New Jersey Medical Marijuana

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What is Medical Marijuana in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) defines the medical use of marijuana as the acquisition, possession, transport, and use of marijuana or its paraphernalia to alleviate certain medical conditions. However, any individual must be registered by the New Jersey Department of Health'sDivision of Medical Marijuana before participating in the state's medical marijuana program. The state began accepting participants into the medical marijuana program in January 2010 when Governor Jon Corzine signed the CUMMA into law. Qualified patients, caregivers, physicians, and alternative treatment center operators are all part of the state's medical marijuana program.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in New Jersey?

Yes. Medical marijuana was legalized in the State of New Jersey in January 2010 when the state legislature passed the CUMMA (Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act). CUMMA permitted New Jersey residents to use medical marijuana to manage specific illnesses, including terminal illnesses. CUMMA also established the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program (NJMMP) and authorized the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to oversee the Program.

In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (also calledA20) into law, which made sweeping changes to the medical cannabis laws in the state. A20 permitted New Jersey residents to possess and use higher amounts (up to 3 ounces per month) of medical cannabis. Permitted forms of medical cannabis in New Jersey include vape, flower, oil, topicals, and oral lozenges.

Who Can Get Medical Marijuana in New Jersey?

To qualify to use medical marijuana in New Jersey, you must be a resident of the state, be aged 18 or older, and have a qualifying medical condition verified by a qualified healthcare practitioner approved by the New Jersey Medicinal Cannabis Program (NJMCP). The medical conditions for which medical marijuana is approved in New Jersey are:

  • Cancer
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Chronic pain
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Terminal condition resulting in a prognosis of less than 12 months to live
  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Positive status for HIV
  • AIDS

Note that according to New Jersey's A20, persons who are registered under their state's medical marijuana program may be considered qualifying patients under New Jersey's medicinal cannabis program for up to six months while visiting the state.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in New Jersey?

Certified patients and their caregivers are prohibited from growing medical marijuana in New Jersey as current state law does not authorize the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to permit or regulate the home cultivation of medical cannabis. Under current regulations, growing marijuana is considered a third-degree crime, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. However, bills (S353/A3657 and S342/A997) to permit the growing of marijuana for medical purposes are pending in the New Jersey legislature.

Do You Need to See a Doctor to Get Medical Marijuana in New Jersey?

Yes. Medical cannabis law in New Jersey requires a patient to maintain a bona fide relationship with a physician registered with the state medicinal cannabis program. The state defines this relationship as one in which the physician has ongoing responsibility for caring, assessing, and treating a patient's debilitating medical condition. The relationship must have existed for a minimum of one year, and the physician must have seen or assessed the patient for the medical condition on a minimum of four visits.

A patient must obtain a reference number and certification from a qualified physician that they suffer from one of the approved conditions before medical marijuana use may be allowed for the patient. The New Jersey medical cannabis program permits residents to find physicians registered with the state's medical cannabis program through the Find a Provider tool and the registered physicians list on the CRC website. Through the find a provider tool, residents can find participating physicians by city, county, and specialty. Under the 2019 Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act, physicians, physician assistants, and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (ARPNs) can issue medical cannabis certifications in New Jersey.

Can a Minor Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey?

Yes. New Jersey residents under the age of 18 are not prohibited from possessing and using medical marijuana. However, for medical marijuana use to be legal for minors, they must have chronic debilitating conditions approved under the New Jersey medical cannabis laws and designate adult caregivers to help obtain and administer medical marijuana. Hence, minors suffering from autism, seizures, and cancer can access medical-grade marijuana in New Jersey.

Note that, unlike adult medical marijuana patients, minors who qualify for medical marijuana must obtain approvals or certifications from physicians trained as pediatrics and registered with the state medicinal cannabis program.

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey

Upon receiving a reference number and a medical cannabis certification from a healthcare practitioner registered with the state's medical cannabis program, you must complete the application process on the state's medicinal cannabis program (NJMCP) website. To complete the application, you must provide:

  • A full-face front-facing photograph taken within the last 60 days
  • A government-issued identification card, such as:
  • Valid and current New Jersey driver's license
  • Current United States military photo identification
  • United States passport
  • Any State of New Jersey-issued identification card
  • Proof of New Jersey residency:
  • Utility bill issued within the past three months
  • Correspondence with the IRS or New Jersey Tax Office within the last 12 months
  • Bank statements issued within the three months prior to the application date, showing the name and address of the patient
  • Any local, state, or federal government correspondence issued to the patient within the 90 days immediately preceding the application date. The correspondence must show the name and address of the patient
  • A copy of the signed medical marijuana certification from your authorizing healthcare practitioner
  • Proof of government assistance, if applicable

Typically, within 30 days, the State of New Jersey will approve your application and send you a notification of approval, including a request to pay the application fee. Once the state receives payment for the application fee, your medical marijuana card will be delivered to the listed residential address on your application in 7 - 10 business days. For more information on getting a medical marijuana card in New Jersey, contact the NJMCP customer service at (609) 292-0424 or email

Does New Jersey Allow Medical Marijuana Patients to Designate Caregivers?

