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Cannabis 101

Which US states accept out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations?

July 27, 2015
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Which US states accept out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations?

As more and more states legalize medical marijuana, a lot of patients are starting to wonder if their authorizations are valid in any states other than where they were first issued. Fortunately, some medical marijuana-legal states do indeed accept out-of-state authorizations, and they’re listed below. The number of states is small right now, but we’ll continue to update it as more states start to allow out-of-state documentation.*

*Please note: Accepting an out-of-state medical marijuana authorization is entirely up the discretion of a dispensary owner, particularly in stricter states like Michigan and Rhode Island. We recommend calling in advance to ensure that they will allow you to purchase medicine.

(Updated 1/2/2019)

States that Accept Out of State Medical Marijuana Cards


Technically, Arizona recognizes out-of-state medical marijuana authorizations but, unfortunately, doesn’t allow out-of-state patients to visit local state-licensed dispensaries. So long as you are a registered medical cannabis patient in your home state, you can still enjoy the beauty of the desert, picturesque sunsets, and one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World—the Grand Canyon—without worrying about having your medicine confiscated.

For more information, please refer to Proposition 203, Chapter 28.1, 36-2801 Sec 17. Visiting Qualifying Patients.

Arizona’s patient possession limits: 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis

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“Visiting qualifying patient” means a patient with a qualifying medical condition who is not a resident of Arkansas or who has been a resident of Arkansas for less than 30 days and who is in actual possession of a registry identification card or its equivalent that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States and pertains to a qualifying medical condition under this section.

Arkansas patient possession limits: 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis every 14 days

For more information, please refer to Issue 6 – The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 § 2. (18).

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District of Columbia (Washington, DC)

Effective April 13, 2018, DC Health is accepting patients from jurisdictions with a functionally equivalent Medical Marijuana Program.

For the full list of applicable states, please refer to DC Health Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Jurisdictions

District of Columbia patient possession limits: Up to 4 ounces every 30 days

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For a $49.50 application fee, out-of-state patients can apply for registration up to 60 days before visiting. Using an online registration system, qualified patients can quickly obtain an electronic registration card. The state requires applicants to submit an ID and their medical cannabis registration from their home state. This system allows out-of-state patients to register before arriving in Hawaii, so they can purchase from certified dispensaries once they are in the state.

The registration card is valid for 60 days, and patients can apply twice in a calendar year.

Hawaii patient possession limits: Up to 4 ounces (113 grams) of cannabis for each 15-day period

For more information, please visit the Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Registry.

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New Hampshire

Just a little ways up the road from Rhode Island and a neighbor to Maine, New Hampshire is another New England haven that respects out-of-state medical cannabis recommendations. You are only legally allowed to possess cannabis for medicinal purposes, so no visiting local dispensaries, unfortunately. One of the more mountainous terrains, New Hampshire is home to the tallest peak in the region, Mount Washington, which summits at more than 6,000 feet and is accessible via the Cog Railway, one of the first railways in the world. Sit back, relax, and watch the world expand as you climb higher and higher into the clouds.

New Hampshire’s patient possession limits: Up to 2 ounces of usable cannabis

Please refer to the Therapeutic Cannabis Program Registry Rules, He-C 401.16  Visiting Qualifying Patients.

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“Out-of-state medical marijuana license” means an unexpired medical cannabis patient license issued by another US state, which is the substantial equivalent of the Oklahoma medical marijuana patient license issued pursuant to OAC 310:681-2-1 and 310:681-2-2.

Oklahoma’s patient possession limits: Up to 3 ounces of usable cannabis (physical possession), up to 1 ounce of cannabis concentrate, up to 72 ounces of edible cannabis, and up to 8 ounces of usable cannabis within a residence.

For more information, please refer to State Question 788.

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It’s always sunny in the City of Brotherly Love, but just in case it isn’t, the lawmakers have created a loophole for medical marijuana patients. It is legal for the parent or guardian of a minor under 18 years of age to lawfully obtain medical cannabis from another medical state to be administered to the minor. However, this part of the law will be repealed within 730 days (2 years) and only applies to underage patients.

Pennsylvania’s patient possession limits:  Patients may possess pills, oils, topical creams, and tinctures. May not exceed 30 day supply of individual dose. During the last seven days of any 30-day period during the term of the identification card, a patient may obtain and possess a 30-day supply for the subsequent 30-day period.

For more information, please refer to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program FAQ.

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island, also known as the Ocean State, is home to some of the prettiest darn beaches you’ve ever seen. With 400 miles of coastline, nearly a quarter of the state is on the waterfront and contains 20 percent of America’s landmarks. Stop off in Providence and you’re set for a primo beachside escapade. Take the ferry to Block Island and enjoy the beauty of a pristine beach vista with the feel of a quiet, small town – you’ll never want to leave! If you have an out-of-state cannabis authorization, be sure to check-off the following boxes before you attempt to purchase cannabis in Rhode Island:

      • Bring two forms of government ID.
      • You must be in a state database that tracks sales (WA, OR, CA, NV, AK, HI, MT, CO, NM, ND, AR, IL, MI, OH, PA, NY, MD, DE, RI, MA, & DC).
      • You’ll be limited to 2.5 ounces or an equivalent concentrate form every 15 days.

Rhode Island’s patient possession limits: 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis.

For more information, please refer to The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act § 21-28.6-4 (n).

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Can You Legally Transport Cannabis Across State Lines?

