Does a Medical Marijuana Card Show Up on a Background Check

With the advent of marijuana, more people are becoming aware of how effective it is on ailments. The plant has proven effective in managing pain and stress and treating health issues like cancer. Marijuana is not yet legal in many states. However, medical marijuana has been legalized for specific uses. 

However, before possessing or using it, you must have a medical marijuana card. Not everyone can own the cards, and you must pass specific criteria laid out by appropriate authorities. Nevertheless, the legality of having such a card raises some concerns. This leads to the question. ‘Does a medical marijuana card show up on a background check?’

Medical Marijuana Cards and Background Checks

CBDIn the United States, all medical data and healthcare-related information are not public. They are protected by the HIPAA Act. Since the card is medical-related data, even for marijuana, it cannot appear in a background check. Therefore, anyone searching will not see it in your background.

The country enacted the law to protect every sensitive patient’s information from public knowledge without letting the patient know. The only people allowed by law to know of your possession of the card are your doctor, you, and the pharmacy you use.

The primary reason such a question arises is the illegality of using marijuana. People wonder whether they get into trouble by possessing a medical marijuana card. It is especially true for their workplaces or other vital organizations. Therefore, they want to know if the card can deprive them of their jobs and some amenities. They also want to know if it can deny them getting some employment.

There is a loophole in the legislation that may be a cause for concern. States issue medical marijuana cards, making them a state-level matter. Since HIPAA is federal legislation, it does not directly protect the information surrounding the card. 

Nevertheless, the card is still a part of your medical and health history, which falls under the legislation. So, it may indirectly protect the card. A detailed background check may reveal you possess the card. Fortunately, it may not damage your reputation.

How a Medical Marijuana Card Affects You

There is still some discrimination surrounding the use of marijuana, even if it is within medical lines. You will find that in some states where it is legal to use medical marijuana, there is a danger of losing your job or being disqualified from getting some jobs. While the law is gradually moving to favor those who use medical marijuana in workplaces, it is not there yet.

Therefore, someone using it may fail a drug test at work or any other place of employment. The same is true for athletes. Since marijuana contains high amounts of THC, it may impair cognitive abilities and make a user unable to perform to the best of their ability. If such a person causes workplace damage or suffers harm in the line of duty, they may lose their job.

Individual cases may get recognition and help save the complainants from unfair treatment. For example, in one case, a cancer patient lost his job in a funeral home because of marijuana use. He needed it to manage the pain of cancer and chemotherapy. Yet, he tested positive for marijuana use. A court ruled in his favor because a doctor had approved its use.

However, there is no general law protecting everyone in this regard. So, individual organizations and workplaces may not be open to accepting marijuana use, even if it is medically approved.

Why You May Need a Medical Marijuana Card

background checkDifferent states have qualifying medical conditions for getting a medical marijuana card. However, there are basic requirements: the conditions must be either debilitating or terminal. Patients that fall under this category must take medical marijuana as directed by their healthcare provider.

In other words, not every medical condition qualifies for medical marijuana use. Your healthcare provider must certify your medical condition. Moreover, they ensure that it is within the qualifying criteria before issuing you a card. The medical condition must be debilitating or terminal enough to significantly interfere with regular activities. It must affect things to the point where you cannot function or live normally.

Some conditions that qualify the use of medical marijuana include:

  • Chronic or acute glaucoma. In this case, the conventional treatment for the increase in the intraocular pressure no longer works. 
  • Seizure disorders include epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Hepatitis C, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Crohn’s disease, where the symptoms are debilitating, and no other treatment seems to work. Others include illnesses that may lead to nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, and cramping. These illnesses should also not respond to standard treatment.

If you do not currently have a medical marijuana card but hope to get one, consult your doctor. They can determine whether or not your medical condition qualifies for one. Keep in mind that each state has qualifying criteria and conditions. Therefore, it helps to know them before applying for a medical card.


If you are doing a background check and want to know if a medical marijuana card shows up in such a check, it depends on the depth. The same applies if you want to know if the card shows up when an employer or another person does a background check on you.

The HIPAA protects all medical and health-related information. However, since medical marijuana cards come from the state, they may not directly fall under HIPAA. However, owning such a card is still medical information, so it may not show up under a check. Nevertheless, if the background check is in-depth, the card may show up. As long as it is from a doctor, it should not be a problem.

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