7 Reasons Why Patients Are Denied a Medical Cannabis Card

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Florida, Medical Marijuana, Uncategorized

7 Reasons Why Patients Are Denied a Medical Cannabis Card

Many patients are interested in exploring alternative health as an option to improve symptom management. Particularly if traditional prescription medications and therapies haven’t provided relief. Medical cannabis is a legal option for qualified patients, and the majority of patients who apply for a medical card are approved.

However, there are some cases where a practitioner cannot certify a patient for medical cannabis. And it can be disappointing for the patient to hear. If a patient is not eligible for a medical card, a refund of their fee is provided. And an explanation from the practitioner regarding the reason why they were not certified for medical cannabis.

Medical practitioners must follow state laws regarding eligibility and explore with each patient to determine if medical cannabis may cause adverse effects that can harm the patient’s health or well-being. We’d like to explain the seven main reasons why a patient may be denied a medical card.

1. The Patient Did Not Have One of the Qualifying Conditions

Every state that has legalized medical cannabis requires that patients have one or more qualifying conditions. Each state is different in terms of the diagnoses that are accepted during the application process for a medical card. And you must be formally diagnosed.

The applicant must show proof, with medical records, that they have been diagnosed with one (or more than one) qualifying health problem in order to be certified by the practitioner. In some cases, patients may have experienced chronic pain in the past due to an injury, but the condition may have resolved over time.

A practitioner will evaluate your current symptoms and diagnosis to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements to become a registered medical cannabis patient. In the event that a patient was diagnosed several years prior, an updated letter from a primary care provider confirming the diagnosis may be required.

2. Patient Does Not Meet Residency Requirements

During the application process, every patient who wants to apply for a medical cannabis card must provide proof that they reside in the state as a permanent resident. Even if you spend a great deal of time in another state, there are legal residency requirements.

If you are a Snow Bird and you have a vacation home in a different state, you could be accommodated, depending on state laws. For example, in Florida, Snow Birds can apply for a medical card after thirty-one (31) days of residency in Florida.

What is Accepted as Proof of Residency?

There are several types of documents that can provide proof of residency, which are required when applying for a medicinal cannabis card. In most cases, the document must be dated within the past sixty (60) days to be accepted by law.

The types of proof of residency that patients may provide include:

  • A copy of a current lease from the state of application.
  • A utility bill, including hook-up charges for a rental or purchased home.
  • A deed to a home or property where the patient resides.
  • A letter from the state government or local municipality, with the address of residency and name of the patient.
  • A property tax receipt.
  • Valid DMV registration.
  • State-issued driver’s license.

Some states provide reciprocity or recognize the rights of a patient who is a medical cardholder in another state. But not every state provides this option. If you cannot prove permanent residency in the state that you are applying in, you may be denied a medical cannabis card.

3. Parental Consent Was Required

Medical cannabis has another requirement; you must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or older to get your medical marijuana card. However, if you are a qualified patient under the age of eighteen, you may apply with a caregiver or legal guardian.

The definition of a legal guardian is someone who directly cares for an adolescent or child. That can also be an adoptive parent, foster parent, or relative who resides with the child. Suppose the individual applying as a caregiver has a history of drug abuse or a violent or drug-related criminal record. In that case, they may not be certified as a caregiver according to state law.

There are eligibility requirements for caregivers, just as there are for patients, before they may be registered with a state medical marijuana program. If parental consent was required but not provided on the application, your medical card may be denied, per state law.

4. Conflicts With Prescription Medications and Medical Cannabis

Medical marijuana is well tolerated by most patients and can be an effective therapeutic tool to improve symptom management. However, cannabis can be contraindicated (or conflict) with certain types of prescription medications and may cause adverse effects.

One of the most important parts of the medical cannabis card health evaluation is reviewing current prescription medications that you may be taking. In some cases, cannabinoids can hinder how prescription drugs work, and that can place a patient at risk. If you are taking a class of prescription medication that is known to conflict with cannabis, you may be denied a medical marijuana card.

5. Presence of Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Many states are considering adding opioid misuse as one of the new qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. That is because some clinical studies suggest that cannabis may help patients who develop a substance use disorder (SUD) after using opioids or other narcotics for a long time.

It may be difficult to determine whether someone has a substance use disorder unless treatment for drug abuse is included in the medical records provided by the patient. It is important to remember that drug interactions can present a real risk to the health and safety of patients. Protect your health, and be honest with the practitioner during the medical marijuana card certification process.