New Jersey permits minors and adults (residents aged 21 and above, with conditions rendering them incapable of visiting Alternative Treatment Centers) registered under the state's medical cannabis program to designate up to two caregivers. However, under specific circumstances and pursuant to C.24:6I-4 of the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act, a qualified patient may petition the Cannabis Regulatory Commission for approval to concurrently have more than two designated caregivers.

New Jersey defines a caregiver as a resident of the state that is aged 18 or older and has agreed to assist a certified medical marijuana patient with obtaining and administering medical cannabis. Also, the caregiver must not have been designated by more than one other qualifying patient.

Caregivers are not designated by the state but by certified patients in New Jersey. The caregiver may be a family member or friend of the certified patient. The state requires designated caregivers to obtain medical marijuana cards through the same medical marijuana identification card registration process as patients. Note that caregivers who are not considered immediate family members must submit to background checks through fingerprinting before the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission may approve them.

Caregivers must be registered in the New Jersey medical marijuana caregiver registry to purchase medical cannabis from an alternative treatment center (ATC) on behalf of a patient. New Jersey does not consider anyone driving a certified patient to an ATC, but not assisting the patient inside the ATC premises, as a caregiver.

What Is the Cost of a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card?

The cost of a medical marijuana card in New Jersey is $100. However, under the state's medicinal cannabis program, certain persons qualify for a reduced fee upon providing the applicable documentation. Senior citizens (residents aged 65 and older), military veterans, and recipients of government assistance through SNAP, SSD, SSI, TDI, and New Jersey Medicaid are eligible to pay a reduced fee of $20. The renewal fee for an MMJ card is the same as the initial fee paid to obtain the card. Payments may be completed using credit or debit cards when completing applications online. A standard caregiver card costs $100, while individuals who qualify for reduced fees will also pay $20. Caregiver cards are free for parents and legal guardians of minor patients.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in New Jersey?

You must take your medical marijuana cards and your State of New Jersey-issued identification card, such as a New Jersey driver's license to an approved dispensing facility in order to fill your orders. While the limit for medical marijuana is 3 ounces for a 30-day period, your dosage will be determined by your authorizing healthcare practitioner as indicated on the medical cannabis certification received from the physician.

You may also take cash, debit, or credit cards to the ATC. Many ATCs have ATMs within their premises, while others only permit cash payments.

How to Renew Your New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card

A New Jersey medical marijuana (MMJ) card is valid for two years. If your medical cannabis certification has expired, you will be required to obtain an active certification before completing the renewal process. After obtaining a reference number from your attending physician, log in to your New Jersey patient registry account and select the renewal option to complete the process. The renewal process is similar to the initial medical marijuana card application process.

Is it Possible to Overdose on Cannabis in New Jersey?

While an overdose on cannabis has severe side effects, it is yet to be determined if an overdose solely on marijuana can cause deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a report, claims it is unlikely for an overdose on cannabis to be fatal. However, the same report noted the severe side effects that an overdose on cannabis can indeed cause. This includes increased heart rates, panic, paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea. An individual under a heavy dose of marijuana can also be involved in unintentional accidents that may be fatal, especially if in control of a moving vehicle.

If I am Pregnant, Can I Use Cannabis to Relieve Nausea in New Jersey?

New Jersey's criminal laws explicitly prohibit pregnant women from using marijuana. Section 2C:35-8 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice imposes strict punishment on any individual convicted for distributing cannabis to a pregnant woman. The law doubles the terms of imprisonment, fines, and parole ineligibility for such persons. In addition, the physicians participating in the state's medical marijuana program published a memo warning women to stop the use of cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding entirely. The physicians will not also certify and permit any pregnant woman to renew their registration in the state's medical marijuana program until after delivery. However, this can be overruled if a competent OBGYN notifies the evaluating physician that the benefit of the pregnant woman's medical marijuana use far outweighs any potential risk.

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New Jersey Medical Marijuana