Can I Get A Medical Marijuana Card With A Felony?

Get A Medical Marijuana Card With A Felony

With the legalization of the use of medical marijuana in 37 states of the USA, there has been a sustainable rise in the number of marijuana consumers. Obtained from the Cannabis Sativa plant, cannabis or marijuana is a popular psychoactive substance known for recreational and medical benefits. However, the laws and qualifying conditions for the use of marijuana vary from state to state.

The criteria usually include being a U.S. citizen and having the appropriate age. For instance, the legal age to use marijuana in most U.S. states is a minimum of 21.

But what if you are charged with a felony? To people’s knowledge, in the USA, a felony is a highly serious crime like murder or rape compared to less serious offenses. The punishment for felonies is generally very severe depending on the type of the crime. Millions of people live with a felony in the USA. Convicted felons lose many rights in the United States, including voting, foreign travel, parental perks, and social benefits.

Not getting a Medical Marijuana Card can be another right that a convicted felon may be deprived of. However, this depends on where you live. Before we dive deeper, let’s first understand what an MMJ card is.

An Overview of Medical Marijuana Card

Though marijuana is well known as a recreational drug, it is known to help individuals boost their health and quality of life. Medical marijuana is an alternative drug for people suffering from various health issues like depression and anxiety to name a few.

However, it is important to get a medical marijuana card to use marijuana for medical use. An MMJ card is a document approved by a certified medical expert that allows someone to legally obtain and use marijuana to real all of its medical benefits. However, there are certain conditions like appropriate age that you must qualify for to get an MMJ card. The qualifying conditions vary from state to state.

Can I Get Medical Marijuana Card With a Felony?

In some USA states like Mississippi, certain felons convicted of serious crimes like rape, don’t have voting rights. For a convicted felon even accessing normal things like getting a job, travelling, or voting is a roadblock.

Imagine how hard it can be to get an MMJ card. Interestingly enough, obtaining an MMJ card with a felony depends from state to state.

For convicted felons, it is feasible to get an MMJ card approved by a licensed physician, however, you are subjected to a background screening.

This background check focuses on your criminal history and record. While the offences listed in your criminal record are important, the most vital will be whether or not you are charged with a drug offence. In case you are charged with a drug offence, there is a high chance that you won’t qualify for an MMJ card.

States That Allow Felons to Use MMJ

Interestingly, a convicted felon is more deprived of benefits like voting rights and public housing than medical marijuana.

A majority of MMJ programs have no hard restrictions for felons. In most cases, one must qualify the following conditions to get an MMJ card

  • Above a specific age limit
  • Suffering from a health issue
  • Completing the application form honestly
  • Recommended by a licensed doctor
  • Licensing fee payment

There are many states that are in favour of allowing felons to use medical marijuana. This includes

California: As per Proposition 64 in California, nonviolent marijuana criminals can clear their records. Doing so allows them to enjoy rights like getting a gun licence, enjoying a government job, and starting a cannabis-growing business.

New York: Similarly, with the legalisation of recreational marijuana in New York, the bill allows felons to get an MMJ card in NY. However, it is important to get it approved by an authorised cannabis doctor in NY.

Arizona: Arizona allows drug traffickers, murderers, and felons to get an MMJ card after receiving certification from a licensed medical marijuana doctor.

States That Don’t Allow Felons to Use MMJ

Most U.S. states allow felons to get an MMJ card. However, exceptions do exist. Some U.S. states that don’t issue an MMJ card if you are convicted are

Illinois: Sadly, Illinois is one of the states that don’t allow felons convicted of drug offenses to access or get an MMJ card.

As per state law, the person applying for an MMJ card needs to get their fingerprints scanned and go through a background check. You won’t get an MMJ card in case your reports show that you have been charged with a drug offense.

It is important to note that applicants who clear test results under the provision for first-time offenders can easily get MMJ cards.

Iowa: Just like Illinois, Iowa doesn’t allow felons convicted of drug offences to get an MMJ card. The state follows a simple mantra, “Once a criminal, always a criminal.”

Can Felons Get Medical Marijuana Business Licence?


As mentioned above, states like New York and California allow felons to use medical marijuana to improve their health conditions. But when it comes to getting a medical marijuana business licence, things are different.

As per legal marijuana programs, it is restricted to get a commercial business licence if the felon is convicted of drug offences.

Almost every U.S. state has similar restrictions to “legitimize the trade”. The main reason behind this is the trading of marijuana from a legal to an illegal state.

Let’s Wrap Up

Hopefully, most of your doubts are cleared. Overall, a convicted felon can get an MMJ card in most legal states except Illinois and Iowa at present.