While cannabis may be considered a safer alternative to other controlled substances and illicit drugs, the use of medical marijuana is not recommended by most practitioners if the patient has a substance use disorder.

6. Patient May Be Currently Pregnant or Breast Feeding

The use of any controlled substance can cause harm to infants when consumed by pregnant women. Cannabinoids may cause side effects, including negative impacts on cognitive development, such as focus, learning, and concentration. Some studies also suggest that cannabis exposure to adolescents and children can impair coordination and other physical functions.

If you are a patient with a qualifying medical condition and you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, you will not be certified for a medical marijuana card. However, once you have completed breastfeeding, you may be approved.

7. Mental Health Condition Where Cannabis is Contraindicated

Cannabis can be both a stimulant and a depressant. For this reason, practitioners will discuss preexisting mental health concerns with the patient when considering whether to certify someone for a medical marijuana card.

For example, if you have clinical depression, some types of medical cannabis may exacerbate symptoms of fatigue or cause sedation which can be dangerous with certain types of psychotropic mental health prescription medications.

There are some mental health conditions that may prevent a patient from being certified because cannabis may pose a safety risk or, in some cases, make symptoms worse. There are five mental health conditions that may prevent you from getting a medical marijuana card:

Psychosis and Schizophrenia

A patient who has been diagnosed with either schizophrenia or psychosis will not be approved for medical cannabis. Cannabis can exacerbate symptoms, contributing to hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, and feelings of paranoia.

In some cases, where a patient has not been diagnosed but has a prevalent family history of either mental health disorders, approval for a medical card may also be denied. That is because patients who may be genetically predisposed to psychosis or schizophrenia may have adverse reactions to cannabinoids. Some studies suggest that it may increase the risk of developing mental health disorders.

Bipolar Disorders

There are several different types of Bipolar Disorders, including Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia. The most severe form of Bipolar Disorder is type I, which involves periods of mania lasting more than seven days, followed by extreme depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks, and mixed episodes where patients may have both mood disorders at the same time. In some cases, patients require direct care and hospitalization.

Just as medical cannabis can have a positive impact on mood, it also has the potential to destabilize mood states and contribute to dangerous changes in mood that can place a patient at risk of self-harm or substance use disorders (SUDs).

Anxiety Disorders

Feeling stressed or worried from time to time is normal, but for patients who have clinical anxiety, those feelings can be a persistent and daily struggle. Some strains of cannabis that are Indica dominant may help reduce anxiety and provide pain relief. However, other types of Sativa dominant strains can trigger feelings of high-energy, cerebral anxiousness, and paranoia.

Depending on the severity of anxiety symptoms, a practitioner may hesitate to certify a patient for this reason. However, some patients with mild to moderate anxiety may benefit from having a medical marijuana card and receive guidance on specific strains to avoid, which may trigger unwanted psychoactive effects.


Like other mental health conditions, there are varying degrees of severity when it comes to clinical depression. Some types of cannabinoids may help patients with depression, according to medical studies. But others, particularly Indica dominant strains, can exacerbate symptoms.

Patients with severe depression may experience mood impairment that can disrupt cognitive behavioral therapy. Many medications prescribed to patients with severe clinical depression may conflict with medical cannabis. Despite debilitating symptoms, it may not be safe to combine those medications with doctor-supervised medical marijuana use.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

There is little scientific evidence suggesting that medical marijuana may benefit patients with ADHD. That is why many states do not include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as one of the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. Some studies suggest, however, that cannabis may impair focus and concentration, which can cause greater difficulties for patients with ADHD.

What Can You Do If You Were Denied a Medical Marijuana Card?

If the healthcare provider has denied your application for a medical card, it may indicate one or more reasons why cannabis use may not be a safe choice for you. Unfortunately, while many patients have symptoms that may qualify, practitioners must decide if the risks of medical marijuana use outweigh the benefits for every patient they see.

Clinical-grade CBD may help patients suffering from inflammation-related chronic pain and other symptoms. Talk to your doctor about other therapeutic methods that may help you manage your symptoms better and provide relief for your health problems.

And remember, if you were denied a medical marijuana card, it is because there are concerns about safe use. Protecting your health is our top priority at MedWell Health & Wellness Centers.

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