Cannabis logo medical marijuana USA

Cannabis logo medical marijuana USA

By Michael Jacobs

As of 2019, twenty-three states currently have medical marijuana laws, allowing patients to access the helpful plant to treat their illnesses. A further ten states have legalised marijuana recreationally, opening use up to everyone.

However, because not every state has made cannabis legal, many of the medical marijuana-only states only allow access for in-state patients.

But not all. Some allow out-of-state medical marijuana cards. This allows for tourists and other out-of-state visitors to have access to their medicine, or at least carry it on them. Without these protections, carrying cannabis from one state to another could land you into prison. However, some states don’t allow you to purchase cannabis with an out-of-state card. They just allow you to possess it.

It would be much simpler if there was a national standard. Until that day comes, cannabis patients need a guide for how different states handle medical marijuana cards from outside their borders. Here’s a guide.

States that Accept Out-of-State Cards

State of California Medical Marijuana Identification Card

Californian Marijuana Identification Card

Currently, only Arizona, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. Only some of these states allow out-of-state cardholders to purchase marijuana at a dispensary. Here are the details for each region:

  • Arizona – Unfortunately, Arizona won’t allow out-of-state cardholders to purchase marijuana at a dispensary, but they will allow cardholders to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis.
  • Arkansas – Arkansas does allow for out-of-state cardholders to purchase, so long as their qualifying condition is also a qualifying condition under Arkansas’ medical cannabis law. Patients are allowed to possess 2.5 ounces every 14 days.
  • District of Columbia – Beginning in 2018, Washington, C. Health began accepting medical marijuana patients with a functionally equivalent medical marijuana program.
  • Hawaii – Hawaii allows for out-of-state visitors to apply online for a card by paying a fee of $49.50. Patients must submit their I.D. and their medical marijuana card from their home state. By allowing out-of-state patients to register before visiting, the patients can access marijuana at a dispensary. The registration card is valid for 60 days and patients can apply up to twice a year.
  • New Hampshire – New Hampshire is another state that allows out-of-state cardholders to possess up to 2 ounces of usable cannabis, but out-of-state cardholders cannot purchase at a dispensary.
  • Oklahoma – Oklahoma allows patients with an out-of-state card to purchase, so long as the medical marijuana program in their home state is substantially equivalent to Oklahoma’s program.
  • Pennsylvania – This state only allows out-of-state cardholders who are purchasing on behalf of a minor to possess cannabis that was purchased out-of-state.
  • Rhode Island – Rhode Island allows for out-of-state cardholders to purchase medical marijuana. So long as they have two forms of ID, their home state is one that tracks sales, and the limit is 2.5 ounces, or an equivalent concentrate every 15 days.

The states that have full legalization won’t restrict you from getting cannabis for your own use as a patient. However, there may be additional benefits you can receive if you can prove you need it for a medical purpose, depending on the state. You might be able to obtain marijuana at a lower cost or tax rate. You may also be able to get a stronger product than what recreational buyers can obtain. Furthermore, you may be able to purchase and possess more due to your condition.

Thus, patients who visit a full-legalization state may find that they have to pay more and can only get something that’s not as strong. If you plan on touring and you rely on cannabis for your daily functioning you will want to research where you plan to travel so you’re not caught unprepared and if you like vaporizing your cannabis than don’t forget to take your favorite vape pen with you.

In addition to this research, don’t forget to comply with the laws for travelling with marijuana. It’s quite likely you’ll have to travel with no products because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Finding the closest legal dispensary to your destination airport before you arrive is a wise idea.

Photo of Michael Jacobs

Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.

1 reply
  1. Claire Masters
    Claire Masters says:

    Thanks for discussing about marijuana cards and how some states accept out-of-state verification such as Pennsylvania that allows you to buy in their state for a minor. I would understand how these regulations are in place to avoid substance abuse. I just wonder how you are able to qualify for these verifications.


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