Last but the least, it is important to know that many states impose restrictions on caregivers with felony convictions. To your knowledge, a caregiver has a legal right to buy, transport, and deliver medical marijuana to a qualified patient.

Suffering from health conditions like depression or anxiety? If yes, medical marijuana is the right medicine for you. However, it is recommended to approach NY Medical Card to get a Medical Marijuana card from a licensed doctor on the same day.

New York Allows Legal Cannabis Cultivation: Should You Try it?

It’s no new news that New York fully legalized cannabis. The new law lays down many new provisions which seemed like a pipe dream earlier. One of them is the legal right to cultivate cannabis. However, it might not be in effect until 18 months after the first sale of legal marijuana. But, we can always start preparing, right?

As per the law, if you are 21 years or older or have a legit medical marijuana card in New York, you have the full freedom to have your own little cannabis harvest at home. Though there will be some limits and restrictions, it won’t be an offence anymore. 

But the real question is, if the state has legalized it, should you give it a try? Is growing cannabis at home suited to you or your medical condition? Most importantly, are you ready to make that effort? Well, let’s walk you through some aspects of cannabis cultivation so that you can land on a determined decision by the end of this blog. 

Growing Cannabis Requires Effort

Let’s be honest, growing cannabis may not be as easy as having a harvest of lettuce in the backyard. Growing cannabis requires effort, especially if you are a beginner. But, it can be fun too.

You can always begin with easier strains such as Blue Dream, Wedding Cake and Sour OG. These strains have a high yield and easily adapt to the weather. But, your amount of effort will primarily depend on whether you choose to grow cannabis indoors or outdoors. 

It may be possible that the state law only allows indoor cultivation. In this case, you will have to provide everything a plant needs to survive inside your home. So, from the right spectrum of light and proper ventilation to maintain humidity levels to water cycles and nutrients, you will have to take care of everything. Sounds like a lot, but after proper research, with time and the final yield, you will love the experience. 

The only problem that you might face when growing cannabis at home is the constant herby smell. Well, cannabis is smelly. Some say it’s skunky while others say the smell is fruity. But, in any case, you will have a smelly house. And you might even attract some people interested in your harvest. But as long as you keep it contained in a well ventilated area, you will have a great time growing it in your home. 

It Costs Money and Contributes Savings Too

Growing cannabis will cost you money. An outdoor setup may be cheaper but you will need to make some investment for the indoor setup. This includes the grow lights, a container, cannabis seeds or plants, nutrients and humidifier, to name a few. But, the good news is that it is only an initial investment. With time, having your own cannabis plants will save you a lot of money.

Medical marijuana patients might relate to the rise in monthly expenses that regular cannabis restocking can lead to. But, with your own harvest at home, you just have to wait a few months before you can stop buying cannabis. There will always be an unlimited supply of freshly cured buds at your home. 

Since cannabis cultivation is for personal use only, the initial investment too wouldn’t be huge. Connect with a professional to get some guidance on everything you might need and the total expense. 

You Have Complete Control 

When you are using cannabis for medical reasons, it’s very important that the herb that goes into your body is of good quality. This is one of the reasons why medical marijuana patients are advised to carefully read the labels of every cannabis product that they buy. But, if you grow your own cannabis, you have complete control over the growing conditions and the quality of your herb. 

You can decide the type of fertilizers for the harvest or if you need to use pesticides or not. In addition to this, you also have control over the lights and the water cycles and can use any growing technique that you might want to try. Growing cannabis at home gives you complete control over the cannabis strain too. You can always experiment with different strains and grow the type that you like. 

So, as long as you have access to good quality seeds, you can have a yield of good quality cannabis at your home.

It’s Convenient

It goes without saying that growing cannabis at home is very convenient. You never have to worry about restocking or visiting a medical dispensary. Whenever your stock is nearing its end, you can always reach out to your storage and grab some fresh buds. Growing cannabis is highly beneficial for patients who do not have a cannabis dispensary nearby. 

With your own harvest of cannabis, you also get the freedom to try different cannabis consumption methods. From edibles to a plain old rolled joint, you can experiment with every method. Just make sure that you follow every law that the New York government lays out to avoid any legal complications. 

Will You Be Growing Your Own Cannabis in New York?

So, whenever the state of New York decides to begin cannabis cultivation at home, do you think you will be one of the many patients with cannabis plants? 

Now that you have some idea about the effort and benefits that come along with growing your own cannabis, you will be able to take a side. But if you are still not sure, you have all the time to decide since the law of cannabis cultivation will be in effect only after every other way of accessing the herb legally starts in the state. 

