Medical marijuana has opened a new world of relief for people across America. Although many states still haven’t legalized cannabis for recreational use, the majority - 48 states - allow the medical use of marijuana.
Patients with qualifying conditions, as stipulated by each state's MMJ guidelines, are eligible to join the MMJ program and, if approved, can access marijuana products at licensed dispensaries in their state. But what if you want to travel out of state? Can you still access medical marijuana?
In this article, we are specifically looking at how travelers can access medical marijuana in Florida. Since recreational marijuana is still illegal in the Sunshine State, only patients with a medical marijuana card (Florida) can access marijuana products.
Moreover, only Florida residents are eligible to hold an online medical marijuanas card fl in the state. So, where does this leave traveling patients?
Traveling with Marijuana in the U.S.
Since the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, it’s a federal crime to cross state lines with marijuana, even if it's medicinal.
Moreover, it’s important to know the laws of the state you’re traveling to since possession limits and other legalities can differ vastly from state to state. For instance, even if you have a medical marijuana card (Florida), you can be arrested and face charges if you are found in possession of marijuana in a state where MMJ is still illegal.
Another problem is that even if you have a card and can purchase marijuana in your home state, you may not be able to access marijuana in another state. Fortunately, some states have found a way around this issue with reciprocity programs. Nearly 20 states accept out-of-state MMJ cards, meaning travelers can legally purchase medical marijuana in one of these states with an MMJ program.
Regrettably, Florida is not a reciprocity state. Medical dispensaries are only permitted to dispense orders to qualifying Florida residents possessing an MMJ card.
The good news is that since the entire state of Florida recognizes compassionate use laws, you can safely travel with MMJ products throughout the state if you’re a resident with an MMJ card.
MMJ Cards for Seasonal Florida Residents
Since Florida does not accept out-of-state MMJ cards, things are quite bleak for traveling patients. However, there is a small glimmer of hope for anyone who lives in the state for more than 30 consecutive days in a calendar year.
In this case, you are considered a seasonal resident and are eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card (Florida). You can submit two of any of the following documents to prove that you are a seasonal resident:
As a seasonal resident, you must follow the same application process as regular residents. This entails a doctor's evaluation to confirm you suffer from one of the state's qualifying medical conditions. Thereafter, you can submit an online application and attach the requested supporting documentation. It can take up to ten business days for the state to approve or deny your request for an MMJ card.
If approved for a Florida MMJ card, you can visit and purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries whenever you are in the state.
Traveling to Florida with Medical Marijuana
As already mentioned, it is illegal to cross state borders with any form of marijuana since it is still federally prohibited. However, there is somewhat of a loophole for air travel.
As of 2019, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) eased up on medical marijuana restrictions. For the most part, they are focused on finding “dangerous items” during security checks and don’t actively search for medical marijuana.
Reportedly, if travelers are found in possession of MMJ, but have a valid MMJ card and are flying to a state where medical marijuana is legal, TSA officers will not have a problem.
Therefore, if you’re traveling to Florida by plane, you may be able to get away with taking your medical marijuana with you. Just be sure to travel with your doctor’s recommendation and valid MMJ card to show law enforcement if you are stopped.
Also, keep in mind that it’s not technically legal to travel with MMJ, so it is possible that you will be apprehended and your marijuana confiscated. The decision is at the discretion of law enforcement, and it ultimately depends on your luck and the leniency of the TSA officers who stop you.
Unfortunately, since Florida is not a reciprocity state, it’s not easy for traveling patients to access medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. The only exception is for seasonal residents who are able to get a Florida medical marijuana card.
Those who travel to the state by plane may get away with traveling with their marijuana products. However, it can be a bit risky since some TSA officers are stricter than others and may not allow you to pass security with your MMJ. In some cases they might even turn you over to local law enforcement. Therefore, it’s up to you whether you want to take the chance or not.