Reciprocity of Medical Marijuana Cards: An Overview
A common question is whether a Virginia Medical Marijuana card can be used in other states. Keep in mind that cannabis laws are evolving quickly. You should always confirm another state’s laws before possessing or purchasing cannabis within its borders.
With five states surrounding us, many Virginians live within a short drive of border states. This is particularly true for those Virginians living in the Northern part of the Commonwealth. Do these other jurisdictions honor a Virginia Medical Card?
What “Reciprocity” Means for Medical Marijuana Patients
Reciprocity describes when a state accepts the statutes of another state. In the context of medical marijuana, this would mean that someone with a legal right to purchase medical marijuana in one state would be allowed to purchase it in another.
Virginia itself offers no reciprocity to other states, meaning no out-of-state medical marijuana card holders are allowed to purchase medical marijuana within the Commonwealth.
Many other states, however, do offer some form of reciprocity to us and may accept a Virginia medical marijuana card. This reciprocity can come in different forms. Some states might offer reciprocity only to specific states, while others may offer it to any state with a medical marijuana program. Others may offer reciprocity but with limitations.
States That Offer Reciprocity for VA Medical Marijuana Patients
Several states accept Virginia medical marijuana cards, and some are our neighbors.
The District of Columbia allows Virginians with current and valid medical marijuana certifications to make purchases at DC dispensaries. West Virginia has yet to extend full reciprocity to Virginia, but it does allow out-of-state patients with terminal cancer to purchase medical marijuana within its borders.
Beyond this, several other states distant from the Virginia border offer some form of reciprocity. But this reciprocity often comes with some exceptions. States that offer some form of reciprocity with exceptions include:
- New Hampshire (possession only, with severe limitations)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
Consider Federal Marijuana Laws
According to Federal law, possession of cannabis is still illegal. What’s more, traveling with cannabis across state lines is also against the law. While Virginians can access quality medical marijuana products at dispensaries in neighboring states, they should keep these restrictions in mind.
Traveling safely with medical marijuana can be done when you pay careful attention to the rules. Keep some of the following guidelines in mind if you are considering taking advantage of another state’s reciprocity with Virginia:
- Consume your medical marijuana in a private home.
- Avoid crossing state lines with your medical marijuana.
- Make sure that you keep your Virginia medical marijuana card on hand when in possession of your medical marijuana.
- Avoid driving when you feel impaired in any way.
- Keep your medical marijuana secured and hidden from view whenever you travel or drive with it.
Be Informed and Responsible
Medical marijuana is available to Virginians with medical cards beyond the borders of the Commonwealth, provided you keep state laws and federal restrictions in mind. Virginians who want to use a medical marijuana card to enjoy relief from symptoms related to a wide range of conditions can enjoy the benefits of cannabis safely and legally when they travel as well.
Dr. Nicholas Marsh has been a respected board-certified anesthesiologist in Northern Virginia for over 35 years. Recognized as a top doctor by FindaTopDoc.com, his vision for providing top-quality medical services is driven by his passion for patient comfort and dignity.