With the growing number of states across the US legalizing medical marijuana, many patients are beginning to wonder whether their authorizations are legal in states other than their own.
You can see why this question might pop up. Millions of people from places like California hop across the state line to Nevada every year to enjoy the entertainment, Las Vegas Strip and the state’s myriad of hotels. Common sense would dictate that you’d be able to pick up medical marijuana just as you would in your home state. The law, however, is rarely as straightforward in some states.
Over the years, various states have built up reciprocity agreements between each other, allowing people to use their medical cards while touring the country away from their home state. Most states recognize that it would be a hassle for everyone with a medical card to apply for a new one every time that they wanted to access healthcare after crossing state lines. It makes sense, therefore, to have reciprocal agreements allowing anyone with a medical card to get care when they need it.
But how does this apply to marijuana? After all, some states have legalized some aspects of the drug, while others haven’t. What are the rules? Can you still use your medical card to obtain marijuana out-of-state?
Nevada is currently one of the most liberal states in the Union regarding the use of medical and recreational cannabis. For this reason, it recognizes out-of-state medical marijuana cards, including those from California. Thus if you are visiting Las Vegas from California, the arrangement means that you absolutely CAN use your medical marijuana card to obtain cannabis from a dispensary.
ReLeaf is a Las Vegas Strip dispensary that accepts all out-of-state medical marijuana cards. That means that you can access your medicine legally while in Nevada while enjoying all of the usual patient perks.
How to Buy Medical Cannabis in Nevada
Let’s say that you’re traveling from California to Nevada to enjoy some good old-fashioned Las Vegas entertainment, but you’re worried about access to your medicine. How exactly can you obtain medical marijuana with a California medical card while on Nevadan soil?
The process is surprisingly simple. All you need to do is bring your current government-issued medical marijuana card or doctor’s recommendation along with you to ReLeaf. So long as the documentation is valid, you’re able to buy any recreational or medical-grade cannabis product you like.
It’s worth noting that acceptance of a doctor’s recommendation or medical marijuana card depends on the discretion of the particular dispensary. Some reserve the right to refuse you service, for instance, even if you have a medically-valid card. It’s vital, therefore, that you choose a dispensary like ours that accepts patients from out-of-state who can provide the correct documentation.
Recommendation: Pre-Register Online
To register as an out-of-state medical marijuana patient, you’ll need to come from a state which has already legalized marijuana for medical use.
The next step is to sign up for PrestoDoc and complete your patient profile. Then, once you’ve done that, select an appointment to speak with a licensed California doctor and get their digital marijuana doctor’s recommendation online. After that, print it out, and bring it with you to our dispensary.
If you want quick service, we recommend that you pre-register online to avoid the lines in-store. The pre-registration form allows you to gain easy access to all of the legal marijuana products in our dispensary, ready to collect when you arrive.
Medical-only vs a Recreational State
In many ways, Nevada is right at the forefront of cannabis legalization. While you can use a medical marijuana card to access medicines in Nevada dispensaries, it’s no longer a legal requirement.
Nevada is what is known as a “recreational state.” Residents and visitors are allowed to consume cannabis products for fun, not just for medical reasons. So long as you are on a private residence, you’re free to smoke marijuana without breaking the law.
California has long allowed people to consume marijuana for medical reasons, but with the recent passing of Proposition 64, that’s all changing. The new bill will allow anyone over the age of 21, including those from out-of-state, to consume cannabis products on state soil.
Let’s take a look at this subject in a little more detail and how it relates to ReLeaf, a Las Vegas dispensary.
Some States Were Medical-Only States Before 2012
Before 2012, you were only allowed to use marijuana legally if you had the permission of your doctor. People with medical marijuana cards would go along to their local dispensaries and be able to access cannabis products for private consumption.
In 2012, however, that all changed. Colorado and Washington both became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis consumption, meaning that you didn’t have to have a qualifying medical condition.
The term “recreational state,” therefore, emerged as a reference to those who do not prosecute people for taking cannabis for fun. All other states were “medical-only.”
The Shopping Experience Is Similar
While the legal status of cannabis might differ significantly from state-to-state, the shopping experience is surprisingly similar. The type of products that you can buy in a medical-only state (if you have a qualifying medical condition) are similar to those you can buy in a recreational state. The only difference is that in a medical-only state, you have to produce legally valid identification and your medical marijuana card to prove your eligibility for access to medical-grade cannabis. In a recreational state, you only have to prove your age with a valid government ID.
