Is weed legal in New Jersey?
Yes. Recreational, or adult-use, cannabis is legal in the Garden State. Medical marijuana is legal for registered patients with qualifying conditions.
New Jersey became the 14th US state to legalize marijuana for medical use when the Legislature passed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), also known as S 88, in January 2010. It was signed into law by Gov. Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010, but abruptly stalled when Gov. Chris Christie took office the next day. New Jersey's medical marijuana patient registry reopened on August 9, 2012, and began allowing registered physicians to initiate patient certifications with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP).
S 2842, allowing edible forms of marijuana to be consumed by patients younger than 18, was signed into law by Gov. Christie on September 10, 2013.
On June 2, 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A 20, also known as Jake's Law, named for Jake Honig, a pediatric patient who used medical marijuana while battling cancer. The bill made sweeping changes to New Jersey medical cannabis laws, adding provisions for home delivery, increasing the allowed amount of cannabis, and expanding access with more cultivators, retailers, and manufacturers.
The Marijuana Legalization Amendment was approved by voters in New Jersey on November 3, 2020. Also referred to as New Jersey Public Question 1, the state constitutional amendment legalized the possession and use of marijuana for residents 21 and older. It also specified that the New Jersey state sales tax rate of 6.625% would apply to purchases of recreational cannabis with local municipalities only permitted to impose an additional 2% tax. It took a few months for politicians to iron out the details but on February 22, 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act into law. This legalized the possession of up to 6 ounces (170 grams) of cannabis or 17 grams of hash and set up a marketplace framework. He also signed A1897, reducing penalties for possession of up to 6 ounces of cannabis and 170 grams of hash, and A5342, providing for written warnings to be issued to minors rather than criminal penalties or fines.
Where is it safe to purchase marijuana in New Jersey?
Adults 18 and older may purchase medical marijuana from Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), as long as patients have a physician's recommendation. Medical patients pay 4% in sales tax though it's set to be eliminated in July 2022. Patients and caregivers may purchase up to 3 ounces per month. Terminally ill patients and those on hospice care do not have a monthly limit.
Allowed forms include:
- Oral lozenges
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which oversees the state's medical marijuana program, will decide where adult-use cannabis can be sold.
Finding licensed dispensaries in New Jersey
Find licensed dispensaries in New Jersey and search by major metro areas. Many dispensaries in New Jersey offer delivery and curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.
Where is it safe to consume marijuana in New Jersey?
Adults and medical marijuana patients in New Jersey may only consume cannabis in the privacy of their homes. Some dispensaries may have cannabis consumption areas for patients. Smoking medical marijuana falls under the same regulations as tobacco smoking in the Smoke-Free Air Act.
Possession and cultivation limits
Adults 21 and older can buy and possess up to 6 ounces (170 grams) of cannabis or 17 grams of hash.
Patients are allowed to possess 3 ounces (85 grams) in a 30-day period. Patients who are terminally ill or in hospice care do not have a monthly limit. New Jersey patients and caregivers are not allowed to cultivate cannabis plants.
Medical marijuana in New Jersey
Qualified New Jersey medical marijuana patients must register with the state patient registry to obtain a valid state-issued identification card from the Department of Health (NJDOH) Medicinal Marijuana Program.
A medical marijuana card allows New Jersey patients to legally purchase marijuana from state-licensed ATCs and protects them from being charged for possession under the state's cannabis laws. New Jersey also prohibits employers in the state from taking adverse action against medical marijuana cardholders based solely on their patient status.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease
- Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Opioid use disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
- Terminal cancer or illness, if the physician determines the patient has less than 12 months to live
- Tourette syndrome
Qualifying patients must schedule an appointment with a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse who is licensed to prescribe “controlled dangerous substances” by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
After the physician has reviewed the patient's history and determined that they have a qualifying condition and medical marijuana will assist them, patients can register and submit the necessary paperwork to the Department of Health in person or on the MMP website.
Patients are required to include:
- Recent photo
- Government-issued photo ID or proof of current New Jersey residency
- Registration fee (patients, $100; military veterans, seniors, and those on government assistance, $20)
Medical marijuana patients can select up to two caregivers. The caregiver(s) must register with the MMP and go through the same process as patients to receive a card that allows them to purchase medicinal marijuana from an ATC without the patient's presence. A caregiver may also be used if a patient's condition worsens and they cannot physically get to an ATC without assistance.
Caregivers must be at least 18 years old, New Jersey residents, and agree to assist a qualifying patient with the medical use of marijuana. Caregivers who are not members of the patient's immediate family must submit to a background check.
Caregivers are required to include:
- Recent photo
- Government-issued photo ID
- Proof of current New Jersey residency
- Registration Fee (patients, $100; military veterans, seniors, and those on government assistance, $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 or caregiver's government assistance eligibility.)
Parents or legal guardians of minor patients are not charged a fee for their cards.
Jake's Law directed the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to set up testing guidelines. At a minimum, state-approved labs must test for:
- Agricultural residue
- Foreign material
- Heavy metals
- Residual solvents
Frequently asked questions
How do you open a medical marijuana dispensary in NJ?
NJDOH is no longer accepting applications for new Alternative Treatment Center (ATC), or dispensary, locations. Check the program's ATC website for news and calls for new applications.
How do you get a medical marijuana card in NJ?
Visit your physician to see if you have a qualifying condition. If you do, register with the MMP.
Where is medical marijuana legal in New Jersey?
Medical marijuana is legal throughout the state. Consumption is legal in private and at dispensaries with consumption spaces for patients.
What are the counties where medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey?
While some towns and municipalities have banned cannabis-related businesses, medical marijuana is legal statewide.
Is pot decriminalized in NJ?
Yes, recreational, or adult-use, cannabis is legal for adults 21 and older.
This page was last updated February 22, 2021.