Community Health & Medicine Law News U.S.

Which states allow medical cards out-of-state?

If you have found yourself wondering, ‘which states allow med cards?’ you would not be alone. You may have one, you may have both, or alternatively, you may have neither a medical card nor a medical marijuana card. In some quarters, there has been debate about the necessity of each and if having one warrants getting the other. There are, of course, benefits of each card, but you cannot substitute one for the other as they are very different entities. To eliminate any confusion, we took a further look into both a medical card and a medical marijuana card and which states prohibit them to provide some clarification for our readers.

Not all MMJ states accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards.

Trying to buy legal, medical cannabis with an out-of-state MMJ card isn’t straightforward. Less than half the states where marijuana is legal, have an official reciprocity program up and running. Your card is not mandatory in states with recreational sales, but the purchase and possession limits are almost always going to be lower than what you’re accustomed to. It is recommended to call ahead and do plenty of accurate and up-to-date research to confirm with the dispensary you intend to use. This will save time, stress, and potentially money too if oy plan ahead rather than presume or leave it to chance. 

What are the uses and advantages of having a medical card?

Often mistaken for medical marijuana cards while actually providing a completely different purpose,  the USA Medical Card is available to anyone who requires assistance with funding their medications, whether you are insured or not. Anyone who is subject to inflated and unaffordable costs on their prescriptions can use the medical card to assist in reducing these costs massively. There are no limitations, no time-wasting, and no forms to fill in.  A medical card is 100% complimentary, has no expiry date, and can be used straight away. Benefits include;

  • Discounts on some diabetic supplies, if you have a signed prescription from your doctor.
  • If your pet has been prescribed a medication that is also used to treat common human illnesses, you can get discounts on their prescription.
  • Seniors on Medicare can still use the card.
  • You can use the card even if you already have insurance.
  • It is accepted in over 60’000 U.S pharmacies
  • A medical card can provide savings of up to 75% on both generic and brand medications. This will fluctuate depending on the drug, the pharmacy, or the state you live in.

What are the uses and advantages of having a medical marijuana card?

Medical marijuana has been shown to have a significant impact on a plethora of illnesses.  Cardiovascular diseases, mental health disorders, and even chronic pain are all proven to be positively affected by the use of cannabis. With the evolution of legalization of the use of medical marijuana in more and more States, one of the compulsory requirements for patients is owning and presenting a medical marijuana identification card. The benefits of having a medical marijuana card include but are not limited to the following; 

  • Higher Possession Limits
  • Tax Cuts and Cost Savings
  • You Can Grow Your Own Marijuana in some states
  • Lower Age Limit
  • Access to Marijuana with Higher THC
  • Legal Protection
  • Priority in Dispensaries

Considerable overlaps and significant differences

A medical marijuana card will not provide you discounts or any of the benefits listed above on anything other than marijuana. A medical card will be advantageous in all ways mentioned but cannot help you get marijuana or medical marijuana. If you want or require both of these privileges, you will have to have both separate entities and apply for a separate medical card and medical marijuana card respectively. There is a third alternative card that can sometimes get caught up in amongst the confusion, which is a Native American Card. 

What are the uses and advantages of having a Native American card?

As with most official programs in America, to receive benefits, you are required to prove your identity and or your justification for the set criteria. This is no different when applying for your Native American card. The application is the first step toward ensuring you receive your entitled benefits as a Native American and you reap the regards of your culture and heritage,  as you should. Whether you seek any of the following is up to you as a Native American but everyone has the right to know their entitlements even if they do not wish to receive them. These include but are not limited to the following; limited health benefits, both financial and legal resources.

Which States accept out-of-State cards?

The states that accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards are; 

  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico (Classed as a U.S territory)
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington D.C.

The States Where MMJ Laws Are Unconfirmed

Two states, Mississippi and South Dakota, have recently voted in favor of medical marijuana, and legislation is not currently in place. At present, a reciprocity program has not been confirmed in either State.

Recreational Cannabis Permitted States

Adult-use marijuana is allowed in the following States, although they don’t specifically have a reciprocity agreement in position at present;

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington State

Final Thoughts

The majority of states now have a medical marijuana program either up and running or at least in the planning or implementing stages. Regardless of this, it remains prevalent that not all medically approved states are accepting licenses from individuals from out of state. For transparency, you need to be permanent residents. In States without current reciprocity agreements, you can buy cannabis in these locations if you’re over 21 years old if recreational marijuana is permitted. This can no doubt cause issues between dispensaries for out of State patients, and furthermore, dispensary managers can accept or reject patients based on local regulatory criteria, depending on the state in question,

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