New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize marijuana for medical use under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, also known as Senate Bill 119, which the Legislature passed January 11, 2010. It was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine on January 18, 2010, but abruptly stalled when Republican 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). The first Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) began dispensing medical marijuana to New Jersey medical marijuana patients on December 2, 2012.
Senate Bill 2842, allowing edible forms of marijuana for to be consumed by patients younger than 18, was signed into law by Gov. Christie on September 10, 2013.
Gov. Phil Murphy in March 2018 signed an expanded list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana to include:, anxiety, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, chronic visceral pain, migraines, opioid addiction and Tourette’s syndrome.
The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act required the Department of Health create the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) to register physicians, patients, and caregivers. The Department of Health is also responsible for issuing permits to ATCs.
Where is it Safe to Purchase?
Adults ages 18 and older may purchase medical marijuana from ATCs, as long as patients have a physician’s recommendation.
Medical patients’ marijuana purchases are responsible for paying a seven percent (7%) sales tax.
Where is it Safe to Consume?
New Jersey medical marijuana patients may only consume cannabis in the privacy of their homes. Smoking medical marijuana falls under the same regulations applying to tobacco smoking overseen by the Department of Health in the Smoke Free Air Act.
Patients may not smoke medical marijuana in the following places:
- School buses and public transportation vehicles
- In a private vehicle, unless the vehicle is not in motion.
- On any school grounds
- Correctional facility
- Public park or beach
- Any recreation center and public places where such smoke is prohibited in pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-13.
Possession and Cultivation Limits
Cannabis-infused edibles are only available to qualifying patients younger than 18. Medical marijuana is packaged in doses of one-eighth ounce (0.125 oz), or 3.54 grams, and one-quarter ounce (0.25 oz), or 7.1 g. The current possession limit for medical marijuana in New Jersey as stated by the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) is two ounces (2 oz), or 56.7 g, of marijuana product in a 30-day period. CUMMA does not allow New Jersey medical marijuana patients to cultivate marijuana plants.
to Be to Consume?
New Jersey residents who wish to qualify for medical marijuana must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the state. Qualifying patients must schedule an appointment with a Medical Marijuana Program registered physician and maintain a legitimate relationship for at least a year, or be assessed by the same MMP-registered physician for at least four visits.
After the physician has reviewed the patient’s history, and determined that medical marijuana will assist patients suffering from qualifying medical conditions, New Jersey residents can register and submit the necessary paperwork to the Department of Health in person or online at http://njmmp.nj.gov/. As of March 27, 2018, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy reviewed New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program and expanded the list of qualifying medical conditions by adding anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, and chronic visceral pain to the list.
Patients are required to include:
- Recent photo
- Government-issued photo ID
- Proof of current New Jersey residency
- Patient Reference Number provided by physician
- Registration fee
Medical marijuana patients can select a caregiver if needed. The caregiver must register with the Medicinal Marijuana Program and go through the same physician process as patients to receive a card that allows for the purchase of 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 their alternative treatment center by themselves. New Jersey patients may designate up to two caregivers.
Elected caregivers must be at least 18 years old, a New Jersey resident, 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; Veterans and Seniors, $20)
Optional documents for reduced fees (if applicable):
- Proof of government assistance
- Caregiver proof of government assistance (medical marijuana patients younger than 18 may qualify for a reduced application fee under legal guardian’s or caregiver’s government assistance eligibility).
Parents or legal guardians of minor patients are not charged a fee for their cards.
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Registry Program
The New Jersey Department of Health created the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) to establish a state-authorized ID card, verify and register qualified patients, primary caregivers, and physicians, and license ATCs. Patients must apply for a card for themselves. If a patient decides to select a caregiver, they must also meet with an MMP-registered physician and follow the same steps as the patient. Once caregivers are approved, they will have to apply for the card themselves. Medical cards may be valid up to two (2) years. Prior to receipt of their registry identification cards, patients are required to pay the fee required by their county’s program.
Approved Debilitating Medical Conditions
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders
- Chronic pain in the Internal organs, abdomen, or intestines
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Terminal cancer or illness, if the physician determines the patient has less than 12 months to live.
Patients will also qualify if they are resistant or intolerant to conventional therapy for:
- Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
Patients with cancer or HIV/AIDS who experience severe or chronic pains; nausea; vomiting; cachexia, or wasting syndrome also qualify.
Application Process Overview
To register with the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), patients must:
- Be a New Jersey resident.
- Be diagnosed with a qualifying debilitating medical condition by a New Jersey physician registered with the MMP.
- Consult with an MMP-registered physician for at least a year.
The physician will continue an ongoing relationship with the patient and be responsible for assessment, care, and treatment for debilitating medical conditions.
The physician-patient relationship can also be established after the physician has assessed the patient for debilitating medical conditions at least four times, or assumes responsibility for providing care and management of the patient’s debilitating medical condition after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. This includes a personal review of the patient’s medical record maintained by other treating physicians that reflect patient’s reactions to conventional medical therapies.
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card
Qualified New Jersey medical marijuana patients must register with the state patient registry and possess a valid state-issued identification card by submitting a medical marijuana card application to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Medicinal Marijuana Program.
The New Jersey medical marijuana card is an identification card issued by the DHSS to a qualifying patient, personal caregiver, or dispensary agent. It verifies that the patient has received written certification from a physician that they might benefit from the medicinal use of marijuana.
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 does not accept medical marijuana cards issued outside of the state.
New Jersey’s Department of Public Health Services must collect soil samples, plant samples, and samples of the product containing cannabis cultivated and/or dispensed by a medical marijuana dispensary or ATC. This testing process is to ensure product quality control and safety for qualifying medical marijuana patients.
Each sample must be labeled with the permit number of the ATC, along with a description and quantity of its content. Once the sample is ready for testing, the ATC and staff of the Department of Public Health Services will be required to verify the sample.
This page was last updated on June 18, 2018.