Legal adult-use states


Legal cannabis for adults age 21+ is just another perk the beautiful state of Alaska has to offer. Medical patient or not, you can pick up and enjoy cannabis so long as you stay within the state’s legal possession limits.

Alaska’s possession limits: Up to 1 ounce of usable cannabis. Additionally, you may cultivate up to 6 cannabis plants, with a maximum of 3 mature or flowering.

For more information, please refer to the Alaska Regulation of Marijuana Sec. 17.38.020. (1-2)

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Ahhh the Golden Coast. California offers sunshine, beaches, redwood forests, good vibes and plenty of top-notch cannabis. Known as a cannabis mecca for the Emerald Triangle in NoCal, cannabis in California was previously restricted to in-state medical marijuana patients only. However, with the passage of Proposition 64, cannabis will now be freely available to anyone over the age of 21 with a valid, government-issued identification.

California’s possession limits: 28.5 grams (or about one ounce) of cannabis flower, and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate for adults 21 years of age and older with a valid government-issued identification. Additionally, you can grow up to 6 plants (local ordinances allowing).

For more information, please refer to the California Cannabis Regulations and Legislation

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Who could forget Colorado? The first state in the Union to legalize cannabis, the first to the finish line of cannabis prohibition and pioneers in the emerging legal marijuana market, Colorado set the tone for what to expect when purchasing cannabis for adult use. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, hiking or camping, or just enjoying the gorgeous Rocky Mountain views, Colorado remains the number one spot for cannabis tourists for a reason.

Colorado’s possession limits: Up to one ounce for non-resident adults with a valid, government-issued identification; adults may purchase no more than 1/4 ounce at a time.

For more information, please refer to the Colorado Laws About Marijuana Use.

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Even if you’re not looking to star in a Stephen King novel, Maine is a gorgeous place with friendly, down-to-earth, accommodating locals. Whether you’re touring the famous lighthouse-abundant coastlines, watching whales leap from the Atlantic, or feasting on fresh lobster, Maine won’t let you down. Maine legalized cannabis in 2016, so whether or not you’ve got a patient registry card for your state, it is legal to possess and use cannabis, and retail sales are coming soon.

Maine’s possession limits: 2 1/2 ounces for both visiting patients with a valid registry identification, as well as for adults with a valid government-issued identification.

For more information, please refer to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, CMR, Chapter 122, 2.1.3 Protected conduct by a visiting qualifying patient.

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Ayuh, Maine Just Legalized Cannabis! Now What Happens?


Whether you’re looking for some colonial history or just hoping to catch a Red Sox game, the Bay State has an incredibly rich historical district, culture for days, and a wealth of *ahem* colorful characters that might teach you a few new colloquialisms (read: cuss words). Massachusetts legalized medical cannabis in 2013, and with the new legalization, will soon allow any adults 21 years of age and older to visit in-state cannabis stores and purchase up to an ounce of cannabis.

Massachusetts’ possession limits: 1 ounce of cannabis flower and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate in public for adults with a valid government-issued identification.

For more information, please refer to the Massachusetts Laws on Marijuana Possession

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Massachusetts Just Legalized. Now What?



The Great Lake State contains more than 11,000 lakes and borders four of the Great Lakes. It’s also known for some of the best craft beers in the continental United States, so if you’re a beer and cannabis enthusiast, Michigan could provide you with the best of both worlds. Note: Grow your own cannabis—Prop 1 allows one year for development of the adult-use market (est. 2019-2020).

Michigan’s patient possession limits: 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis.

For more information, please refer to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act 333.26424, Sec. 4(h).

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Nevada’s legalization means that your medical marijuana card is no longer necessary in Nevada to visit a dispensary, but your out-of-state medical marijuana card will only be valid through March 2018. There are even rumors that Nevada may begin licensing bars and restaurants to allow public cannabis consumption, as as bid to increase cannabis tourism. Can you imagine walking down the Las Vegas strip with a joint in hand?

Nevada patient possession limits: Up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis in any one 14-day period

For more information, please refer to Nevada Legal Use Possession & Consumption.

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Legalization in Nevada: Here’s What Happens Next



Oregon, home of “Keep Portland Weird,” the still-breathing dream of the 90s, and a plethora of lovely shoreline, not only is Oregon a Pacific Wonderland, it also has some of the cheapest price per grams on cannabis of anywhere in the US. With food trucks a-plenty, funky vintage shopping, and awe-inspiring landscapes, what’s not to love?

Oregon’s possession limits: One ounce of cannabis flower, 16 ounces of solid infused edibles, 72 ounces of infused liquid, 5 grams of cannabis concentrates, 4 immature cannabis plants, and 10 cannabis seeds for any adult over the age of 21 with a valid identification.

For more information, please refer to Oregon Recreational Marijuana FAQ:Consumers

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Washington, guardian of the Northern Pacific, is a beauty for those who love the outdoors. Whether you’re looking for mountains, deserts, rainforests, or beaches, you can find it all. Looking for a more urban vibe? Check out the sweetest central spot, Seattle, where cannabis and music both flow freely. The second state to open doors for legal purchases, Washington has had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row and the cannabis is tip-top.

Washington’s possession limits: One ounce of cannabis flower, 16 ounces of solid infused edibles, 72 ounces of infused liquid, and 7 ounces of cannabis concentrates for any adult over the age of 21 with a valid identification.

For more information, please refer to Know The Law – I-502.

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Lisa Rough

Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.

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