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Does Maryland Accept Out of State MMJ Cards?

Does Maryland Accept Out of State MMJ Cards?
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While some states have medical marijuana programs in place that honor medical marijuana cards issued by other states with similar programs—a reciprocity agreement—Maryland does not yet recognize medical marijuana cards issued by other states.

When it comes to medical marijuana, reciprocity refers to whether or not individual states have reciprocal, or equal, laws governing a patient’s ability to legally purchase the drug when they are not in the state where the card was issued. Some states have reciprocity agreements, while others require visitors to obtain a new card that is only valid in the state they are visiting.

Maryland’s stance on reciprocity, on the other hand, may soon change. In February 2018, a bill was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly that would have allowed out-of-state medical marijuana patients who had valid medical marijuana cards or recommendations from other states to possess and use cannabis while in Maryland. Although the bill did not pass during the current legislative session, it is possible that a similar bill will be reintroduced and eventually become law.

So, for the time being, if you are an out-of-state medical marijuana patient planning to visit or relocate to Maryland, you will need to apply for a medical marijuana card from the state in order to legally possess and use cannabis while there. Keep up with the latest developments in this case, as the situation could change at any time.

However, an exception to Maryland’s lack of reciprocity agreements with other states already exists. Despite the fact that Maryland does not recognize out-of-state patient registrations, patients from other states may apply for a patient ID from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission if they maintain a Maryland residence (MMCC).

How to Deal with Maryland’s Lack of Reciprocity Agreements

Even if Maryland had a reciprocity agreement in place with another state, patients would likely run into problems when trying to buy from different dispensaries. When visiting a state that has a reciprocity agreement with your own, the success of your purchase is largely determined by the state you’re visiting. Patients can be accepted or rejected by dispensary workers based on other local regulations.

Currently, the MMCC has pre-approved 102 medical cannabis dispensary businesses.

Without reciprocity, it boils down to this: a legal patient in possession of medical cannabis may travel to any location in Maryland (with the exception of federal government property, where marijuana is illegal). Residents of Maryland should read the most recent information on the current laws governing the use of medical marijuana carefully. Cannabis possession is, after all, illegal under federal law.

Keep this in mind when traveling across state lines: transporting marijuana across state lines is a federal offense. Maryland state laws prohibit anyone from traveling to other states, jurisdictions, or countries while in possession of medical marijuana.

What to Do When Stopped By Law Enforcement

Patients should be aware that they are not required to disclose their medical marijuana possession if stopped by law enforcement for any reason. They are also exempt from consenting to a search.

If law enforcement conducts a search and discovers medical marijuana, the patient should present their patient identification card or refer law enforcement to the MMCC’s database.

States with Medical Marijuana Programs and Reciprocity

When traveling to another state, check the list below to see if your medical marijuana card from your home state will be accepted there.

These states currently accept other states’ medical marijuana cards:

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

Some states don’t have dedicated reciprocity programs, but they do allow medical marijuana patients to buy legally from within the state. Many of these states also allow recreational marijuana use.

Although some states do not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, Colorado residents can use their cards in those states.

A few states with medical marijuana programs—and, incidentally, where recreational cannabis is legal as well—allow individual dispensaries to decide whether or not to accept out-of-state cards.

Finally, some states have reciprocity laws that are ambiguous in terms of what they allow you to do. In some states, an out-of-state medical marijuana card will only allow you to possess cannabis rather than buy it. So, before traveling, make sure you do your research and exercise the utmost caution.

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