With almost all of the U.S. operating some form of medical marijuana program, and 10 states allowing for adult use, differences between state medical and recreational marijuana programs are abundant, confusing, and don’t always make sense. Some states are extremely strict with their programs (we see you, Utah) and some are more relaxed (we love you, Oklahoma). If you’re ever asked yourself, “How much weed can I buy?” This state-by-state guide can help you find some answers!
Alaska has passed both medical and recreational marijuana laws, in 1998 and 2014 respectively. Under these two legal mechanisms, dispensaries may sell limited amounts of cannabis to both medical cardholders and consumers. Medical marijuana cardholders, their registered caregiver, and recreational weed consumers all share the same purchase limit: a quantity of one ounce (28 grams) per transaction.
Arizona passed their medical marijuana program in late 2010, allowing medical consumers with certain health conditions across the state access to alternative medicine where federally approved medicines or treatments have failed. Medical consumers are eligible to purchase as much as 2.5 ounces (70 grams) every 14 days. Whether purchased in full during one transaction or in several smaller purchases, this effectively caps monthly purchasing at five ounces.
Despite several attempts, Arizona voters have yet to legalize recreational marijuana.
Voters in Arkansas passed medical marijuana laws in 2016. While the state has yet to fully implement the industry, regulations have set purchasing limits for medical consumers at 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower every two weeks, setting, like Arizona, a monthly total of five ounces.
California kicked off the medical marijuana industry as the first state to pass such legislation in 1996. Voters across the state again threw support towards cannabis law reforms in 2016, legalizing the plant for all adults 21 and older. Though lawmakers in the state are expected to implement further regulations on product testing, licensing, or public safety concerns (which may possibly include stricter controls on consumers’ marijuana supply), medical marijuana cardholders†can buy up to eight ounces of fresh marijuana per day. EIGHT OUNCES!!!
Recreational customers are, conversely, limited to purchasing as much as one ounce per day.
Colorado has both medical and recreational laws within the state constitution, voted on in 2000 and 2012 respectively. Medical marijuana cardholders†may purchase as much as two ounces per day, while recreational consumers have weed purchase limits defined by product category.
Recreational consumers in Colorado can buy weed in the following amounts:
- Up to one ounce of flower
- Up to eight grams of concentrate
- Up to 800 mg of edible marijuana products
As of 2017, Connecticut has only a medical marijuana program in place. Medical consumers are allowed no more than 2.5 ounces (70 grams) in any 30-day period. Medical consumers can receive less than this total at the doctor’s request, but never more.
Delaware began their journey with medical marijuana in 2011. Medical consumers in the Delaware medical marijuana program can buy weed up to six ounces per month. This total, however, can only be reached at a rate of three ounces every two weeks.
Florida has taken a very narrow approach to allowing the medical use of marijuana within state borders, starting first with a CBD program for a specific type of seizure disorder and full-strength, THC-filled cannabis for ONLY the terminally ill in 2014. In 2016, voters in the state chose to expand the program to include more conditions, among other changes. Amendment 2, the bill expanding the medical marijuana program, permits:
“the amount of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be an adequate supply for qualifying patient’s medical use, based on the best available evidence. This presumption as to quantity may be overcome with evidence of a particular qualifying patient’s appropriate medical use.”
This has been determined to mean a 45-day supply, at most. The physician is the individual who determines the dose, so this amount depends on the individual and their condition.
Hawaii joined the full Pacific Coast of the U.S. in legalizing medical marijuana by 2000. Under the law, medical consumers can buy as much as four ounces of weed every 15 days.
The Illinois State Legislature, rather than state residents, voted on (and passed) medical marijuana laws in 2013. Under the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis” program, medical consumers are able to buy weed up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks, roughly a total of five ounces a month.
Residents of Maine have voted for both medical and recreational cannabis laws, passing in 1999 and 2016 respectively. Medical consumers operating under Maine’s medical marijuana program as well as recreational marijuana consumers can buy marijuana up to 2.5 ounces and up to three mature marijuana plants.†Medical consumers are limited to five ounces per month unless their physician authorizes more.
Maryland passed medical marijuana laws in 2011, yet the first dispensaries didn’t open until December of 2017. The amount of marijuana a cardholder can buy at one time and possess is up to the healthcare professional who approved the individual.
Massachusetts has both medical and recreational cannabis laws, and the recreational program is up and running as of the end of 2018. Medical consumers can buy up to 10 ounces every two months. In contrast, recreational consumers will be able to buy weed up to one ounce OR as much as five grams of marijuana concentrates.
