Medical Marijuana Laws by State

Patients whose physicians recommend medical marijuana for certain illnesses and chronic conditions are exempt from criminal prosecution in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. A growing number of states (and the District of Columbia) have medical marijuana laws, although federal law makes no such exceptions from the current drug prohibition policy.

Medical marijuana laws vary drastically in their scope and implementation, including the regulation of dispensaries. Some states only allow terminally ill patients to legally use marijuana, for example, while others are much less restrictive. For general information, including how these laws interact with federal law, see the medical marijuana laws page in FindLaw's Criminal Law section.

The following state-specific guide should help you get up to speed on current medical marijuana laws:

  Description of the Law Qualifying Illnesses What's Allowed
Alaska*

Ballot Measure #8 passed in 1998 and was enacted in 1999. Patients whose physicians advise in writing that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana" may use, possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use.

After securing a physician's recommendation, patients must apply for a Registry Identification Card for Medical Use of Marijuana in order to be considered compliant.

Alaska Stat. 17.37.10, et seq.

Cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 1 ounce of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: Six marijuana plants, only three of which may be mature.
  • Caregivers: Must be 21 or older, free from conviction of a felony controlled substance offense and must be listed by the patient as either the primary caregiver or an alternate caregiver.
Arizona

Proposition 203 passed in 2010, allowing use and possession of marijuana for patients with "written certification" from their physician.

The law recognizes "visiting qualifying patients," those with valid doctor's recommendations from other medical marijuana states.

Arizona Rev. Statutes 36-2801, et seq.

Cancer; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease); Crohn's disease; Alzheimer's disease; any medical condition producing cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, nausea, seizures, etc. (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 12 marijuana plants, none within 25 miles of a licensed dispensary.
  • Caregivers: Must sign a statement promising not to deliver to anyone but the patient to whom you have been designated.
Arkansas

Voters approved passage of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment , known on the ballot as Issue 6, on Nov. 8, 2016. The measure removes criminal sanctions against those who use medical marijuana under doctor's orders, although dispensaries and cultivation centers have yet to be developed.

Patients who want access to medical marijuana must apply with the state, including a written certification from a physician licensed in the state.

Arkansas Constitution of 1874: Amendment 98, section 1, et seq.

This law provides an exhaustive list of qualifying illnesses, too numerous to list here.
  • Possession: Up to 2.5 oz. of usable cannabis.
  • Cultivation: Those who qualify for a Hardship Cultivation Certificate (based on financial need) may cultivate up to 10 plants.
  • Dispensaries: Nonprofit Cannabis Care Centers will be licensed to distribute medical marijuana.
California*

Proposition 215, passed in 1996, was the nation's first medical marijuana law (California Bureau of Medical Cannabis). Eligible patients must present a "written or oral recommendation" from their physician.

Guidelines passed in 2003 set limits for possession and cultivation of marijuana by eligible patients and their caregivers. Although the state issues medical marijuana identification cards, registration is not mandatory for compliance.

California Health and Safety Code: Section 11362.5, et seq.

Arthritis; cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; HIV/AIDS; epilepsy; migraine; multiple sclerosis (physicians may recommend medical marijuana for other illnesses).
  • Possession: 8 ounces of usable marijuana (or more, if a doctor recommends it).
  • Cultivation: Six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants (some counties allow a grow space of up to 100 square feet).
  • Dispensaries: State-licensed dispensaries must not be within 600 feet of a school and cannot operate for a profit but otherwise are regulated at the local level.
Colorado*

Amendment 20 passed in 2000 and took effect the following year, exempting patients with written documentation from their physicians from criminal sanctions.

While the state maintains a confidential registry and issues identification cards, patients who do not join the registry and are arrested for possession or cultivation of marijuana may argue an "affirmative defense of medical necessity."

Colorado Constitution Article XVIII 14; Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18-406.3, et seq.

Cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; chronic nervous system disorders; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; nausea (other conditions subject to approval by the state).
  • Possession: 2 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 6 marijuana plants.
  • Dispensaries: Must be at least 1,000 feet from a school or daycare center; local municipalities have the authority to prohibit dispensaries in their community.
  • Caregivers: Must be listed on the medical marijuana registry; maximum of five patients.
Connecticut

Public Act 12-55 was signed into law by the governor on June 1, 2012. Patients with a qualifying "debilitating medical condition" who have obtained written certification from a physician may possess cannabis, but may not cultivate the plant.

