About Cannabis in New Jersey
Signed into law in 2010, by Gov. Jon S. Corzine, medical cannabis made the Garden State all that much greener. Though it would take time to get the program up and running, New Jersey runs an efficient, yet expensive medical cannabis program.
During the November 2020 election, New Jersey citizens voted on State Question 1, a ballot question permitting the possession, sale and use of cannabis for adults 21 and over. It was passed by 67% of votes. The ballot question asked if voters wanted to legalize cannabis and allow the state to set up a network of recreational cannabis dispensaries. This ballot question did not include regulatory rules or structure, so it could take a year or more to see the licensing system and dispensaries in place. Until then, residents of the Garden State who seek relief from medical cannabis can access the product without penalty.
Recreational cannabis in New Jersey would potentially have the lowest cannabis tax in the United States, if no additional legalization taxes are passed. Recreational cannabis will be taxed the current state sales tax rate of 6.625% and municipality rate of 2% in applicable areas.
Legalization of cannabis is a big deal in New Jersey because the state is tougher on marijuana crimes than any other state. In addition, Black users are three and a half times more likely to be arrested than white cannabis users.
The NJ Department of Health reported in 2019 that The Garden State’s top five disorders among medical cannabis patients include chronic pain due to musculoskeletal disorders at 28.9%, anxiety equalling 23.8%, intractable skeletal spasticity totaling 15.3%, PTSD accounting for 7.9%, and severe or chronic pain due to cancer or HIV/AIDS amounting to 5.6%. New Jersey has also made patients recovering from opioid use disorder eligible to participate in the program to withdraw without as much discomfort.
First, you’ll book an appointment with a doctor in the Veriheal network. Once approved by the state-certified physician, you will receive your NJMMP Registry ID and Reference Number from the doctor which you will use to register with the state of New Jersey here: https://njmmp.nj.gov/njmmp/
On your state application you must upload the following to prove your residency:
- 1. Passport-style photo
- 2. Valid NJ state ID
- 3. Current utility info/bill (billed within the last 90 days)
Within 30 days, the NJ DOH will contact you via email with your approval information. If approved, you will be required to pay the $50 state registration fee and your card will come in the mail in 7-10 business days. Once you have your card in hand, you can begin purchasing medical marijuana legally from your local NJ dispensaries.
New Jersey has a list of qualifying conditions that make residents eligible for a medical cannabis card, including:
Along with having a qualified condition, a New Jersey resident must be at least 18 years old and prove they live in the Garden State with a current driver’s license or identification card, and another document proving a valid address. The medical cannabis card itself is valid for two years, but a patient must get re-certified from a licensed physician annually.
Registering a Caregiver in New Jersey
A person with medicinal marijuana certification may choose to have a caregiver if necessary. If the condition of a patient is too severe to the point where they can not physically go to their alternative therapy center (ATC) themselves, a caregiver can be used. Up to two caregivers can be designated by patients.
Without the presence of the patient a caregiver can buy medicinal marijuana from an ATC.
The licensed patient selects caregivers; generally a friend or family member. During registering, caregivers can be added at any moment and must go through the same process as patients in order to obtain a card.
Caregivers must submit fingerprints for an inquiry into a criminal background. Once the caregiver has started internet registration, the fingerprinting forms will be accessible. Elected caregivers must be at least 18 years old, a resident of New Jersey, and agree to help a qualified person use marijuana for medical purposes. Caregivers have to undergo a background check and can’t be the physician of the patient.
Caregivers are required to include:
- Recent photo
- Government-issued photo ID
- Registration Fee (patients, $50; military veterans and seniors, $20)
Optional documents for reduced fees of $20:
- Proof of government assistance
- Caregiver proof of government assistance (medical marijuana patients younger than 18 may qualify for a reduced application fee through a legal guardian’s or caregiver’s government assistance eligibility).
