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Is Traveling With Medical Marijuana Legal in Ohio?

is traveling with a medical marijuana card in ohio legal

The Covid-19 health emergency had a big impact on health and safety. And it also put a damper on both international and domestic travel, as Americans followed the “shelter in place” rules and social distancing requirements.

Now that the difficult period is over, Americans are eager to travel again. If you are someone who has a health condition, traveling anywhere requires some additional planning. That can include accessibility if you rely on a mobility device, special meal planning, and prescription medications.

If you are a patient who has a medical marijuana card, you may also have concerns about traveling. We’ve written several articles with suggestions for traveling when you use medical marijuana. But in this article, we’ll take a closer look at medical marijuana traveling considerations if you plan on visiting Ohio.

Medical Marijuana Tips for Patients Vacationing in Ohio

Patients often wonder about the legal issues surrounding traveling with their product, whether within the state they live in or between legal states. It’s important to understand what is allowed and what violates the law before taking your medical cannabis on a trip with you.

Medical cannabis Is legal in Ohio, but patients taking a trip should take measures while traveling in order to avoid legal problems. That includes traveling by air or car and laws regarding the use of cannabis and where you can and cannot consume it in the state of Ohio.

Interstate Transportation of Medical Cannabis

In states with legal recreational cannabis, you can purchase products without a medical card. Some non-recreational states offer reciprocity to out-of-state medical card holders; however, not every state allows non-residents to visit dispensaries or purchase products.

In most cases, you may not have your product confiscated if you have a card and properly marked medical cannabis from your home state, but you may not be allowed to buy it from a local shop unless you go to one of their state-licensed physicians and obtain a recommendation.

States Have Different Possession Limits

Every state varies in the amount of product you can possess without violating their law; it is important to bear in mind that if you will be traveling and consuming cannabis in another state, getting yourself up to date on their legislation and regulations is a good idea to avoid running into trouble.

federal laws

Federal Laws Regarding Cannabis Differ From State Laws

Cannabis is still federally illegal, and this is important to remember, especially when traveling from one state to another. Federal laws still say marijuana is illegal without exception.

One of those places is in interstate commerce. In other words, the federal government has jurisdiction when things cross state borders, and since federal law still prohibits marijuana, this would be illegal.”

Regardless of the laws in the state, you are coming from or the one you are traveling to, crossing state lines with cannabis is in violation of federal law, and you risk being charged with a crime.

Your Medical Card May Not Be Valid for Use Outside of Your Home State

Unlike a driver’s license, which is honored in all 50 states and many other countries, a medical cannabis card from one state does not have to be honored in another state. Not all states with medical cannabis legislation allow patients to smoke or use high-THC cannabis; some only allow CBD or low-THC products.

Suppose you travel with your medical cannabis product from Ohio to Illinois, which has a program that allows patients to medicate with products higher in THC. In that case, you are violating the law twice by crossing state lines and bringing a substance through Indiana not allowed by their laws.


Heavy Federal Legal Penalties for Possession

If you choose to violate federal law and travel across state lines and/or through states where medical cannabis is not legal, you should be aware of the potential consequences of being in possession of a Schedule I substance.

“Section 812 of Title 21 of the U.S. Code, the Schedule of Controlled Substances makes no distinction between a legal state, a medical state, or an illegal state. Violating this section is a federal crime and could earn you a drug trafficking charge, even for the lowest tier of cannabis.

For the possession of:

  • 1 kilogram or less of hash oil
  • 10 kilograms or less of hashish
  • 1 to 49 cannabis plants
  • Less than 50 kilograms of cannabis flower

The penalties are:

  • 1st offense: up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 to $1 million
  • 2nd offense: up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000 to $2 million

Basically, it doesn’t matter if it’s a gram or 50 kilograms of cannabis–the penalty remains the same.” Having a medical card and approval to use medical cannabis in your home state will not protect you against federal charges. That is why extra precautions are required before you travel to Ohio or any other state.

Can You Fly With Medical Marijuana?

If you are choosing to travel by air, remember that airports and airplanes fall under federal jurisdiction. You can travel with CBD oil and FDA-approved low-THC cannabis products, but putting high-THC items in your checked luggage or carry-on bags is not allowed and can result in legal penalties if discovered.

While TSA employees do not actively screen for cannabis, if they find it, they have the option of contacting local law enforcement to press charges. Flying with any cannabis product over the federal potency limit of 0.30% (CBD) is prohibited.

airtravel with mmj

Traveling with Medical Cannabis in Ohio

Ohio medical cannabis patients are allowed to travel within the state with their medical cannabis, but they cannot use it while driving. Patients need to be careful where they medicate since public consumption of medical cannabis violates state statutes.

It is also important to check the possession limits in any state you visit. And make sure not to have more product with you than the state allows. For example, in Ohio, the medical marijuana possession limits are outlined as follows:

“A non-terminal registered patient or caregiver can buy the following amounts of medical marijuana every 90 days:

  • Up to 8 ounces of tier I medical cannabis. (Tier 1 cannabis must test at or below 23 percent THC)
  • Up to 5.3 ounces of tier II medical cannabis. (Tier 2 cannabis must test above 23 percent THC but not more than 35 percent THC)
  • Patches, lotions, creams, and other topical forms of medical cannabis totaling no more than 26.55 grams of THC.
  • Up to 9.9 grams of THC from cannabis oil, tincture, capsules, and other edible forms.
  • And up to 53.1 grams of THC in oil for vaporization.”

It is recommended that patients needing to medicate while traveling within the state only take what they need for the duration of their trip. Keep the cannabis out of sight, in its original containers, and out of reach of the driver.

Does Ohio Provide Reciprocity for Visitors With a Medical Card?

If you have a medical card and you are traveling to a state that has legalized adult use (recreational marijuana), you do not need to risk traveling with medical marijuana. You can visit a dispensary to purchase what you need.

However, recreational marijuana remains illegal in Ohio. And the state has no reciprocity agreements with other states. That means you need an Ohio marijuana card to legally purchase and possess cannabis products in the state.

Always check local state laws before you travel, and review them carefully. While your medical marijuana card offers protection in your home state, those privileges do not automatically extend to other jurisdictions.


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