Medical marijuana patients must register with Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

Connecticut Gen. Statutes: Title 21A, Section 21a-408, et seq.

Cancer; glaucoma; positive status for HIV/AIDS; Parkinson's disease; multiple sclerosis; damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity; epilepsy; cachexia; wasting syndrome; Crohn's disease; PTSD; or any other medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved by the DCP.
  • Possession: One-month supply (exact amount to be determined).
  • Cultivation: Personal cultivation of cannabis prohibited.
  • Dispensaries: No more than 10 state-licensed dispensaries to operate throughout Connecticut.
  • Caregivers: Patients' primary caregivers may possess up to a one-month supply (or a combined one-month supply between patient and caregiver); caregivers have same legal protection from state prosecution as patients.
Delaware

Delaware's governor signed Senate Bill No. 17 into law in May 2011 that permits the medical use of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation by those 18 and older.

Qualifying patients must have written documentation from their physician, which is then sent to the state Department of Health and Social Services for the issuance of a mandatory I.D. card. The statute also recognizes qualifying patients from other states. Qualifying patients who do not have an I.D. card may raise an affirmative defense motion to dismiss marijuana possession charges.

Delaware Code: Title 16, Section 4901A, et seq.

Cancer; HIV/AIDS; decompensated cirrhosis; ALS; Alzheimer's disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; medical condition that produces wasting syndrome (cachexia); severe debilitating pain that has not responded to other treatments for three months; other conditions producing severe nausea, seizures or severe muscle spasms (including but not limited to those related to multiple sclerosis).
  • Possession: 6 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: Only licensed compassion center agents may cultivate medical marijuana for qualified patients (home cultivation is prohibited).
  • Dispensaries: Patients must register with a state-licensed, not-for-profit compassion center, which may not dispense more than 3 ounces of marijuana per patient in any 14-day period.
  • Caregivers: Must be 21 years of age or older; have not been convicted of a felony offense (limited to violent crime or a violation of state or federal drug laws); assist no more than 5 medical marijuana patients at a time.
District of Columbia*

Ballot Initiative 59 was passed by a wide margin of voters in 1998 (69%) but was blocked by city lawmakers citing a congressional ban.

The ban was lifted in 2010, followed by the passage of legislation authorizing the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. Patients may register online.

D.C. Code Ann. 7-1671.01, et seq.

HIV/AIDS; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; cancer; any other condition that is "chronic or long-lasting; debilitating; serious medical condition treatable with marijuana."
  • Possession: 2 ounces of usable medical marijuana.
  • Cultivation: Not allowed under current law.
  • Dispensaries: Washington, D.C. plans to create as many as eight dispensaries, each limited to growing 95 plants on site at a time.
  • Caregivers: Must be registered with the District of Columbia and may only help patients obtain medical marijuana (no cultivation).
Florida

Florida voters approved the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (on the ballot as Amendment 2) on Nov. 8, 2016 with a 71 percent "yes" vote.

The amendment to Florida's Constitution allows patients with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana to alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses and medical conditions.

Florida Statutes: Title XXIX, Section 381.986, et seq.

Cancer; epilepsy; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Chron's disease; Parkinson's disease; multiple sclerosis; other conditions that may benefit from medical marijuana (as determined by the physician).
  • Possession: 70-day supply (exact amounts not specified).
  • Cultivation: Not allowed.
  • Dispensaries: Licensed by the Florida Dept. of Health.
Hawaii

Senate Bill 862 was signed into law in 2000 and took effect later that year. Eligible patients must obtain a signed physician's statement that medical marijuana would help their "debilitating condition" and that the "potential benefits... would likely outweigh the health risks" of medical marijuana.

The state-run patient registry is mandatory for eligible patients.

Hawaii Revised Statutes: Section 329-121, et seq.

Cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; Crohn's disease; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; nausea (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 4 ounces of usable medical marijuana.
  • Cultivation: Seven marijuana plants, no more than three of which are mature.
  • Dispensaries: State-licensed dispensaries opened beginning in 2017.
Illinois

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 1 into law on Aug. 1, 2013. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act instituted a 4-year pilot program for the supply and use of medical marijuana by eligible patients, which was extended through July 1, 2020.