Michigan’s†medical marijuana community is one of the largest in the U.S., and now, their recreational industry is growing quickly too. Medical consumers in Michigan can buy weed up to 2.5 ounces. The state has further drawn equivalencies based on product form. They are as follows.
In Michigan, one ounce of marijuana flower is equal to:
- 16 ounces of cannabis-infused products in solid form (such as cannabutter)
- 7 grams of extracted cannabis product in a gaseous form (presumably a form used in a vaporizer)
- 36 fluid ounces of cannabis-infused product in a liquid form (such as an oil)
For recreational consumers, the limits are:
- 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana, except that not more than 15 grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate;
- Within a person’s residence, a person can possess, store, or process more than 10 ounces of marijuana,
- and no more than 12 marijuana plants for personal use
Minnesota began their journey with medical cannabis in May 2014. Under the Minnesota Medical Marijuana Program, medical consumers are required to have a consultation with a pharmacist after receiving approval to join the medical program from a physician. During the consult, the pharmacist will determine an adequate volume of cannabis products to treat the individual for 30 days on an individual basis.
In other words: Minnesota has no predetermined purchase limits.
Missouri only passed medical marijuana laws in late 2018, so there are no dispensaries open yet in the state. Once the program is functional, medical cardholders will be allowed to grow six flowering plants in their homes; purchase 4 ounces of dried marijuana or equivalent; and possess not less than a 60-day supply of dried marijuana or equivalent.
Montana has oscillated back and forth on the issue of medical marijuana, allowing the industry to grow, then shrink, be lobbied to change, and achieve voter support. The passage of laws supporting the growth of the statewide medical marijuana in 2016 allow medical cardholders to possess the following:
- one (1) ounce of marijuana flower OR
- eight (8) grams of marijuana concentrate OR
- 800 mg of THC in marijuana infused products or edibles OR
- Sixteen (16) .5 ml vape cartridges OR
- Eight (8) 1 ml vape cartridges
Nevada passed their medical marijuana program in 1998. In 2016, recreational cannabis laws followed. Today, the state boasts a robust cannabis industry. Under the laws, medical marijuana cardholders can buy as much as five ounces per month, so long as purchases are limited to 2.5 ounces every two–week period.
Recreational consumers are limited to buying weed up to one ounce. Nevada has further defined product equivalencies for recreational weed consumers, limiting concentrate purchasing to 3.5 grams.
New Hampshire currently has only a medical marijuana program. Under state laws, medical marijuana cardholders possessing a valid state registration can buy weed up to two ounces of marijuana flower in any 10-day period, providing a total of six ounces per month if needed.
New Jersey legalized the medical use of marijuana in 2010, though the program remains one of the most heavily scrutinized by state agencies. Cardholders registered with the medical marijuana program are first evaluated by their physician, who will then send an order to the dispensing location for the total dosage a cardholder may purchase in a 30-day period. The physician order cannot exceed two ounces per month.
New Mexico has had medical marijuana laws on the books for a decade, spurring a robust consumer and grower community across the state. Medical consumers can, under state law, buy weed up to 230 units of marijuana in any 90-day period.
So what are “units” of marijuana?
In New Mexico, a unit is equal to one gram of marijuana flower or 0.2 grams of marijuana concentrates. Under this guideline, medical consumers can buy just over 2.7 ounces of flower or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate per month.
New York passed the “Compassionate Care Act” in 2014, providing a legal pathway to an alternative treatment to those who need it. The program requires the authorizing medical professional (physician or nurse practitioner) to determine a 30-day supply for each consumer on an individual basis. How much weed you can buy, therefore, is dependent on the condition and symptoms you experience.
Voters backed the initiative to legalize medical marijuana usage in 2016. At the time of writing, the program is yet to be fully operational. When it is, medical consumers will be able to buy up to 2.5 ounces of flower in any 30-day period and 2,000mg total of other marijuana products. Edibles are not allowed.
