
Get Your Pennsylvania Medical Card
DocMJ provides telemedicine certifications to help patients get their medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania without leaving home. If you have a tablet, smartphone, or computer, you can be certified online and at home. Schedule your appointment today to apply for or renew your Pennsylvania medical card.
Aaron Bloom serves as the CEO, overseeing the mission and growth of DocMJ and Medwell Health and Wellness Centers. Aaron’s passion for improving patients’ lives comes from his background in health care. For more than 20 years, Aaron owned, operated, and represented traditional healthcare organizations. This experience created a passion for finding improved ways to relieve suffering. His goal as CEO is to work daily to relieve all patients who seek better health and wellness through the medicinal benefits of medical cannabis and evidence-based alternative medicines.