If you are passing through our Nation's Capital and are a medical card holder from out of state, you may qualify for reciprocity to purchase medical cannabis in DC. However, reciprocity with DC-certified patients can get a bit finicky, as Mayor Bowser’s self-certified DC medical marijuana card isn’t honored by every state, especially states closest to Washington DC.
In this guide we discuss how DC reciprocity works, and if you can use your DC medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana from neighboring states such as Maryland or Virginia medical dispensaries.
What is medical marijuana reciprocity?
Reciprocity in the context of medical marijuana allows patients who hold a valid doctor’s recommendation and medical marijuana card in one state to legally purchase marijuana from licensed medical marijuana establishments in another. For instance, if you possess a medical marijuana card to buy weed in Hawaii, you can use your Hawaii medical marijuana card and purchase medicinal cannabis in DC as well. That’s because DC offers reciprocity to Hawaii. The reverse works as well because Hawaii offers reciprocity to Washington DC certified patients as well.
Unfortunately, for Washington DC this doesn’t always work both ways in other states. For example, D.C. allows residents from Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia to buy medical marijuana in DC if they are certified patients from their state, but the reverse is not allowed (more on this below).
Reciprocity depends entirely on whether or not the state you plan on purchasing marijuana from offers reciprocity. In the case of Washington DC, as of 2023, we offer 38 states reciprocity to purchase medical marijuana at any of our licensed medical dispensaries.
Pro-tip: If you do not have a DC medical card you can always hop into any of the trusted DC I71 stores to purchase recreational cannabis without a medical card. The ordering process is fairly unique so you can check out our full guide on how to buy weed in DC. In short the only requirement is an I.D. proving you are at least 21 years of age.
Does DC accept out-of-state MMJ cards?
According to the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration of DC, you may purchase marijuana from any of the 7 licensed DC medical marijuana dispensaries if you have a valid patient registration from any of the following jurisdictions:
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple in reverse. As a DC medical marijuana card holder, I’ve learned the hard way that not every state honors the DC self-certified medical card, including the three neighboring states of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. That’s because as of 2023 Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia do not offer reciprocity.
Can you use “self-certified” medical cards in other states?
Washington DC medical dispensaries saw a drastic decline in sales due to I71 gifting stores premium products and competitive pricing. To grant relief to the medical dispensaries Mayor Bowser signed into law the Medical Marijuana Self-Certification Emergency Amendment Act of 2022.
The Emergency Amendment allows DC residents and non-DC residents to obtain a medical marijuana card by self-certifying their need for medical marijuana. Yes, you heard right, this bill allowed anyone passing through DC to bypass a doctor's note entirely to buy medical marijuana as long as you are 21 years of age.
Currently, you can use your Self-Certified card to purchase marijuana from other states that honor reciprocity, but some states say this may change. Currently, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Arkansas will honor the DC “Self-certified card”. Unfortunately, for DMV residents that have a self-certified medical card you can’t use this card in most neighboring states. Below we look at all the closest states to Washington DC and whether or not they allow DC card holders reciprocity.
Does DC accept Virginia medical marijuana cards?
Yes, you can use your Virginia medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis in DC. Unfortunately, the reverse is not possible. If you are a DC medical marijuana card holder, you cannot go to Virginia to purchase medical marijuana as of 2023.
Can you use Maryland medical marijuana card in DC?
As of 2023, you can use your Maryland MMJ card to purchase medicinal cannabis in DC at any of the 7 medical dispensaries. However, you cannot use your DC self-certified MMJ card to purchase cannabis at a Maryland medical dispensary as of 2023. This may change soon as Maryland’s Senate Bill 8804 is still pending, and if passed would allow DC card holders to purchase from Maryland Dispensaries.
Does DC accept West Virginia MMJ cards?
As long as you have a West Virginia medical marijuana card you can purchase medical marijuana at DC through reciprocity. However, you cannot use your “self-certified” MMJ card from DC to purchase medicinal cannabis in West Virginia. West Virginia’s patient card is only valid in West Virginia at the moment with no pending bills.
Does DC offer reciprocity to Delaware?
Washington DC offers reciprocity to Delaware card holders to purchase medical marijuana in DC. Delaware does offer reciprocity to DC card holders in the traditional sense, unless you can prove three of the following: that you were diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, possess a valid registry card, and you must not have been a resident of Delaware for less than 30 days.
DC and Pennsylvania reciprocity
Currently, DC offers reciprocity to Pennsylvania medical cardholders to buy medicinal cannabis at one of DC’s medical dispensaries. Pennsylvania does not however offer reciprocity, so your DC certified card will not allow you to purchase medical marijuana in PA.
What should I bring?
The following two items are required to make purchases at D.C. dispensaries if you qualify for reciprocity:
- State-issued photo ID
- Current state-issued medical marijuana card or state-issued document proving current certification in the medical marijuana program.
If your state doesn’t require a physical marijuana card, please bring any mail you’ve received from the program or print a copy of your online certification record in the state registry.
How much cannabis can I buy in DC?
Under D.C. law, patients may purchase up to 4 ounces within a 30-day window. You may visit as often as you’d like, as long as your total dispensary purchases in D.C. do not exceed 4 ounces within a 30-day period. If you reach your limit, you’ll be able to purchase again as soon as one of your previous purchases becomes more than 30 days old.
Washington DC currently offers reciprocity to 38 states discussed above. This means if you are a medical card holder from any of these 38 states, you can use your state MMJ card to purchase marijuana in Washington DC at a licensed medical dispensary.
Your DC self-certified card unfortunately doesn’t work in all states as many states do not offer reciprocity including many of the neighboring states. DC card holders are not offered reciprocity when purchasing marijuana from Mayrland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Delaware doesn’t offer reciprocity in the traditional sense to DC card holders, unless you can prove you are diagnosed with a debilitating condition.