Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Can a Felon Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

Table of Contents

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

Felons who have been incarcerated a long time are exposed to a variety of illnesses. These can become chronic medical conditions that they will have to deal with long after they return to society.

Some of these may not respond to traditional medical treatment, leading them to seek alternative care. Sometimes, this might be medical marijuana that typically requires a medical marijuana card.

The question is whether a felon can get a medical marijuana card. Let’s understand this.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

  • What Is Medical Marijuana?
  • What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?
  • Reasons to Get a Medical Marijuana Card
  • States That Issue a Medical Marijuana Card
  • How Do You Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
  • Where Do You Get Medical Marijuana?
  • Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card with a Felony?
  • What If You Are Denied a Medical Marijuana Card?


What Is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is an alternative medicine for those individuals suffering from various disorders that allows them to improve their quality of life.

It is a substance that treats medical conditions using the marijuana plant and the chemicals it contains. When used otherwise, it is simply recreational marijuana.

The marijuana plant contains over 100 various chemicals called cannabinoids. THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the primary chemicals used in medicinal cannabis. THC produces the “high” people experience when they smoke marijuana.

What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?

A medical marijuana card is a document that allows someone to legally obtain marijuana for medical reasons. Technically, a medical marijuana card is called a medical marijuana recommendation. It is a legal requirement for anyone using cannabis for medical reasons.  

To get a medical marijuana card, you must have a physical condition that qualifies for medical marijuana use. Each state makes its own list of qualifying conditions. 

After obtaining a cannabis card, you are allowed to buy medical marijuana at a dispensary, which is a store set up to sell medical marijuana.

Reasons to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

There are a number of medical conditions that are thought to respond to medical marijuana. Cannabis is often a recommended alternative treatment for a number of such conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Muscular dystrophy

Marijuana has also been shown to provide relief to other medical conditions, including depression and anxiety.

Research has shown that the greatest effects of medical marijuana are in conditions like chronic pain, negative effects of chemotherapy, and the spasticity that accompanies multiple sclerosis (MS). 

States That Issue a Medical Marijuana Card

Medical marijuana is not allowed in all states. Each state makes its own determination. Some states permit only terminally ill patients to use marijuana legally.  

Currently, a medical marijuana card is available in 33 states in addition to the District of Columbia. A complete list of states that authorize a medical marijuana card can be found here.  

Physicians recommend medical marijuana for specific illnesses and chronic conditions, knowing that these are exempt from criminal prosecution in those states that have a medical marijuana law.

All marijuana use that is for medical reasons must be approved in the individual state’s legislature.  Patients can be approved through medical marijuana recommendation, evaluation, and card registry.

A medical marijuana card ensures that you are a registered patient in the state in which you reside. This will prevent possible legal issues regarding medical marijuana obtained without such a card.  

How Do You Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

A physician who has a medical marijuana license can initiate the process. A medical marijuana card is available through the Department of Health Services in the state in which you reside and is usually valid for one year.  

When it expires, it can be renewed through the same process as before. The renewal process that is used verifies a patient’s information in receiving a new medical marijuana registry card and a new marijuana identification number.

After obtaining a medical cannabis card, there are stipulations about how much marijuana you are legally allowed to possess. State laws differ, but you can possess as many as six mature marijuana plants and up to eight ounces of processed marijuana in states according to legal guidelines.

The record of medical marijuana evaluation is protected by federal laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This ensures that your name will not appear on a list of marijuana users maintained by the DEA.

Where Do You Get Medical Marijuana?

A physician’s recommendation will allow you to obtain medical marijuana through a dispensary. There are two types of dispensaries, depending on what they sell.  

These include a medical and recreational dispensary. A medical dispensary is only allowed to sell marijuana according to a licensed physician’s recommendation.

In order to obtain medical marijuana at a medical dispensary, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a physician’s written recommendation
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Register there for legal purposes
  • Privacy for consultation
  • Have purchases tracked

Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card with a Felony?

It is possible to obtain a medical marijuana card with a felony conviction. If you want this ID card you can apply through a licensed physician, but you will be subject to a background check.

This background check will focus on the criminal section of your record. While the offenses listed in your record are important, the most critical will be whether you have been convicted of a felony drug offense. If so, you will not be eligible to get a medical marijuana card.

For those who want to obtain a medical marijuana card, you must be aware that a background check will be run. For those meeting the criteria, you can seek to have your record expunged.

What If You Are Denied a Medical Marijuana Card?

There may be different reasons for being denied a medical marijuana card. First, you might not live in one of the 33 states that permits medical marijuana. It is important to verify that the state in which you reside is one that allows use of medical marijuana. 

Then, you may not have a qualifying medical condition. Only certain medical issues are covered by medical marijuana statutes.

For many states, the following is a list of conditions that can be approved:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis

Next, you may not be old enough at the time you complete your application. Generally, you must be at least 18 years old.

You could have made errors in the provided information or completed the application improperly.

