Even with medical marijuana—also called medical cannabis—being legal in most states, you still need a medical marijuana certification to purchase and use marijuana as an alternative form of treatment.

You receive this certification in the form of the Medical Marijuana (MMJ) card.

That said, the process of acquiring your MMJ certification may be long and complex, as you need to meet several requirements before getting your certification. Your application may even get declined due to several reasons that can vary between states.

Understanding the factors that could hinder your chance of getting your MMJ card could help you avoid obstacles and save you time during the certification process.

So, here are a few things that could potentially stop you from getting your MMJ certification.

You don’t have a qualifying medical condition

This is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a medical marijuana card—your eligibility for an MMJ card will depend on whether the condition you have qualifies for medical marijuana treatment.

That said, which are considered qualifying medical conditions will depend on the state you reside in. This means that even if your specific illness is recognized by other states but not in your home state, your application is likely to be declined.

When applying for a medical marijuana card, your doctor will determine if your condition qualifies for medical marijuana treatment in your state.

During the appointment with your doctor, be sure to give a detailed description of your symptoms to allow them to diagnose your medical condition and make an informed decision about your eligibility for an MMJ card.

You’re currently residing in a state that hasn’t legalized medical marijuana yet

At the moment, not all states and territories have legalized medical marijuana. It’s important to check if your state has legalized medical marijuana before you consider it as a treatment option.

Even if you already have an MMJ card, the medical marijuana card you get from one state can only be used in that particular state and won’t be valid in other states.

There are, however, a few states that will allow you to use out-of-state medical marijuana cards. These states are:

  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington D.C.

If you live in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, you’ll still need to provide proof of your residency when applying for your MMJ card.

Your age when you apply for certification

Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, your application will be rejected if you’re under the age of 18.

But, there are some exceptions to this rule, as some states allow parents to apply for an MMJ card on behalf of their children if they qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

You have a previous felony charge

In some states, having a felony charge may prevent you from qualifying for an MMJ card, especially if the felony is related to drug use.

That said, this restriction for people with felonies varies from state to state. In fact, most states don’t bar people with felonies from getting a medical marijuana card.

Examples of states that prevent people with felonies from getting your MMJ card are:

  • Iowa: People with drug-related felonies can’t apply for medical marijuana certification.
  • Illinois: Anyone who is a convicted felon can’t get a medical marijuana certification.

Before applying for medical marijuana certification, you must check your home state’s laws if you’re afraid that an earlier conviction may hinder your chances of getting certified.

Research comprehensively before applying for your MMJ certification

The process of getting your MMJ card can be a long one, and researching the medical marijuana laws in your state is critical to understanding the legal requirements of obtaining an MMJ certification.

If you’re not sure where to start on your journey towards getting your MMJ card, work with a medical marijuana certification center.

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