Until then, do your research, get your medical marijuana card in New York and wait for the laws to progress.

When Will Marijuana be Legal in NY?

When Will Marijuana be Legal in NY

As of now, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana including New York, and 12 states have legalized recreational marijuana. These are exciting times for canna enthusiasts as cannabis is finally getting the accolade it deserves. And rightly so. Medical marijuana provides amazing medicinal benefits and has proven to help people with conditions and their symptoms like chronic pain, depression, epilepsy, nausea, lack of appetite, insomnia, stress, anxiety, etc.

The beauty of cannabis is that you get to choose the strain you want. There are thousands of cannabis strains that you can get; each having their unique aroma, flavor, and effects. Also, you get to choose the method of consumption. You can smoke, vape, eat, or even apply it. But some of these methods are not legal in New York. We will get to that later on. The state is actually known for having one of the strictest cannabis programs in the country. Let’s take a look why.

Are you a New Yorker wondering when will marijuana be legal in NY?

When Will Marijuana be Legal in NY

Medical Marijuana

In 2014, medical marijuana was legalized in the state of New York. Although people tend to stay distant because of the process being inconvenient, time-consuming, and expensive. But all that changed when telemedicine entered the fray. The process became easier, inexpensive, and convenient.

To access medical marijuana in New York, first, you need to check if your condition qualifies for the New York state medical marijuana program. As per the Assembly Bill, a person diagnosed with a severe condition like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Chronic Pain, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Inflammatory bowel disease, ALS, Spinal cord nerve injury with intractable spasticity, PTSD, Neuropathy, Opioid alternative for pain, Epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, and Substance use disorder is awarded legal protection by the state of New York.

These 14 conditions qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation in the state. Also, the person must have certain symptoms accompanying any one of the conditions mentioned above. These include nausea, cachexia, chronic pain, PTSD, seizures, opioid use disorder, and muscle spasms.

Now, to get access to medical marijuana in New York, you must also qualify the residency criteria of the state. Here, you must demonstrate ID proof for residency in the state through a New York State Driver’s license or a New York State non-driver ID card.

If you meet this criterion then all left to do is to get yourself a medical recommendation to get legal access to the herb. To get that, you must seek a licensed medical professional registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Telemedicine has made this process quite easy with you not having to even step outside your house.

Fill an online application and you will be connected to our doctor. He will do your 420 evaluation and if he feels you qualify for the medical marijuana program, you will receive a recommendation through email within minutes. After receiving this certification, you’ll need to register with the New York Department of Health to be a valid medical marijuana patient. The certified patients can name up to two caregivers, and those who can’t give consent, including children must name at least one caregiver.

Congratulations! Now you can access quality medical marijuana strains to manage your condition.

Although, you would want to control your excitement and keep the expectations not too high otherwise you may end up feeling disappointed. When we think about cannabis, we often associate it with smoking. But actually, there are other ways to consume the herb.

You can apply, spray, vape, and even take it as a capsule. And that is where the reality of medical cannabis in New York sets in. Medical marijuana is legal in New York, but it is available only in smoke-free and non-food product forms. Yes, you cannot smoke it in New York, but there is a silver lining to it; By doing this, the state wants to ensure the safest delivery methods for the patients like capsules, oral sprays, oils, and vaporization.

Recreational Marijuana

Now, that we have established that medical marijuana is legal in the state, let’s talk about recreational marijuana. In August 2019, the long-overdue legislation decriminalizing marijuana in New York came into effect. It increased the amount of marijuana you can possess without getting booked with a criminal charge. So, now if you have 2 ounces of marijuana on you, it is considered as a violation and not a crime. Before, if you were only caught with an ounce of marijuana, the fine was $100, but now that has also been lowered to $50.

Also, cannabis was added to the definition of smoking in the Public Health Law, which essentially means that one cannot smoke marijuana where smoking tobacco is prohibited. So, next time if you decide to light one in a public place, you would likely get a citation but won’t be charged with a criminal offense that may go into your record permanently. This changes the marijuana paradigm of the state for the better.

This should have been good news but it came as a disappointment as people were expecting the legalization of recreational marijuana. As many touted it to be a big setback some people believed it to be just a delay. “It will be legalized. If not today. Then tomorrow. This is not the end just a delay” said Xin Ming Fu, a medical marijuana doctor in a statement.

So, let’s consider this decriminalization as a silver lining and hope that in near future recreational marijuana could also be legalized. So, I may not be able to point my finger at the answer to the question “When will marijuana be legal in NY,” but I can assure you that legalization of marijuana is peeking through the horizon.