Finally, you may have a felony conviction that will eliminate you from consideration. The most common type of felony that will lead to a denial of your application is having a drug-related offense.

If you apply for a medical marijuana card and get it, you can use cannabis to treat your medical condition. If you are turned down, you need to remember that if you use marijuana without a medical marijuana card, you may be doing so illegally.

You can be subject to civil and criminal penalties depending on your state of residence. A medical marijuana card ensures that you are a registered patient within your state which can help avoid possible legal issues.

You must be honest in disclosing all information. A felony that isn’t disclosed but is discovered on a background check is fraud, punishable by possibly being sent back to prison. 

Remember that you don’t have to be defined by your crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but in how we recover from them. You can live an honest life, no matter how challenging it may seem.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get a marijuana card with a felony? What was that like, and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Can a Felon Get a Medical Marijuana Card?”

  1. I was approved by my primary doctor and he set up meeting with a certified doctor to issue the card. Can still get medical marijuana in PA if convicted of ungraded felony for intend and possession around 13 years ago?

  2. I paid $120 for the application and for the license for my medical marijuana card online. A License physcian called me, ask me questions and I had to send him pictures of my prescriptions and if I had any medical records on hand. I’m a felon, on probation in Tulsa Oklahoma. I get off probation in January of 2021. They didn’t do a background check or none of that. I was approved in 15 minutes, and I’ll get my license in a week!

  3. It’s worth mentioning the possibility that the convicted citizen was erroneously convicted, so, in that case, this article’s penultimate paragraph should read,

    ‘Remember that you might be judged by your crime, and you might be misjudged by the errors of the justice system (in the event that you were wrongfully convicted). We are often ‘defined’ by our mistakes, or by the mistakes, or lies, of those in authority who have misjudged us previously. How we recover from these ‘judgements’ may affect how honest a life we can lead, no matter how unfair the charges against us..’

  4. The Florida statutes state that expungement is not possible if there is actually a conviction… That also includes if adjudication has been withheld but they had to do probation that’s the same thing as a conviction in the eyes of the Florida legislature. If you commit a felony level crime and receive some kind of punishment, even if they withhold adjudication to prevent a felony conviction actually being on the record the punishment itself is evidence of guilt and they will not allow expungement. It turns out that expungement is to erase any traces of arrest that did not result in any finding of guilt or the charges were dropped. It’s arrests that can be expunged. That helps out people who are applying for jobs and naturally have to undergo a background check… Arrests show up on background checks even if the arrest didn’t lead to anything… And in some peoples eyes arrests make you look like you’re guilty of something and it can interfere with being hired… So that’s when expungement comes in handy.

  5. If you’ve been charged and will not be convicted for a drug charge are you able to qualify for a medical marijuana card?

  6. My husband just applied for a medical card. Now we are worried he will not be able to get pain relief because of a 30 year old felony drug conviction…

  7. Wow people like you are the reason americans get such a bad rap. So your saying that the law is for the people and we shouldnt question it right? Yeah i mean why would america try to imprison people for any reason they can. Its not like the system befits off people going to jail thats a drag on the system actually they do we incarcerate more people then any other country in the world by far. Benjamin franklin one of the founders of our country said its the first duty of every citizen to question the reigning government. And please if you believe the system is squeeky clean look up cia smuggling coke or how they synthasized crack to target black communities or the plutonium files. America loves you cause you just assume they are honest and if they are taking your money or jailling you you must deserve it. Obviously you didnt go to college. Just verse yourself even to the basics of a subject before you make yourself look like a mindless puppet. And when your wife comes home smelling like sex hey why would she lie. And being a yes man means you will get kicked around your whole life by everyone in it deal with it. Say im wrong about that last part

  8. My son uses Marijuana to help with stress and depression but now he did get put in jail graduation night for a crime. He has served time pays restitution but still uses and keeps getting put back in jail for dropping dirty. Now that our state has passed the law for medical use I want to try and help him get the help he needs. He works and has no other crimes since graduation night but continues to be set back in life and it only adds to his stress and depression. It’s a horrible situation.


Leave a Comment

Explore More within Felony Record Hub

Jobs for Felons
Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.
post explore


How we help

This website was created by a few folks who have personally watched their loved ones struggle to get a job due to having a felony.

Your New Life Starts Here.

logo frh no text
Start Here
icon jobs

Jobs for Felons

Get to work faster with jobs for felons curated for you.

icon housing

Housing for Felons

Find housing for felons, listed by state.

icon legal

Legal Help

The legal help you need to put your past behind you

icon rights

Rights For Felons

Learn how you can get your rights back as a felon.

icon companies hiring

Companies Hiring Felons

Finding employment as a felon is tough. That’s why we have aggregated the best jobs for felons in one spot.

View Companies
icon programs

Reentry Programs

Resources to help ex-offenders gain essential life skills for making the right choices in life.

View Reentry Programs