5 Reasons to Renew Your MMJ Card Early

by Haley Mills · February 13, 2023

Are your medical marijuana card expired or about to expire? Don’t wait until the last minute. Learn why you should consider renewing early—check out these 5 reasons why now!

Man renewing his expired medical card early online

Most medical marijuana cards must be renewed annually, though a few exceptions exist.  While you can wait until your card has expired to renew, there are benefits to getting this process done early.  You don’t even have to spend an entire day at the doctor’s office to continue your certification, as there are safe and secure options online. 

Read below as we explain how you can obtain your online medical card renewal and why you should get it done before the expiration date. 

What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical cannabis is available nationwide in two-thirds of the states and for hundreds of thousands of patients with qualifying conditions. Patients can use medical marijuana to treat various conditions, ranging from chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and insomnia to cancer, PTSD, anxiety, depression, Multiple Sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS. Medical marijuana is still federally illegal but has been decriminalized or legalized in many areas.

Health Benefits

The potential benefits of medical treatment with cannabis are vast. Specific cannabinoids can produce a therapeutic potential for patients with different health conditions.

Several peer-reviewed studies suggest that cannabinoids have varying health benefits. They have been used throughout history to manage various health concerns and ailments. While research continues, more evidence suggests that cannabis and cannabinoids can benefit human health.  

Studies are being done worldwide to see how cannabis may aid in fighting cancer, slowing down tumor growth, and if cannabinol delays symptom onset for certain chronic pain conditions. It can help with addiction treatment, increase appetite, aid in sleep, improve muscle function, and manage seizures, and it has significant anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Potential Risks

There aren’t many known side effects for CBD, and most side effects from marijuana come from higher doses and long-term use. 

Marijuana also affects brain development if used at an early age. When people begin using it as teenagers, it can impair cognitive functions and affect how the brain connects and communicates with other body areas. 

Other adverse side effects include:

  • altered senses or sense of time
  • mood changes
  • impaired body function
  • slowed memory and thinking skills
  • hallucinations or delusions (high doses only)
  • psychosis (high doses, significant long-term use only) 

The Basics of Medical Cannabis Cards

Your medical marijuana license is an identification card with which you can legally purchase, possess, and use a specific amount of cannabis as long as your conditions qualify for an MMJ recommendation from an approved marijuana doctor. Some states even offer cultivation cards so you can grow cannabis in the privacy of your home. 

Board-certified physicians can prescribe cannabis as a treatment and make recommendations to their state cannabis regulatory body on issuing a medical marijuana card. Medical cannabis applicants must provide an initial patient certification from their healthcare providers before applying for a card. Evaluation clinics are in every state with an active MMJ program; however, some places now offer those appointments via a telehealth process.

Each state has different medical marijuana card application requirements. In some states, it can take several weeks to even a full year to obtain a medical marijuana card. When available the process of applying for a marijuana card online can be much faster and more efficient. Some states will have an application fee, some will have a monthly fee. As with anything legal, the costs will be something that you have to keep in mind when making an application for a medical marijuana card.

Dependent on where medical marijuana patients live, they may be able to use online providers to get a medical id card online. Depending on laws, regulations, and resources the process may be easier in some states than in others. This goes for both online and in-person aspects of the application.

You can find out if your condition is approved and if your state offers an online application process on their MMJ website or at Leafy DOC. 

The Process:

  1. Skip unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office and make your appointment from the comfort and convenience of your home. Provide basic medical history and book your appointment to become a registered qualifying patient.
  2. Connect with the right doctor for you and easily talk to your provider on your phone or tablet. The provider will evaluate your condition and will address your questions.
  3. Receive your medical card and begin purchasing medical marijuana at licensed dispensaries.  If you are not approved for the patient certification, there is a money-back guarantee.

5 Reasons to Renew Your MMJ Certificate

It’s highly suggested to renew your medical marijuana card thirty to forty-five days before it expires rather than waiting until the expiration date passes. If you wait until your medical card expired, a gap between the expiration and renewal approval dates can cause a significant setback in treatment. This is especially critical for patients who regularly use medical cannabis to manage chronic conditions. 

You may be required to be assessed by a licensed doctor before renewal is approved to make sure your qualifying medical condition is still valid. As we all know, scheduling an appointment with a doctor can be challenging and tedious. Once you receive the doctor’s approval, you’ll then have to submit the renewal application and wait for approval by the medical marijuana program in your state. It can be a time-consuming process that is best started early. 

There won’t be a lapse in treatment.

Unfortunately, you can no longer purchase medical marijuana legally once your medical cannabis card has expired. Licensed dispensaries are unable to accept expired medical cards.

Also, states with online patient registries won’t allow you to enter their medical cannabis dispensaries outside the renewal window, as you are no longer a qualified and certified patient. 

You won’t have to rush to find or see a doctor. 

A renewal appointment with your medical marijuana physician can be scheduled months in advance, so it’s vital to remember that date and time by making a note or adding it to your calendar. With Leafy DOC, you can book telehealth appointments when convenient for you, so these services make that easier for patients.

Some states require patients to meet with multiple recommending physicians for first-time medical marijuana use. However, renewals are typically quick and painless if you get them done before expiration and can often be scheduled through the patient portal and with the same doctor as before. 

Avoid Illegal Possession or Use.

Every state with a medical marijuana program offers legal protections to MMJ patients. While cannabis is still illegal under federal law, state protections keep medical cannabis users safe. 

By renewing your medical card before it expires, you eliminate the potential risk of being arrested for possession or use. Even if your medical card barely expires, you can still be held liable if your state does not allow recreational use.

You can plan for dispensary deals when renewal is insured. 

  • Marijuana dispensaries in certain states offer discounts to patients on their renewal anniversary.
  • Medical marijuana patients often have expanded and higher-quality menu options without waiting in line at the recreational dispensary. 
  • There is no sales tax for MMJ  in certain states, such as California, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
  • Many medical marijuana states allow delivery services with a medical marijuana card.

Don’t leave yourself waiting on a Medical Card. 

It can feel uneasy to have your medical treatment hanging in the balance.  If you wait too long, you may find yourself waiting by the mailbox or searching for emails.  Transit issues happen, and you could even be spending time on the phone tracking your medical card.  Don’t let that happen to you at the last minute.  

While it is typically a straightforward process, there is always a possibility of delay, so handling your renewal process up-front will ensure timely delivery and will provide you with a new expiration date.

Leafy DOC can help! 

Leafy DOC offers a straightforward process for renewing your MMJ card, along with knowledgeable customer support and an excellent experience. The price is competitive without sacrificing quality, with the option to meet with a health coach even after obtaining a medical card. Serving over 10,000 patients and with hundreds of TrustPilot reviews, Leafy DOC is the place to visit to get a medical card or renewal fast and securely. 

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

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