Card Renewal Survival Guide: How to Come Out Smelling Green

Card Renewal Survival Guide: How to Come Out Smelling Green

MMJ patients are already survivors. They’re veterans, people that traditional medicine has failed, and it’s likely that most of them have been made to endure mental and physical anguish while waiting for the world to get woke about the amazing benefits of medical marijuana.  

So to call this a survival guide is a tongue-in-cheek way of saying “You probably got this, but here are some tips to make it go more smoothly.” And while renewing is by no means a harrowing process, there could be some hiccups. Hiccups in the form of red-tape type stuff, and bigger hiccups in the form of fraudulent or negligent operations. 

While there are some super legit clinics ready to help you sail through renewal and to compete for your business with great deals, some wolves in doctors’ clothing have recently surfaced. (I’ll tell you all about it. Promise.)

Thankfully, frauds can be avoided. And if prepared, I know you’ll navigate any hiccups — large or small — like a medical card renewing boss.

So, to celebrate all those one-year cardholders out there, here’s your very own Renewal Survival Guide. Take as needed.

Congratulations! You Just Got a 30-Day Window!

For those of you renewing your MO MMJ card for the first time — IN HISTORY — Happy Anniversary! In observance of your milestone (well, as more of an administrative necessity) the MO DHSS will have started sending you reminders to renew 60 days before your patient/caregiver card expires. 

Emails are sent at 60, 45, 30, and 15 days before your card expires. The 60 days’ heads-up is because if you don’t want any time to lapse between your expiration and renewal, you will need to renew within the 30-60-day window. This is because the DHSS can take 30 days to approve/decline your renewal. You can renew after the 30-day mark, but your card may expire before you get approved, i.e., you won’t be able to purchase any green until you get the green light. Hoops … I know.

MO MMJ Card Renewal Checklist

You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout, but a little preparation goes a long way. 

  1. Schedule your recertification appointment with a legit clinic sometime in the 30- 60-day window.  
  2. Obtain your certification with a valid signature from a physician licensed to practice in Missouri. 
  3. File with the state and pay fees. Reapply on the DHSS portal: The steps are the same as the initial process, except you will not have to provide ID and photo — it will carry over from the previous application. You will, however, need to update your proof of residency. Fees for patient and caregiver licenses are $25 and an additional $100 for a cultivation license. Remember, either you or your caregiver can cultivate for you — not both.
  4. If approved for your renewal, you will be able to print your card and be good to go.
  5. Clean out your bongs, your bowls, your vape ovens … it’s a new year! Let’s do it up right! (There might even be a badge for that.)

Why Choose a Solid Clinic — A Cautionary Tale

This is the story of 600 fake medical marijuana certifications. In June, the DHSS reported that “people” had been impersonating doctors and signing patient certifications in Missouri. This, of course, rendered those certifications invalid, to the tune of 600 already approved patient applications. 


Patients who received these fraudulent certifications will receive notification from the DHSS and will be allowed 30 days to resubmit a valid physician certification. 

Additionally, clinics/physicians are emailing certifications without encryption. You should know this is a breach. Emailing your social security number and other personal medical information is not secure. 

In medical marijuana, patients should always come first. With the government. With businesses. With physicians. You should absolutely expect convenience, affordability, compassion, and security from all of these entities. If not, they do not deserve your loyalty. 

So, how can you get all that under one umbrella? 

How to Screen a Clinic

Ask questions. A good clinic will have this information up front on their website. But go ahead, interview them like they’re on the witness stand if you want. It’s your health, and it’s every bit as valuable in a cannabis clinic setting as it is in any other healthcare facility. Here are the five main questions I recommend people ask when considering a clinic:

  1. Are your doctors licensed to practice in Missouri? The answer should always be “yes”. 
  2. How do you store my data? Your patient data should be stored in a 256-bit encrypted database that is HIPAA compliant. 
  3. How do I receive my physician certification? The secure, compliant way to receive your certification is through encrypted email or by downloading it from a secure dashboard that is HIPAA compliant. 
  4. Are your patient forms encrypted? Any form you fill out for a clinic online should be encrypted. 
  5. Is your email encrypted? For clinics that exchange patient information through email, encryption is a must!

If you follow your checklist and these guidelines for finding a legit clinic, you’ll weed out the wolves and the folks who don’t put your interest as a patient first. The citizens of Missouri made medical marijuana happen so that patients could have safe access without undue burden and to finally give support back to veterans. Let’s not let a few frauds ruin our good thing. There are many cannabis businesses and services out there that align with the patient-first philosophy. I’m confident you can have a great and successful renewal process in Missouri.

If you’re ready to get certified from the convenience of your home with a compassionate cannabis doctor licensed in Missouri, book an appointment with Elevate Holistics today. If you are a patient negatively affected by the fraudulent doctor signatures, please reach out to or 660.205.2215. We’d like to help you out.


This article was contributed by Elevate-Holistics

Elevate Holistics is a Missouri focused online cannabis clinic focusing on helping aspiring MMJ cardholders get compassionate service along with valuable resources to assist them on their cannabis journey