NJ Dispensary Guide
New Jersey Regulated Cannabis Program Overview
Type of program: Medical and Recreational
NJ Adult Recreational Use Marijuana
In mid-February 2021, a package of bills regarding the rules and regulations for New Jersey’s cannabis industry was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. The laws allow possession of up to 6 ounces of marijuana by anyone 21 years of age and older.
These new regulations are in accordance with last November’s statewide vote to legalize marijuana for adult use as well as reducing penalties for possession It also legalizes the cultivation, processing, and sale of retail cannabis.
The constitutional amendment took effect on January 1, 2021.
There are three separate bills including:
- AS21/S21, which sets forth the rules and regulations for the legal industry
- A1897, which reforms criminal and civil penalties for cannabis
- A5342, which further reforms the criminal penalties for minors regarding cannabis
Marijuana Business Daily projects New Jersey’s adult-use market will generate $850 million-$950 million in annual retail sales by 2024.
New Jersey Medical Marijuana
On January 18, 2010, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed by Gov. Jon Corzine, legalizing marijuana for medical use. The law was overturned when Gov. Chris Christie became governor the next day.
On August 9th, 2012 New Jersey’s medical marijuana patient registry re-opened, subsequently allowing patient certifications by registered physicians with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP)
On September 10, 2013, Gov. Christie signed bill S 2842, making it legal for patients under the age of 18 to consume medical marijuana in edible forms.
More recently, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A 20 on June 2, 2019, allowing multiple changes to the medical marijuana laws including increased limits of allowed cannabis, home delivery, and expanded access. It also made room for more manufacturers, cultivators, and retailers.
As of November 2020, New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has expanded to 97,500 patients, 1,250 doctors, and 3.600 caregivers.
Marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey
At this time, many dispensaries in New Jersey offer curbside pickup and delivery as well as in-store sales.
New Jersey has issued only 12 vertical MMJ licenses, and only 10 are in operation – most with just one dispensary each, according to state data. They service more than 100,000 registered medical marijuana patients.
Cannabis products available in New Jersey
Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey are limited to a handful of products.
Medical marijuana products available to patients with a New Jersey medical marijuana card include the following:
- Oral lozenges
New Jersey dispensaries are not permitted to offer edible marijuana products….yet.
NJ marijuana deliveries RX: available
Dispensaries in New Jersey are now entitled to deliver cannabis products to buyer’s homes. Customers can generally order online or by phone.
- All delivery vehicles must have a lockbox, additional security, and a GPS tracking device.
- Only individuals employed by the dispensary are permitted to deliver marijuana. Curriers may not be used.
Marijuana purchase and possession limits in New Jersey
New Jersey law is quite specific with their possession limits – you may possess six ounces of marijuana flower OR five grams of resin, not both.
Under the new law in New Jersey, “possession of six ounces or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of cannabis resin, is not subject to any punishment, as this possession is not a crime, offense, act of delinquency, or civil violation of law.”
- Dispensaries are allowed to sell up to one ounce of flower, although the patient can be in possession of up to six ounces.
- Anyone over the age of 21 can be gifted up to one ounce of marijuana by another adult.
- Patients and caregivers may purchase up to 3 ounces per month.
- If caught with possession of more than 6 oz the offense can come with a 1.5-year jail sentence or a $25,000 fine.
- If caught using or possessing any amount of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, the penalties can include 100 hours of community service in addition to a fine.
- Terminally ill patients and those on hospice care do not have a monthly limit.
Qualifying medical marijuana patients must be 18 years of age or older. However, a minor can qualifies for the program but must have a designated legal guardian in addition to written confirmation from a Pediatric doctor as well as a Psychiatrist.
To purchase and use recreational adult-use marijuana the customer must be 21 years of age or older.
How to get a medical marijuana card in New Jersey
To apply for a New Jersey medical marijuana card, patients must create an account on the state’s Patient Registration page.
Once registered, the patient can make an appointment to consult with a New Jersey medical marijuana doctor.
Documents required to complete the application include a photograph, government Issued photo ID, proof of New Jersey Residency.
The MMP will review applications and supporting documents and respond via email with further instructions to finalize your application and pay the fees.
