Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
Applying for a medical marijuana card is not a guarantee of approval. Yes, applications for medical cannabis cards can and do get denied.
Learn about why your application for a medical marijuana card could be denied. These reasons may be as simple as filling out your paperwork incorrectly. In contrast, other causes may pertain to your diagnosis and whether a healthcare provider has determined that you have a qualifying condition.
Medical Marijuana Card Denials
Medical marijuana card denials may occur during the application process or the patient’s appointment with your healthcare practitioner.
Your healthcare provider may determine that you do not have a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card. Alternatively, even if you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition, there could be a hiccup during the application process that results in a denial. However, in some states, you can amend your application and correct unintentional errors.
Reasons You Might Be Denied
The following are the most common reasons why your application for a medical marijuana card could be denied:
- You have not been diagnosed with a qualifying condition on your state’s list of approved conditions.
- There is a clerical error on your application, or you have not filled out your application completely.
- You are too young to obtain a medical marijuana card without the consent of your parent/s or legal guardian.
- You have a history of violent, drug-related crime that may have involved illegal weapons, illegal drug manufacturing, and/or sales and distribution.
Lack of a Qualifying Condition
To be eligible for a medical marijuana card, you must be formally diagnosed with one or more qualifying conditions in your state. The most common qualifying conditions are anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. These are just a handful of conditions, though, and there are dozens more that may qualify you for a medical card in your state. It’s also worth remembering that not all states have the same qualifying conditions. For example, some states have anxiety as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use, whereas others don’t.
Suppose a physical exam results in a diagnosis of anything but a qualifying medical condition, your medical marijuana card application will be denied. If your health status changes and you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition, you may reapply and possibly be approved.
Error on Your Application
Be sure to fill out your application accurately and thoroughly. Any inaccurate or missing information could result in the denial of your application. This information includes a passport photo of you, which must meet strict dimensions, background regulations, and other details. You will also need a valid government-issued photo identification that has not expired.
The best way to ensure that your application includes the correct information and identification photo is to apply for a medical marijuana card online. Paper applications tend to slow the process, but online applications are faster and allow you to create a log-in to check if your state authority needs any more information to process your request.
Age of Consent
Suppose you are under 18 (or 19 in some states). In that case, you will need your parent or legal guardian’s approval before the state can move forward with your medical marijuana patient application. In some states, your parent or legal guardian will need to apply with you and then serve as the cardholder (if approved) to purchase any medical marijuana products.
Violent Crime Record
Misdemeanor marijuana possession charges on your record will likely not impact your application for a medical card. Many states have been working to expunge the records of non-violent drug offenders. However, a more serious crime, especially a violent drug-related felony, could prevent you from obtaining a medical marijuana card in some states.
What to Do If Your Medical Card Application Was Denied
If your application is denied, you may still be able to receive approval for a medical marijuana card if you follow the appropriate course of action. Depending on the state, one option may be to file an appeal that may result in a hearing to redetermine your eligibility. Be aware that some states have a waiting period ranging from 30 days to six months after your initial application.
A denial for your medical marijuana card application doesn’t have to be the final word on the matter. Empower yourself with knowledge about your state’s laws and then take action and reapply for a medical marijuana card when you may be eligible.
Start the application process for a medical marijuana card online with one of Leafwell’s qualified medical professionals. We are here to meet with you in our virtual clinic and help you apply for your MMJ card in minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get a medical marijuana card on probation?
Whether you can get a medical marijuana card on probation depends on the laws in your state. In some states, like California, you may petition the court to be permitted to use medical marijuana. People on probation are subject to periodic drug tests, so if you have explicit permission from your state and a valid medical marijuana card, you may be able to consume cannabis legally.
Can you be denied a medical marijuana card if you have a drug addiction?
Some people use medical marijuana as a stepping stone to weaning off more dangerous drugs like opioids. However, there are some substance abuse counselors who may advise you not to consume cannabis while in recovery from drug addiction. The best course of action is to speak with your doctor and counselor, and if it seems like the right choice for you, schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor to review your qualifying condition and apply for a card in your state.
Do states have different rules for approving medical marijuana cards?
Yes, rules and regulations vary among the states. Stay up-to-date on your state’s medical marijuana laws for the most accurate and current information.