If you use medical marijuana (MJ) for a qualifying medical condition, you may run into complications when it comes to traveling. Even if you hold a valid Louisiana-issued card, you may not be able to cross state lines with medical marijuana, depending on the cannabis laws in the destination state. But if you are traveling to a state where medical marijuana is legalized, can you make purchases at dispensaries with your Louisiana MJ card? Make sure you understand the best practices for traveling and making out-of-state purchases before you hit the road.

Traveling Out of Louisiana With Medical Marijuana

If a reciprocity program exists in the state or you hold an out-of-state patient permit, you may travel by car. Traveling in a rental car or by train, bus, or other public transport may limit or restrict your right to travel with medical marijuana. And if you are planning on flying or traveling by on a commercial liner, make sure to leave your cannabis at home. 

Flying with marijuana, even medical marijuana, is illegal. And if you are traveling by boat through states where marijuana use is regulated or illegal, you may face consequences.

What Are the Laws for Out-of-State Purchases?

If you are interested in purchasing medical marijuana in another state, your Louisiana MJ card may allow you to do so. For instance—while Nevada permits the use of out-of-state cards, states such as Maine and New Hampshire require patients to have a similar qualifying condition listed in the state’s approved conditions for medical marijuana use. To remain compliant with medical marijuana use and purchasing, make sure to research the state’s reciprocity laws or use of out-of-state licenses.

Out-of-State Patient Licenses

Depending on the state’s marijuana laws, you may not be able to use your medical marijuana card. If you are unable to use your Louisiana MJ card while traveling, don’t worry. Some states offer out-of-state patient licenses for temporary certification. Most often, patients must first visit an in-state doctor for a professional evaluation. If the doctor deems them a qualified patient, they may be eligible to receive a license permitting the purchase and use of medical marijuana for up to a few months.

State Reciprocity Programs

If you don’t have a medical marijuana card for the state you are visiting, reciprocity laws may still allow you to purchase medical marijuana. These laws may permit purchasing some forms of medical cannabis with your Louisiana MJ card. However, you may face limitations, such as how long you may stay in-state. A different state may also use its own criteria to determine which medical conditions qualify patients for legal use. For example, visitors must stay in Arizona for 30 days or fewer to qualify for their limited reciprocity program. 

If you are considering purchasing medical marijuana during out-of-state travel, make sure to research the state’s laws for reciprocity or out-of-state patient licenses beforehand.

What About Travelers Visiting Louisiana? 

Currently, Louisiana does not have reciprocity or offer out-of-state licenses. This means that nonresidents may not purchase medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana. But as of August 2022, two pending bills are being considered that may allow reciprocity for medical marijuana patients. 

  • Proposed House Bill 135 seeks to authorize dispensing to qualifying nonresidents and short-term Louisiana residents who hold valid medical marijuana registry identification cards. 
  • House Bill 137 moves to provide immunity for licensed medical marijuana users, offering qualifying patients protection from prosecution for certain violations as long as they adhere to the state-sponsored medical marijuana program. 

While this does not currently benefit out-of-state medical marijuana patients, it does offer hope for future advancement in state regulations.

Searching for a Louisiana MJ Card or Recommendation?

If you have a qualifying condition that could make you eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation, sign up for an appointment at the Transformative Health Center today. We are dedicated to helping qualifying patients find the care they need through the evaluation and approval of medical marijuana recommendations. Rather than issuing a Louisiana MJ card, we send your marijuana recommendations directly to a licensed Louisiana medical marijuana dispensary. Once your order is ready, the dispensary should send you a notification for pickup at your convenience.

Take the first step today by requesting an appointment for your consultation. Appointments are often available the same day, in person, from our Baton Rouge center or through a virtual meeting. If you have any questions regarding medical marijuana or the evaluation process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Send us a message or give us a call at 225-888-4041.