Every state that allows the use of medical marijuana has their own regulatory scheme and requirements pertaining to how patients are able to access this much-needed medicine. For example, anyone who needs medical marijuana in California must go to a doctor and get a recommendation letter. Once they have a recommendation letter, they can register as a patient with a medical marijuana dispensary and are then are eligible to obtain medical cannabis. Because every state has different regulations, the concept of medical marijuana reciprocity becomes important. This is when a registered patient in one state goes to another state and needs to get their medicine there.
This may seem like a novel concept, but it should not be anywhere near as controversial as it has become. If a patient is taking a drug manufactured by a big pharmaceutical company and runs out of it while on vacation, they can simply go to a pharmacy location in their current jurisdiction and ask to have their prescription transferred there. This can be done permanently, or on a one-time basis, no questions asked. Typically, this is not how things work for medical marijuana patients because many states allow only residents to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary located there. This creates obvious problems. One way to address this is by allowing medical marijuana reciprocity whereby a patient registered in one state, can travel to another state and use their home-state registration to obtain medical cannabis products. Continue reading