Marijuana State Reciprocity: A Guide to Holiday Travel

Marijuana State Reciprocity: A Guide to Holiday Travel

As the new year and the holiday season approaches, many of us are beginning to plan our holiday travel across state lines.

For those of us who are marijuana users, however, the often confusing state laws regarding the possession and use of cannabis can cause extra stress when it comes to holiday travel.

While many states have relaxed their marijuana laws, the majority of states still have strict rules and penalties for marijuana possession, use, and transportation.

This can make it difficult for individuals who rely on medical marijuana to manage chronic illnesses, as they need to know the legal landscape of each state they plan on crossing.

To make things easier, many states are adopting marijuana-state reciprocity laws that allow individuals with valid medical marijuana cards in one state to legally possess and use cannabis in another state.

Review our Marijuana State Reciprocity: A Guide to Holiday Travel for key things to keep in mind if you plan on traveling for the holidays with medical marijuana:

What Is Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Medical marijuana reciprocity, or cannabis reciprocity, is a concept that allows individuals with valid medical marijuana cards in one state to be able to purchase, possess and use marijuana in other states where medical cannabis is also legal.

This means that if you have a valid medical marijuana card in one state, it is accepted in any other state that has the same type of reciprocity law.

Listed below are the states that currently have medical marijuana reciprocity laws in place:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Utah
  • Washington

Possess-but-Not-Purchase States


While 18 of the 50 states offer medical cannabis reciprocity in some form, some of these states allow patients to possess medical marijuana, but not purchase it.

With this in mind, federal cannabis laws must be followed and respected. In other words, crossing state lines with medical marijuana can lead to federal criminal charges.

Temporary Visitor States


Within the 18 states that have medical cannabis reciprocity laws in place, some states offer temporary visitor access to qualifying out-of-state patients. Temporary visitor states will recognize a valid medical cannabis recommendation from another state as long as the patient is visiting that state for less than a predetermined amount of time. In other words, patients who qualify for access in their home state can get what they need during their stay in select reciprocal states.

This temporary visitor allowance lasts anywhere from 30 days to six months and typically comes with a fee. To access medical cannabis in these states, the out-of-state patient will need to register with the state’s medical marijuana program.

Traveling Across States Lines with Cannabis


Traveling across state lines with cannabis is still illegal, even if the states in question have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

Before traveling, patients should read the Medwell Health and Wellness  Marijuana State Reciprocity: A Guide to Holiday Travel and check the laws of both states to ensure they will not be in violation. Even if a state is considered “friendly” towards marijuana, crossing state lines with cannabis can still result in charges and penalties.

For the latest updates on Medical Marijuana rules and the benefits of having a Medical Marijuana Certification follow MedWell Health & Wellness on Facebook.

We hope this information helps you make an informed decision about traveling with medical marijuana and have a safe journey.

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