Can You Buy Medical Marijuana Online?

Marijuana has a complex history in the United States. 

It was once widely used among the upper class and immigrants from Latin America, but anti-immigrant hysteria led to fifty years of people being thrown in jail for marijuana possession. 

Now, people are pushing back, and most states allow marijuana use in some form. However, the country still has a complicated patchwork of marijuana laws that vary from one state to another. In some, you can use marijuana for medical purposes with a prescription from a doctor. Other states have legalized marijuana entirely, to the point that you can order marijuana online. Some states still prohibit using marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, though that’s unlikely to last. 

The entire country is on a steady march towards legalization, especially as younger generations come of age and begin exercising political power. As such, it’s possible that some states will loosen their regulations and that others will legalize marijuana altogether in a few years time. 

As of 2021, however, here’s what you can expect if you want to buy recreational or medical marijuana online. 

Can You Buy Medical Marijuana Online?

Ordering medical marijuana online tends to be somewhat incidental to physical laws. For instance, states that have fully legalized marijuana tend to have no restrictions on buying online whatsoever for recreational or medicinal use. States that only allow you to use marijuana with a prescription can be more strict, either by requiring greater verification or not allowing online purchases. However, you should be able to purchase medical marijuana online in any state where medicinal use is legal.

The major caveat to buying medical marijuana online is that you need to make sure you order from a dispensary within your own state, as crossing state lines with a controlled substance is illegal. This is one of the major hurdles that federal prohibition creates, even in legal states or when moving between two legal states. 

In states where marijuana is illegal, it’s naturally impossible to order online. It may be possible to order Delta 8 THC or other technically-legal substances in these states, but this is often hazardous and inadvisable. 

Where is it Legal to Buy Marijuana Online

In states that have fully legalized marijuana, you can usually buy from dispensaries within your state online with no trouble. Online payment and in-person pickup are an option, as is online delivery. As of autumn 2021, the following states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and allow online purchase of the substance. 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Guam
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

In the above states, you don’t need a marijuana prescription at all to use it recreationally or medicinally. However, states that require a prescription are different cases that need to be talked about separately. 

Can You Get a Marijuana Prescription Online? 

Until recently, it would have been virtually impossible to get a marijuana prescription online. However, the SARS-COV-2-19 pandemic has driven a renaissance in telemedicine that makes it possible to receive much of your medical assistance from the comfort of your home. In most cases, receiving a telehealth prescription from your doctor should be grounds for using medical marijuana. Of course, this isn’t a rubber-stamp process and will be at the discretion of your doctor. States that allow the use of medical marijuana with a prescription include:

  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • Minnesota 
  • Louisiana
  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Maryland

Once you have your prescription, though, can you get marijuana for your prescription online? This is where it becomes more complicated, and you need to dig into the laws on a state-by-state basis. In some states the laws aren’t clear when it comes to online purchase and shipping, and others banned ordering medical marijuana online until recently only to revise the law to allow this practice. 

While all of these states allow conditional marijuana usage, they vary when it comes to online purchasing. For instance, Minnesota currently does not allow people to order medical marijuana online and have it delivered, although pickup is permissible. This is also the case in New Hampshire, Alabama, and Ohio. In other states, the law does not explicitly forbid or allow delivery and online medical marijuana purchases exist in a grey area.

There are seven medical marijuana states where online purchase and homeside delivery are explicitly legal. Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware allow people to order marijuana to their home from a dispensary. Most of these states came around to allowing delivery due to health concerns during the pandemic, and the same pressure may inspire other states to change their policy. 

Where is it Illegal to Order Medical Marijuana Online? 

As mentioned, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Alabama, and Ohio explicitly forbid the delivery of medical marijuana. However, there are also the states that prohibit marijuana entirely. Some are so dedicated to opposing cannabis that they continue to prohibit CBD, even as the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products on the federal level. 

These are the states where there is no legal avenue to obtain any sort of medical marijuana, either via online purchase or in person:

  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin

Each of these states have considerable political forces working towards legalization, and it’s likely that they’ll begin opening the door for medical marijuana in the future. For the time being, though, possession and use remain illegal. The only options for marijuana in these states is using a chemically similar product, such as Delta 8 THC.