No fee is charged for their cards to parents or legal guardians of minor patients.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in New Jersey
Revamped in 2019, the medical cannabis program offered more provisions than before, especially when it came to possession laws. Medical cannabis patients and caregivers are now allowed to have a maximum of 3 ounces every month for 18 months, with a capped amount based on pending regulation, except for terminally ill patients who are not limited to the amount they possess.
Edibles infused with cannabis are only accessible for patients younger than 18 years of age. Medical marijuana is packaged in one-eighth ounce (0.125 oz.) or 3.54 grams and one-quarter ounce (0.25 oz.) or 7.1 grams, respectively. As mentioned by the CUMMA, the present ownership limit for medical marijuana in New Jersey is two ounces (2 oz.), or 56.7 grams, of marijuana product over a period of 30 days. CUMMA does not allow the cultivation of cannabis crops by medical marijuana patients or caregivers in New Jersey.
Possession / Use Limits
A physician shall submit written instructions to the Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) for a registered qualifying patient or caregiver regarding the total quantity of usable marijuana that a patient may dispense, by weight, over a period of 30 days, not exceeding two (2) ounces. If no amount is noted, there are two (2) ounces in the maximum amount that can be dispensed at one time.
‘Alternative Treatment Centers’ certify and dispense medicinal marijuana in increments of one-eighth and one-quarter of an ounce. If a doctor does not indicate a permitted quantity of 30 days, the program defaults to a maximum of 2 ounces for the patient.
The Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act does not allow a qualified person or primary caregiver to grow or develop marijuana or to own a marijuana plant. New Jersey legislation does not allow patients with medical marijuana to develop their own crops of marijuana.
Additional NJ Medical Marijuana Patient Guidelines
The Health Department of New Jersey has given the following rules for patients and caregivers with medical marijuana.
- Patients and caregivers, including Medical Marijuana Program cards, should always carry adequate identification at all times.
- In its initial labeled packaging, medicinal marijuana should always be kept.
- In their residence, patients should keep medicinal marijuana and transport it only when it is absolutely essential.
- Patients and caregivers should hold the quantity in their possession to a minimum if they carry or possess medicinal marijuana outside their residence.
- Patients and caregivers may not develop or develop marijuana or have a marijuana plant in their ownership.
- Patients and caregivers may not have marijuana from a source other than an alternative treatment center in New Jersey.
- Patients and caregivers are not permitted to share or re-distribute any other individual with medicinal marijuana.
- Under the impact of medicinal marijuana, patients may not run a motor vehicle (of any kind), aircraft, railway train, stationary heavy machinery or vessel.
- Medicinal marijuana may not be taken across state lines by patients and caregivers.
- Patients may not smoke medicinal marijuana:
- on a school bus
- on public transportation
- in a private vehicle while in motion
- on any school grounds
- at any correctional facility
- at any public park, beach, recreation center, or other places where smoking is prohibited
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s simple. Use the form on the top of this page to begin the process, and Veriheal will begin setting you up with a physician who can evaluate your conditions and assess if medical cannabis is right for you.
The cost for the medical marijuana evaluation and approval with Veriheal is $199, with a full guarantee if not approved. The state of New Jersey has an additional state fee of $100, so make sure you are aware of this.
Yes. Chronic pain is a qualifying condition.
Yes. To be approved for a medical cannabis license in New Jersey an applicant must provide either a state license or identification card to prove their residency.
That depends on the state you are visiting, which is why it is important to contact the region in order to find out the medical cannabis rules and regulations.
You must be at least 18 years of age and be able to provide residency with at least two forms of identification, including a driver’s license or state identification card.
Veriheal provides the physicians for you, which is the most difficult part of the process. After meeting with a certified doctor in a virtual video consultation from the comfort of your own home, the doctor will determine your eligibility based on a qualifying condition(s).
Medical cannabis patients in New Jersey are able to purchase a wide variety of products at their local dispensary. Products include dry cannabis flower, edibles, pre-rolls, vaporizers, concentrates, topicals and tinctures.