All states, however, put age restrictions on who can legally take cannabis. All recreational states including California and Nevada, the legal age of consumption is 21. People under this age cannot use marijuana in either state (unless of course they are issued a medical marijuana card).
Outside of the glitz and glamour of Nevada, cannabis remains something of a taboo. Some dispensaries, therefore, offer private booths where cannabis patients can order their drugs with a valid medical marijuana card. These private spaces provide privacy and security.
Patient Possession Limits
The current patient possession limit is 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis in any two weeks. Thus, the maximum amount of marijuana anybody can have on their person at any time is that amount, including those with California medical cards.
It’s important to note that being a recreational state does not automatically qualify people to buy unlimited quantities of medical marijuana products. The 2.5 ounces limit only applies to the flower. Different restrictions apply to concentrates.
Possession limits in California differ. California, unlike most of the country, uses the metric instead of the imperial system. The state allows people to carry 28.5 grams of cannabis flower (just under an ounce), or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, so long as you can prove your identity.
Perks For Medical Patients
Medical marijuana users can benefit from several perks that are not available to regular recreational cannabis users. Medical marijuana, for instance, is often taxed at a lower rate than recreational marijuana. The reason for this is to make the product more accessible for those with conditions like PTSD, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and cancer.
Some states also increase possession limits for people who take marijuana for medical reasons. Medical consumers are allowed to access cannabis products with a higher THC content – the compound in the cannabis plant believed to confer its psychoactive effects.
The final difference for medical patients is that they are often allowed to grow more cannabis plants for personal consumption than recreational users.
Medical use of marijuana is typically seen as less taboo than using the plant for pleasure, although increasing liberalization in places like Nevada is starting to change this.
Does Nevada Accept Other Out-of-State Cards?
Nevada has one of the most liberal policies of any state towards the use of cannabis, including THC-containing varieties. Part of the reason for this is the state’s progressive culture: cannabis use fits well into the state’s ethos. Las Vegas is all about having a great time and living life to the fullest. Hence, smoking marijuana seems to fit well with the local culture. It might not be long before we see visitors to the state enjoying the use of cannabis out in the open, but that will require a change in the law.
Nevada accepts medical marijuana cards from any state where the medical use of marijuana is legal. People from Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire and so on can access cannabis products. Plus, they can take their cannabis home with them, so long as they remain under the legally-permitted limit.
Why Do Doctors Recommend People For California Medical Cards, Not Prescribe Them?
The legal status of cannabis is complicated. The federal government currently classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. Doctors are regulated at the national level and, therefore, cannot legally prescribe medicinal cannabis. They can, however, make a “recommendation” to the state that a person is given a medical marijuana card.
Can You Use Marijuana Publicly In Nevada?
The current law in Nevada allows cannabis users to buy cannabis practically anywhere but smoke it almost nowhere. Currently, you’re not allowed to smoke marijuana in public. What’s more, the definition of “public” is extensive. You cannot, for instance, smoke cannabis on the sidewalk or park. You’re also forbidden from smoking in hotels, bars, or other private venues around Las Vegas. No casino currently permits the smoking of cannabis anywhere on its premises.
The only place that you can smoke cannabis right now is in a private residence. You can smoke cannabis in a private garden or veranda, so long as it is concealed from public view. Anyone caught smoking marijuana in public, whether from the state or not, could face a misdemeanor charge and a $600 fine.
Current cannabis law makes the consumption of cannabis challenging. There are, however, some dispensaries, like ReLeaf, that work with other medicinal states to allow visitors to the city to pick-up the medicine they need.
Do I need a medical marijuana card to buy in Nevada?
It’s important to note that while medical cannabis users can purchase cannabis at our Las Vegas dispensary (and enjoy a lower tax rate on products), it is not required. Nevada is a recreational state, meaning that anyone over the age of 21 who can provide valid identification can consume cannabis. Hence, you can hop over the border from California, visit our dispensary in Las Vegas, and try a variety of cannabis products for yourself.
Nevada is part of the patient reciprocity program. That means that if you have a card, it will be honored and you can enjoy priority as a patient.
Want To Buy Marijuana At ReLeaf? Remember To Bring Cash!
The use of cannabis is still deemed illegal at the federal level. Banks, therefore, are reluctant to offer services to cannabis companies, including dispensaries. Because of this, ReLeaf only accepts cash. So, if you’d like to benefit from our cannabis products, remember to bring some money with you to our dispensary to avoid disappointment.
Are you interested in trying cannabis products? If so, then come and visit us today. We accept California medical cards, cards from other states where medical cannabis is legal, and general customers interested in finding out more about cannabis.