Patients with a doctor's recommendation must register with the state to participate in the program, which does not permit individual cultivation of cannabis.

Illinois Statutes: Chapter 410, Section 130/1, et seq.

Cancer; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; muscular dystrophy; Crohn's disease; agitation of Alzheimer's disease; multiple sclerosis; chronic pancreatitis; spinal cord injury or disease; traumatic brain injury; or other illnesses/conditions that may be treated with cannabis.
  • Possession: 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: Not permitted.
  • Dispensaries: Patients must select a designated dispensary from the list of state-licensed facilities.
Louisiana

Louisiana law ostensibly allowed physicians licensed in the state to recommend the use of medical marijuana for certain seriously ill patients for decades. But it wasn't until 2017 that legislation was signed into law to establish a legal framework for medical cannabis.

The new law is expected to provide protections for patients, caregivers, and physicians, in addition to licensing protocols and other regulatory controls.

Louisiana Revised Statutes: Title 40, Section 1046, et seq.

Cachexia/wasting syndrome; cancer; Crohn's disease; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; muscular dystrophy; multiple sclerosis; seizure disorders, spasticity.
  • Possession: 30-day supply of non-smokable marijuana preparations (i.e. edibles, tinctures).
  • Cultivation: Not permitted.
  • Dispensaries: Current law allows for 1 state-licensed supply source, which will distribute through up to 10 licensed pharmacies.
Maine*

Question 2 was passed by voters in 1999 and took effect later that year, allowing patients to possess and cultivate medical marijuana with an oral or written "professional opinion" from their physician. Patients who are arrested for having more than the allowed amount of marijuana may use a "simple defense" against the charges.

Amendments established a confidential registry and identification program (required for eligible patients). Maine allows visiting qualifying medical marijuana patients with a valid medical marijuana identification.

Maine Revised Statutes: Title 22, Section 2421, et seq.

Epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; nausea; HIV/AIDS; cancer; hepatitis C; Lou Gehrig's disease; Crohn's disease; Alzheimer's disease; nail-patella syndrome cachexia (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 6 marijuana plants, no more than 3 of which are mature.
  • Dispensaries: Up to 8 non-profit dispensaries, one for each public health district, are allowed under state law.
  • Caregivers: Must be 21 years of age or older and can never have been convicted of a drug offense.
Maryland

Maryland lawmakers passed legislation in 2013 legalizing the medical use of marijuana by eligible patients. The state allows physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, podiatrists, and nurse midwives to recommend it to their patients.

The program became operational on Dec. 1, 2017. Patients must register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission in order to access their medicine.

Code of Maryland Regulations: Chapter 10, Section 62.01, et seq.

Cachexia; anorexia or wasting syndrome;
chronic pain; nausea; seizures; severe or persistent muscle spasms; glaucoma; post-traumatic stress disorder; patients who have been admitted to hospice; any condition that is severe, for which other medical treatments have been ineffective.
  • Possession: Up to 120 grams (unless a physician recommends more).
  • Cultivation: Not allowed.
  • Dispensaries: 102 dispensaries have been approved by the state.
Massachusetts*

Question 3 (An Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana) was passed with the support of 63 percent of voters in 2012, legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and took effect on Jan. 1, 2013. The law mandates a state-run patient registry and allows up to 35 state-licensed (and nonprofit) medical marijuana dispensaries.

Code of Massachusetts Regulations: 105 CMR 725.001, et seq.

Cancer; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Crohn's Disease; Parkinson's Disease; multiple sclerosis; other conditions determined in writing by the patient's physician to be alleviated through the use of medical marijuana.
  • Possession: Up to 10 oz. every 2 months.
  • Cultivation: Limited (exact amount TBD).
  • Dispensaries: State-licensed medical marijuana treatment centers.
Michigan*

Proposal 1 was approved by voters in 2008 and implemented later that year, allowing possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who obtain written documentation from their physician. Recreational marijuana was legalized through a ballot initiative on Nov. 6, 2018.

