Ah, that thing of fantasy: the out of state (aka non-resident) medical card.
The myth you’ve heard is true…in Oregon. Oregon, as of this writing, is the only state in the union currently offering medical cannabis cards to out of state patients. Their MMJ law has no residency requirement. But the forward momentum is on.
There is one more option. The VHV (Vets Helping Vets) Medical Marijuana Card is another curious creature, with acceptance in all states that have pro-medical marijuana laws on their books. More information and rules can be found on the Vets Helping Vets website at myveteran.org. If you are eligible for such a card, be sure to review your options with your primary care physician and have your licensed VA doctor sign the application document.
Unfortunately, the State of Arizona is a little more hard nosed. No out of state residents can obtain a medical card within state boundaries. Another example: the case for PTSD as a cannabis-treated medical condition appeared before the Department of Health earlier in 2012 and was sadly struck down.
Most states that recognize cannabis as medicine do accept the VHV card and cards that have been issued to patients in other states. Arizona’s law will not allow cards to be issued to out of state residents. Fortunately, however, the new law states that out-of-state medical card holders are protected within the restrictions of Arizona’s law under the “visiting qualifying patient” clause. This doesn’t mean you can purchase medicine at Arizona dispensaries, but MMJ patients from other states can carry up to 2.5 ounces and use privately within Arizona.
With the first Arizona dispensary only now being officially licensed just last month, we are expecting more questions and regulations surrounding residency and medical cards. Your thoughts, comments, knowledge, and questions are always welcome in the comments on this page.