Can Convicted felons apply for a medical marijuana license?
Publish Date: 01 January 2022; Author: Darren M. Jorgenson.
The residents of more than 30 states in the U.S. itself can access medical marijuana treatment, but each state has its own state rules concerning medical cannabis use. Since the eligibility criteria for the treatment also include several factors like:
- Being a resident of the state
- Having a minimum age of 21 years or more
- A written recommendation obtained from a state-licensed marijuana doctor
But along with this, things are less clear about the felony conviction. A question is often popped everywhere that “Can a person get a medical marijuana card if he/she has a felony?” or “Can I access medical marijuana if I have a felony?”
Well, this is a consistent concern that is often asked.
And as per the state guidelines, convicted felons may lose ample rights in the U.S. Out of these, some rights can be restored over time, but others might be lost forever.
Though these rights vary from state to state, here are a few rights that a convicted felon may lose:
- Employment in specific fields
- Foreign travel
- Parental benefits
- Jury service
- Public housing and social benefits
- Right to own guns
Each state has its own rules for medical marijuana use, and following them is essential. Not following any laws can lead to a felony and put you in a legal trap.
So, can convicted felons apply for a license?
Criminal conviction limitations are generally an attempt to use past behavior to predict the public safety risks in the future. In several industries, these restrictions are defended as essential for consumer safety.
In the legitimate cannabis industry, consumer safety concerns are coupled with a desire for the industry to comply with the Cole Memo.
This Cole Memo was first issued in 2013 by Deputy Attorney General James Cole in response to the decriminalization in Colorado and Washington.
This Cole Memo lays out the below mentioned key enforcement priorities for cannabis:
- Preventing marijuana distribution to minors
- Preventing revenue from marijuana sales from going to criminal gangs and enterprises.
- Preventing marijuana’s diversion from states where it is legitimate under the state law
- Preventing violence and firearms use in the distribution and cultivation of marijuana
- Preventing state-licensed marijuana activity from being utilized as a pretext for the trafficking of other illegal activities or drugs
- Preventing marijuana use or possession on federal property
- Preventing marijuana cultivation on public lands
- Preventing drugged driving and exacerbating several other adverse public health consequences linked with cannabis use.
This memo expects the legal states to implement effective and strong regulatory and enforcement systems.
Looking to Apply for an Medical Marijuana Card
Get Started by following these Steps:
1. Start FIlling up the 420 Evaluations form with your details.
2. Get Evaluated by a Local MMJ doctor once the submission is complete.
3. Get Approved and Receive your Letter In Your Email.
So which states permit felons to use Medical Marijuana? And which do not allow for the same?
However, several states go even further in favor of felons. For instance, California has the pathway for non-violent cannabis offenders with the help of Proposition 64.
Sadly, locations like Illinois are more draconian. In Illinois, MMJ patients must have their fingerprints scanned and go through a thorough background check. And in case the test shows a conviction for the drug crime, the applicant won’t get a medical card.
The story is somewhat similar in the Lowa, where the conviction restricts you from acquiring an MMJ Card.
However, establishing a legitimate medical marijuana business with a felony conviction is entirely a separate matter.
So, can felons get access to medical cannabis?
Well, not really, if they are trying to open a business.
Ample states offering legitimate medical marijuana programs do not permit felons to get commercial business licenses.
Especially if a person’s prior convictions were for drug trafficking or any other drug-related charges.
The CEO of Massachusetts medical cannabis dispensary, Robert Mayerson, said in the article published in Forbes:
“Allowing those who have demonstrated the willingness and interest to avoid federal and state laws sends erroneous signals to those who would participate in the regulated and legal marijuana industry.”
Several other U.S. states have also implemented similar limitations. These are for the would-be cannabis business operators with a felony conviction in order to legitimize the trade.
However, one of the major concerns is transporting medical marijuana products from a legal to an illegal state.
So, can you get medical cannabis if you have a felony?
Well, if we talk about its unofficial answer, the answer is yes! You can even access cannabis if you live in a legal state barring Iowa and Illinois at present.
At last, it is worth noticing that ample states put limitations on the caregivers with a felony conviction. A caregiver can legally access, purchase, deliver, transport, and even cultivate medical cannabis on behalf of a qualified marijuana patient.
Felons can use medical marijuana in most states if they meet the medical marijuana program’s criteria. But you need to get a piece of complete information concerning the same, and in the state, you are applying.
However, with any update in any of the legal states, we will keep you updated with the relevant information concerning medical marijuana use.