Lawmakers in Ohio passed medical marijuana legislation in September 2016. The state has one of the most regimented controls on medical cannabis purchasing in the U.S, and after years of back and forth, the first dispensaries opened in January 2019. Under the state medical marijuana program, every 90 days a non-terminal†individual can buy weed in the following amounts:
- Up to 8 ounces of tier I medical cannabis
- Up to 5.3 ounces of tier II medical cannabis
- Up to 26.55 grams of THC content (totaling 26,550 mg of THC) in patches, lotions, creams, and other topical forms
- Up to 9.9 grams (9,900 mg) of THC from cannabis oil, tincture, capsules, and other edible forms
- Up to 53.1 grams (53,100 mg) of THC in oil for vaporization
Individuals with terminal diseases or illness, under Ohio’s medical marijuana program, are given the following limits on their purchasing over 90 days:
- Up to 10 ounces of tier I medical cannabis
- Up to 6.6 ounces of tier II medical cannabis
- Up to 33.3 grams (33,300 mg) of THC in patches, lotions, creams, etc.
- Up to 11.7 grams (11,700 mg) of THC in oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles
- Up to 65.7 grams (65,700 mg) of THC in cannabis oils for vaporization
Tier I marijuana is defined as medical cannabis testing at or below 23% THC while tier II medical cannabis tests above 23% but not more than 35%.
Oklahoma’s medical program rolled out quickly after the measure passed.†Dispensaries opened in late 2018, and the program is extremely successful so far. Medical consumers can†possess:
- 3 ounces of marijuana†on their person, and at their residence, may possess:
- 6 mature marijuana plants,
- 6 seedling plants,
- 1 ounce of concentrates,
- 72 ounces of edible marijuana,
- 8 ounces of marijuana
Oregon first passed medical marijuana laws in 1998, followed by recreational marijuana laws in 2014. Cardholders registered with the Oregon medical marijuana program can buy weed up to the following limits:
- 24 ounces of usable marijuana;
- 16 ounces of a medical cannabinoid product in solid form;
- 72 ounces of a medical cannabinoid product in liquid form;
- 16 ounces of a cannabinoid concentrate whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant†delivery system;
- Five grams of a cannabinoid extract whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system;
- Four immature marijuana plants; and
- 50 seeds.
Recreational consumers are legally bound to different limits than medical patients. Take a look:
- One ounce of usable marijuana in a public place;
- Eight ounces of usable marijuana;
- 16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form;
- 72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form;
- Five grams of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates, whether sold alone or contained in an inhalant delivery system;
- Four marijuana plants; and
- Ten marijuana seeds.
Pennsylvania has legalized the medical use of marijuana, and the program was operational by February 2018. While they don’t have specific possession limits like other states, they do state that the recommending physician is the one who determines the volume of medical marijuana necessary to supply a patient for 30 days.
Rhode Island passed laws in 2006 making the medical use of marijuana legal under certain conditions. Their program is fully operational, allowing medical cardholders to buy weed up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in any 30-day period.
After a lot of back and forth, Utah finalized their medical marijuana laws in late 2018. Under Utah’s strict medical marijuana program, medical cardholders can possess:
- 113 grams of unprocessed cannabis;†or
- An amount of cannabis product that contains 20 grams of total composite THC
Vermont has legalized recreational marijuana but lawmakers have yet to set up a tax system for the sale of recreational marijuana. The state does have over a decade of medical marijuana laws, which began in 2004. Medical cardholders registered with the Vermont medical marijuana program can purchase as much as two ounces in any 30-day period.
In 1998 and 2012 respectively, Washington passed medical and recreational cannabis laws. Today, much of the medical marijuana program has been streamlined into the regulatory framework built to govern the recreational industry. However, differences between the two program still exist. If you’re a recreational consumer, 21 or older, you can possess:
- One ounce of usable marijuana
- Sixteen†ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form
- Seventy-two ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or
- Seven grams of marijuana concentrate
Qualified medical cardholders registered in the state of Washington can have:
- Up to three ounces of marijuana flower
- Up to 48 ounces of marijuana-infused products in solid form
- Up to 216 ounces of infused marijuana product in liquid form
- Up to 21 grams of marijuana concentrates
Washington, D.C. has both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws. The medical marijuana program began in 2010, though it was originally proposed in 1998. The recreational marijuana laws create a legal framework where adults 21 and over can possess, grow, and use marijuana legally, but did not include a mechanism to sell cannabis legally.
Recreational consumers are limited to possessing:
- Possess two ounces or less of marijuana;
- Transfer one ounce or less of marijuana to another person who is at least 21 years old, so long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services;
- Cultivate within their residence up to six marijuana plants, no more than three of which are mature;
Medical marijuana patients in Washington D.C. can buy weed up to two ounces in a 30-day period.
West Virginia lawmakers approved a medical marijuana program in 2017 but are not expecting the program to be up and running until mid-2019 at the earliest. They have not outlined possession limits for cardholders.