New Jersey

Is weed legal in New Jersey?

Recreational, or adult-use, cannabis is illegal in New Jersey; however, adult-use legalization is on the ballot for the November 3, 2020 election. Medical marijuana is legal for patients with qualifying conditions.

Legislation history

New Jersey became the 14th US state to legalize marijuana for medical use under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), also known as S 88, which the Legislature passed on January 11, 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 and expanding access with more cultivators, retailers, and manufacturers.

 

The Marijuana Legalization Amendment will appear on the general ballot in New Jersey on November 3, 2020. Also referred to as New Jersey Public Question 1, the proposed state constitutional amendment would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for residents age 21 and over. The New Jersey state sales tax rate of 6.625% would apply to purchases of recreational cannabis with local municipalities permitted to impose an additional 2% tax. 

 

Gov. Murphy has been a vocal proponent of weed legalization in his state. In a 2020 article published on nj.com, Gov. Murphy said of the proposed marijuana legalization, “It’s a job creator. It’s a tax revenue raiser. It checks a lot of boxes. I hope we’ll get there sooner than later.” The article also cited 2020 poll results with 6 in 10 New Jersey residents claiming they would vote to legalize marijuana. 

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.

Where is it safe to consume marijuana in New Jersey?

New Jersey medical marijuana patients may only consume cannabis in the privacy of their homes. Smoking medical marijuana falls under the same regulations as tobacco smoking in the Smoke-Free Air Act.

Possession and cultivation limits

Medical marijuana is packaged in doses of 0.125 ounces, or 3.54 grams, and 0.25 ounces, or 7.1 grams. The current possession limit for medical marijuana in New Jersey as stated by the CUMMA is 2 ounces, or 56.7 grams, in a 30-day period. CUMMA does not allow New Jersey patients or caregivers to cultivate cannabis plants.

How Old Do I Need
to Be to Consume?
N/A
Recreational
18+
Medical
Possession Limit
for Flower
N/A
Recreational
2oz
Medical
Possession Limit
for Concentrates
N/A
Recreational
2oz
Medical

Patients

New Jersey patients who wish to qualify for medical cannabis must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the state. Qualifying patients must schedule an appointment with a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse registered in the MMP and maintain a legitimate practitioner-patient relationship for at least a year.

 

After the physician has reviewed the patient’s history and determined that they have a qualifying condition and medical marijuana will assist them, New Jersey residents 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
  • Proof of current New Jersey residency
  • Patient Reference Number provided by a physician
  • Registration fee (patients, $100; military veterans, seniors, and those on government assistance, $20) 

Caregivers

Medical marijuana patients can select up to two caregivers if needed. 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 must submit to a background check, and cannot be the patient’s physician.

 

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.

Approved debilitating medical conditions

    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
    • Anxiety
    • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
    • Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders
    • Chronic pain in the Internal organs, abdomen, or intestines
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
    • Migraines
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Tourette’s syndrome
    • Terminal cancer or illness, if the physician determines the patient has less than 12 months to live
    • Opioid addiction
  • Patients will also qualify if they are resistant to conventional therapy for:
    • Glaucoma
    • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy

New Jersey medical marijuana card

Qualified New Jersey medical marijuana patients must register with the state patient registry to obtain a valid state-issued identification card from the NJDOH’s Medicinal Marijuana Program.

 

A medical marijuana card allows New Jersey patients to purchase legal marijuana from state-licensed ATCs and protects medical marijuana patients from being criminally 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

Lab testing

The NJDOH must collect soil and plant samples, as well as samples of any product containing cannabis that is cultivated or sold by a medical marijuana dispensary or ATC. This testing process is to ensure quality control and safety for qualifying medical cannabis patients.

 

This page was last updated on September 14, 2020.