The state operates a confidential patient registry and issues identification cards. Michigan allows visiting qualifying medical marijuana patients with a valid medical marijuana identification to medicate within the state.

Michigan Compiled Laws: Chapter 333, Section 26421, et seq.

Cancer; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; Lou Gehrig's disease; Crohn's disease; epilepsy; multiple sclerosis; Alzheimer's disease; nail patella; chronic condition or treatment thereof that produces cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms.
  • Possession: 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 12 marijuana plants.
  • Dispensaries: Dispensaries may be operated legally within the state in accordance with rules enacted on Dec. 20, 2016.
Minnesota

The Minnesota legislature passed a bill (which was signed into law in 2014) authorizing the medical use of cannabis by eligible patients. The Minnesota Department of Health has a 5-step process for patients to register, including an online registration.

Minnesota Statutes: Chapter 152, Section 21, et seq.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); cancer/cachexia; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; seizures; severe and persistent muscle spasms; terminal illness; autism; sleep apnea.
  • Possession: 30-day supply, as determined by physician (state law will only allow non-smokable preparations to be sold in dispensaries)
  • Cultivation: Not allowed (except for licensed providers)
  • Dispensaries: There are 8 licensed dispensaries throughout the state.
Missouri

Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 on Nov. 6, 2018, changing the state constitution to allow for the medical use of marijuana by eligible patients with a physician's approval.

The law is expected to go into effect on Dec. 6, 2018, but the infrastructure and licensing will take longer to implement.

Two other amendments on the ballot, which failed, would have enacted a specific list of conditions for which medical cannabis may be recommended. Unless additional regulations are implemented, physicians may recommend it to any patient who would benefit from medical marijuana.
  • Possession: Up to 4 oz. per month
  • Cultivation: Up to 6 plants
  • Dispensaries: State to license medical marijuana dispensaries
Montana

Initiative 148 took effect on the day it was passed by voters in 2004. Patients must submit written medical certification by a licensed physician, pay an application fee and fill out an application form in order to become registered and be issued a valid medical marijuana identification card. Current patients must renew their application each year.

Montana allows visiting qualifying medical marijuana patients with a valid medical marijuana identification to medicate within the state.

Montana Code Annotated: Title 50, Section 46-301, et seq.

Cachexia; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; Crohn's disease.
  • Possession: 1 ounce of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 6 marijuana plants
  • Dispensaries: Licensed medical marijuana providers.
Nevada*

Question 9 was approved by voters in 2000 and took effect the following year. Patients with "written documentation" from their physician may qualify and are encouraged to register (confidentially) with the state, which issues identification cards.

Nevada Revised Statutes: Title 40, Section 453A.010, et seq.

HIV/AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; cachexia; persistent muscle spasms or seizures (including multiple sclerosis and epilepsy); severe nausea or pain (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 1 ounce of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 7 marijuana plants, of which only 3 may be mature.
  • Dispensaries: State-licensed dispensaries.
New Hampshire

House Bill 573, legalizing medical use of marijuana, was signed into law on July 23, 2013. Patients must obtain a recommendation from a physician with which they've had a medical relationship for more than 3 months. Visit the Therapeutic Cannabis Program site to learn more.

Out of state patients with valid documentation may legally possess marijuana but may not be served at N.H. dispensaries.

New Hampshire Revised Statutes: Title X, Chapter 126-X.

Cancer; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; muscular dystrophy; Crohn's disease; multiple sclerosis; traumatic brain injuries; agitation of Alzheimer's disease; other illnesses and conditions that cause serious symptoms known to be relieved through the use of cannabis.
  • Possession: Up to 2 ounces.
  • Cultivation: Not permitted.
  • Dispensaries: Cannabis produced and distributed through no more than 4 state-sanctioned facilities.
  • Caregivers: Not sanctioned.
New Jersey

Senate Bill 119 was signed into law in 2010 but was amended and delayed by lawmakers later that year.

Eligible patients with a physician's recommendation must submit an application to the state, which issues identification cards. Rules for New Jersey's medical marijuana program were posted in early 2011.

New Jersey Statutes: Title 24, Section 6I-1, et seq.

