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How to get a medical card in New Jersey

Over the past decade, New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) has more than tripled the number of patients served throughout the Garden State. Today, the program accommodates more than 115,000 patients statewide—and if you want to learn how to become one of the thousands of residents with a personal New Jersey medical marijuana card, you’ve come to the right place.  Through this article we’ll be discussing NJ medical marijuana and not recreational NJ marijuana

Read on to learn more about current state cannabis regulations, qualifying conditions, and how to get a medical marijuana card in NJ. 

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Laws & Regulations  

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) was first signed into law in January 2010, making New Jersey the fourteenth state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The NJ medical marijuana patient registry was opened to residents in August 2012 and was later amended in 2013 and 2019 to include provisions for pediatric patients.  

In June 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed NJ A 20, also referred to as Jake’s Law, to establish the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The Commission is responsible for overseeing the state’s medical marijuana program and monitoring the quantities of medical cannabis that New Jersey medical card patients can purchase per month.  

To date, patients ages 18 and older with a physician’s recommendation or legal guardians of minor patients can purchase up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana per month from a New Jersey Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) or medical marijuana dispensary. Patients who are terminally ill or on hospice care do not have a monthly limit. Allowed forms of medical cannabis include flower, vape, oil, topicals and oral lozenges. 

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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey 

For those who require the medical use of cannabis, you can become a New Jersey medical marijuana card (MMJ card) holder in just three simple steps. To initiate the process, you will need to first find a physician certified with the NJMMP program. Once you have been provided with a reference number and certification, then you can register with the New Jersey patient registry and obtain a valid identification card from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Medicinal Marijuana Program that certifies your condition. 

Qualifying Debilitating Medical Conditions  

To receive a card for New Jersey medical cannabis, you must have at least one qualifying condition as described by NJ Medicinal Marijuana Program. Confirmed debilitating medical conditions include: 

  • Acquired Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) 
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) 
  • Anxiety 
  • Cancer 
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome 
  • Chronic pain 
  • Dysmenorrhea 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease 
  • Intractable skeletal spasticity 
  • Migraine 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Muscular dystrophy 
  • Opioid use disorder (OUD) 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 
  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy 
  • Terminal illness  
  • Tourette Syndrome 

Worth noting: Both the New Jersey governor and Cannabis Regulatory Commission have the power to revise the current list of conditions to expand access to medical marijuana to additional patients. 

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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NJ 

You must be a permanent New Jersey resident to get a medical marijuana card in NJ—meaning you cannot cross state lines to try and secure your MMJ card. If you live in New Jersey with a local state address and identification card, you can move forward with how to get a medical card in NJ.  

First, speak with your primary care physician (PCP) about how to enroll in the state medical marijuana patient registry. Your physician must be registered with the NJ Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) to certify your eligibility. You can find a participating physician in the MMP here.  

Your physician must diagnose you with at least one of the qualifying medical conditions above to register you with the MMP. Legal guardians and caregivers of qualifying patients must be at least 18 years old, New Jersey residents, and agree to assist with the medical use of marijuana. 

What documents are required? 

Just like other states where marijuana is legal, you must provide specific documents to obtain medical marijuana in NJ. The documents necessary for a medical card include: 

  1. A full-face photograph taken within 60 days 
  2. A government-issued New Jersey identification card 
  3. Proof of New Jersey residency (such as a recent utility bill or cell phone bill) 
  4. Payment of the registration fee 

How long does it take to get a New Jersey medical marijuana card? 

The state has a maximum of 30 days to review your application for an NJ medical marijuana card. If approved, it typically takes two to three weeks for a medical marijuana card to arrive in the mail. Your card must be delivered to your listed residence and cannot be supplied to a PO box. 

How much is a medical marijuana ID card? 

The cost to register for a medical marijuana identification card is $100. Your registration fee covers 2 years of cerftification. If you qualify for one of the below categories, you can receive your NJ medical cannabis card for a reduced fee of $20.      

  1. Senior Citizen, aged 65 and older 
  2. Military Veteran (must submit DD-214 Form) 
  3. Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
  4. Letter from SSA.GOV (must submit “Verification of Benefits”) 
  5. NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 
  6. NJ Temporary Disability Benefits 
  7. Medicare (over the age of 65) 
  8. NJ Medicaid 

Where Can I Legally Buy Medical Marijuana in New Jersey? 

The only places to buy medical marijuana in NJ are Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs), which include certified medical cannabis dispensaries. If you’re looking for a trusted medical marijuana New Jersey dispensary, look no further than your local RISE location. 

RISE has three different locations in the Bloomfield, Paramus, and Paterson areas to best serve our New Jersey medical marijuana patients. One of our knowledgeable Patient Care Specialists is always available to help you find the cannabis products best suited to your unique needs.  

Can I Go to a Dispensary Without a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card? 

No, you cannot go to a dispensary without a New Jersey medical marijuana card—yet. Recreational cannabis was approved by New Jersey voters in November 2020 and was signed into law as the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act in February 2021. However, New Jersey dispensaries still only serve medical marijuana patients.  

Currently, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission is conducting an application process to license new businesses certified to sell marijuana to both recreational and medical consumers. When these locations open in the coming months, they will serve all adults aged 21 and above. 

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How Can I Join the RISE New Jersey Medical Marijuana Community? 

Whether you’re embarking on your journey as a first-time medical marijuana patient or are looking to get advice from cannabis specialists, the RISE New Jersey medical marijuana community will welcome you. Our medical marijuana program, High Risers, not only provides the latest details on our in-store products but also allows you to earn points that are redeemable for future purchases. 

You simply need to provide your name, mobile number and email address to join the RISE New Jersey medical marijuana community. Visit our website today for more details. 

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