There are no rules that require someone to become a full-fledged US citizen to obtain medicinal marijuana. Most authorized states need evidence of residency as part of the application process, so people having a home address in the state should be eligible to apply for an MMJ Card. However, because marijuana is federally prohibited, your position as a medicinal cannabis patient may make it difficult for you to enter or remain in the United States as a citizen of another country. Whether you’re a temporary tourist or a visa holder, here’s everything you want to know regarding residence and medical cannabis access.
In the United States, Who Can Get a Medicinal Cannabis Card?
Because cannabis is classified by the FDA as a Schedule I illicit drug, no restrictions govern who may or may not obtain a medical marijuana certificate. This is because there is no such program under federal law. Cannabis is governed at the state and local level, with several states in the United States operating their own medicinal cannabis programs that vary by location.
Many states need evidence of residency when applying for a medicinal marijuana card. If you live in an authorized state, you can see a qualifying physician, get a referral, and register for your MMJ card.
This gets more difficult if you do not have an actual permanent location in the recognized state. Non-residents can apply for and acquire a medical cannabis card in some states, like California, although most need evidence of residency.
A copy of a government identification card is normally required when applying for a medical card. A driver’s license or standard state ID will suffice.
Can non-US residents apply for medical cards?
Non-U.S. residents who have a mailing location and are enrolled residents of an authorized state can apply for medicinal marijuana cards. Some states require applicants to have resided in the state for a particular period before applying, whilst others, such as California, do not require a physical residence and simply demand an ID.
On the other hand, cannabis usage may prevent a person from entering the United States or from the immigration process if that person is asking for a green card or citizenship. An MMJ is sufficient proof of drug usage. That may or may not be worth the dangers to one’s future citizenship.
What Should You Do If You’re Using Medical Marijuana While Traveling in the United States?
There is no need to register for an MMJ card if you go to or live in a state where recreational (adult-use) cannabis is legal. Recreational cannabis programs do not have the same application requirements or charges as medicinal marijuana programs. They can spare you the burden of requiring legal residency in a state. You only need to provide evidence of identification indicating you are 21 or older.
Marijuana is federally illegal, and if you carry marijuana from one state to another, you lose the legal protections provided by that state’s program. Keep the law on your side by not transporting cannabis across state boundaries. Get rid of your cannabis before traveling from one state to another.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, unless you live in a state with an MMJ law, you will not be able to obtain a card or purchase cannabis for medicinal purposes from a medical dispensary. Visiting a recreational drug-legalized state avoids this problem, as long as you don’t carry cannabis with you when you cross state boundaries.
Do you need to qualify for a medical card? Begin the straightforward application process to obtain a medical cannabis card online.
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