Cancer; glaucoma; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; Lou Gehrig's disease; muscular dystrophy; HIV/AIDS; Crohn's disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease; any terminal illness if the physician has determined that patient will die within 1 year (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 2 ounces of usable marijuana per month.
  • Cultivation: Not allowed under current law.
  • Dispensaries: Law allows up to 6 state-licensed "alternative treatment centers."
  • Caregivers: Must be 18 or older; cannot have a conviction for a felony drug offense; can only have one qualifying patient at a time.
New Mexico

Senate Bill 523, called the "Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act," was signed into law in 2007 and took effect later that year. New Mexico maintains a confidential state registry and issues identification cards to qualified patients.

Patients who are under the age of 18 may qualify for the medical marijuana program with written consent from a parent or guardian, in addition to a physician's recommendation.

New Mexico Statutes: Chapter 26, Section 2B-1, et seq.

Arthritis; severe chronic pain; painful peripheral neuropathy; severe nausea; severe anorexia/cachexia; hepatitis C; Crohn's disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; Lou Gehrig's disease; cancer; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis; damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; hospice patients.
  • Possession: 6 ounces; more if you provide a letter of special need from your certifying physician.
  • Cultivation: 12 seedlings and 4 mature marijuana plants (16 total); licensed producers may grow up to 150 mature plants at a time.
  • Dispensaries: State-licensed dispensaries available.
New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature enacted the Compassionate Care Act in 2014, which legalizes the medical use of prepared cannabis products by eligible patients. State law does not allow the possession or use of whole plant marijuana, however, just pills, oils, tinctures, and other such preparations.

New York medical marijuana law also requires patients (and caregivers, if applicable) to register with the state in order to access medicine.

New York Consolidated Laws: PBH Section 3360, et seq.

Cancer; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; Huntington's disease; inflammatory bowel disease; Lou Gehrig's disease; Parkinson's disease; multiple sclerosis; neuropathies; spinal cord damage; post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Possession: It may not be a whole-plant form of cannabis nor more than a 30-day supply (exact amounts unspecified).
  • Cultivation: Not allowed.
  • Dispensaries: Up to 5 producers and up to 20 dispensaries licensed by the state.
North Dakota

The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, or Statutory Measure 5 on the ballot, was approved by voters by a wide margin (64 percent) on Nov. 8, 2016.

The law requires eligible patients with a doctor's recommendation to apply for a state I.D. card in order to lawfully obtain their medicine. Designated caregivers may treat up to five patients.

North Dakota Century Code: Title 19, Section 24.1-01, et seq.

Cancer; AIDS; hepatitis C; ALS; glaucoma; epilepsy; other conditions that may benefit from medical marijuana (as determined by the physician).
  • Possession: Up to 3 oz.
  • Cultivation: Patient or caregiver may grow up to 8 plants if they more than 40 miles from the nearest dispensary.
  • Dispensaries: Compassionate care centers will be licensed by the state.
Ohio

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed HB 523 into law in June 2016, allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana by those who have a doctor's prescription. The law prohibits smoking, favoring the use of vaporizers and edible forms of the drug.

The law requires the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to be fully operational by Sept. 8, 2018.

Ohio Revised Code: Title XXXVII, Section 3796.01, et seq.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; Crohn's disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable; Parkinson's disease; HIV/AIDS; post-traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette's syndrome; traumatic brain injury; ulcerative colitis; any other disease or condition added by the state medical board.
  • Possession: Shall not exceed 90-day supply (exact amount based on prescription recommendations).
  • Cultivation: Not allowed.
  • Dispensaries: The Ohio Board of Pharmacy will license dispensaries in the state.
Oregon*

Measure 67 was passed by voters in 1998, taking effect later that same year. Eligible patients must obtain a signed recommendation from their physician saying medical marijuana "may mitigate" a given medical condition. A confidential, state-run registry issues identification cards to qualifying patients.

Eligible patients who are arrested for marijuana possession or cultivation and are not registered with the state may argue an "affirmative defense of medical necessity," but may already be protected as a result of the state's legalization of recreational marijuana.

Oregon Revised Statutes: Section 475B.400.

Cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; nausea; Alzheimer's disease (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 24 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 18 seedlings and six mature marijuana plants (24 total).
  • Dispensaries: State-licensed dispensaries allowed.
Rhode Island

House Bill 6052 took effect immediately after its passage in 2006. Patients who possess a "written certification" from their physician recommending the use of medical marijuana are required to sign up with the state's confidential registry, which issues identification cards.

Rhode Island allows visiting qualifying medical marijuana patients with a valid medical marijuana identification to medicate within the state.

Rhode Island General Laws: Title 21, Chapter 28.6-1, et seq.

Cachexia; cancer; glaucoma; hepatitis C; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; Crohn's disease; Alzheimer's disease.
  • Possession: 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 12 marijuana plants.
  • Dispensaries: The state oversees the licensing and regulation of not-for-profit "compassion centers."
Utah

Utah voters passed Proposition 2 on Nov. 6, 2018, which allows eligible patients with a physician's recommendation (and a state-issued ID card) to purchase cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries or grow their own if there are no dispensaries in their vicinity. Patients aren't allowed to smoke cannabis under the law (which leaves vaporizing, ingestion, etc.).

*The provisions of Utah's medical cannabis law are subject to change (via the legislature) after the law is implemented on Dec. 1, 2018.

The Utah Department of Health lists numerous medical conditions that would qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation, including cancer, flu, HIV, and stroke.
  • Possession: Up to 2 ounces of usable marijuana (or products containing up to 10g of CBD or THC) within a 2-week period.
  • Cultivation: Up to 6 plants if you do NOT live within 100 miles of a dispensary.
  • Dispensaries: No more than 5 are allowed (but more may be added, per approval, as needed).
Vermont*

Senate Bill 76 became law in the absence of the governor's signature in 2004 and took effect later that year.

Eligible physicians must sign up with Vermont's mandatory, confidential registry, which also issues identification cards.

Vermont Statutes: Title 18, Section 4471, et seq.

HIV/AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis; any disease or medical condition that produces severe cachexia, chronic pain, nausea or seizures; Crohn's disease; Parkinson's disease; PTSD.
  • Possession: 2 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 2 mature and/or 7 immature marijuana plants (no more than 9 total).
  • Dispensaries: No more than 5 are allowed (but more may be added, per approval, as needed).
Washington*

Measure 692 was approved by voters in 1998 and took effect the day of its passage. Patients who obtain "valid documentation" from their physician, naturopath, physician's assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner are eligible to use medical marijuana. There is currently no state-run medical marijuana registry.

Washington Revised Code: Title 69, Section 51A.005, et seq.

Cachexia; cancer; HIV/AIDS; epilepsy; glaucoma; intractable pain; multiple sclerosis; Crohn's disease; hepatitis C; anorexia; any disease that causes nausea, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms and/or spasticity (other conditions subject to state approval).
  • Possession: 24 ounces of usable marijuana.
  • Cultivation: 15 marijuana plants.
  • Dispensaries: State- licensed dispensaries available.
West Virginia

Governor Jim Justice signed the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act into law on April 19, 2017, but will not be enacted until July 2019 at the earliest.

When it goes into effect, qualifying patients with a written certification from their physician may register with the state to legally use medical marijuana. The state plans to regulate dispensaries but will not allow home cultivation.

Any terminal illness; cancer; HIV/AIDS; ALS; Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; spinal cord damage; epilepsy; neuropathies; Huntington’s disease; Crohn’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; intractable seizures; sickle cell anemia; or "severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective as determined as part of continuing care."
  • Possession: Up to a 30-day supply at any given time (specific amount TBD).
  • Cultivation: Not allowed.
  • Dispensaries: Up to 30 dispensaries will be licensed by the state.

*Recreational marijuana also legal at the state level.

Note: More than 15 states (including Texas, Missouri, and Georgia) have legalized CBD oil, a cannabis derivative with negligible amounts of THC (which produces the marijuana "high"). These states are not listed in the table above.

Questions About Medical Marijuana Laws Where You Live? An Attorney Can Help

As you can see, many states have been relaxing their laws to allow for the medical use of marijuana, but where they draw the line isn't always clear. If you have questions about the marijuana laws where you live or are facing criminal drug charges, it's critical to get ahead of the curve in protecting your rights with a legal professional who knows the law and how it applies to you. Get in touch with an experienced drug crime attorney near you to learn more.

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