Learn more: How to get a New Jersey medical marijuana card
Marijuana doctors in New Jersey
Physicians must register with the MMP (Medical Marijuana Program) in order to provide medicinal marijuana to qualifying patients.
Only state-licensed doctors may certify patients to receive medical marijuana cards, and the physician must initiate a patient registration for the program.
All participating doctors must:
- Have a medical practice in the State of New Jersey
- Be in good standing with the NJ Board of Medical Examiners and have an active New Jersey Medical license.
- Be in possession of a controlled dangerous substances registration issued by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs that is not subject to limitations.
The patient and the registered doctor must have a bone fide relationship prior to the patient application process. The attending physician must have an ongoing responsibility for the well-being, care, treatment, and assessment of the patient’s qualifying medical condition. To be considered bona fide – one of the following statements must apply:
- The patient has been consulting with the physician for at least one year.
- The patient has been examined or assessed on at least four visits for a debilitating medical disorder.
- After conducting a thorough examination of the patient’s medical history and physical examination, including a review of any former doctors’ available records, and taking into consideration the prior doctor’s views and patient’s reactions to conventional medical treatment, willfully assume responsibility for care and management of the patients debilitating condition.
Qualifying medical conditions for a medical marijuana card in New Jersey are:
- Addiction substitute therapy for opioid reduction
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Cancer (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
- Chronic pain
- Chronic visceral pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)
- HIV/AIDS (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Opioid dependency
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Seizure and/or spasticity disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year
Renewing a Jersey marijuana card
When a New Jersey medical marijuana card is near expiration the patient will receive information via email at 60 days and 30 days before the expiration. if they wish to continue the program, the patient may log into their profile to access the instruction.
Both patients and caregivers are required to again provide a government photo ID, and upload a new photo and proof of residency. Caregivers will not be required to be re-fingerprinted, although a fee for an updated criminal background check is required.
All MMP patients have the option to select two caregivers if needed. All MMP caregivers are required to register with the MMP and navigate the same process as medical marijuana patients to receive their card.
The card allows the caregiver to purchase medical marijuana for their client from a legal dispensary if the patient is incapable of purchasing their own medicine. A caregiver may also accompany a patient to a dispensary if they need assistance.
All MMP caregivers must be 18 years of age or older and a New Jersey resident. They must agree to assist the patient in the procuring and use of medical marijuana.
Telemedicine, or the use of video conferencing applications, is allowed in New Jersey for the purpose of obtaining a medical marijuana card.
Moreover, new Jersey has recently adopted a telemedicine law, requiring telehealth services to be paid for by private insurance companies at similar rates to in-person medical visits.
All certified physicians are required by the State of New Jersey to document and record a patient’s informed consent prior to the telemedicine appointment.
The Department of Health maintains a policy of confidentiality for all medical marijuana registrants in the State of New Jersey. All personal information and individual names on all accompanying documents are not considered public information.
New Jersey Marijuana Laws
Marijuana-related DUI laws in New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, anyone caught driving under the influence of marijuana is in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. This offense may result in jail time, fines, license suspension, surcharges, and various other consequences.
Transporting cannabis in New Jersey
Medical marijuana should only be transported when absolutely necessary.
When transporting medical marijuana it should remain in the original labeled packaging.
Medical marijuana patients under the age of 18 are required to carry their MMP cards and proper ID at all times if transporting marijuana.
Only minimal amounts of medical marijuana should be transported by patients and their caregivers, and of course, in the original packaging.
New Jersey medical marijuana and guns
The Gun Control Act of 1968, prohibits the use of cannabis or any other illegal controlled substance while simultaneously maintaining the right to possess firearms or ammunition in the State of New Jersey.
Marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance at the federal level. Anyone who uses marijuana, regardless of state law, qualifies as an “unlawful user of” the controlled substance and is therefore prohibited from owning a gun.
Public consumption laws
Recreational marijuana users may only consume cannabis products in their place of residence or private property. The smoking of medical marijuana outside of one’s residence may attract law enforcement.
The smoking of medical marijuana is classified in the same category as tobacco according to the Smoke-Free Air Act.
New Jersey marijuana laws allow dispensaries to offer an MCA or “marijuana consumption area” for patrons 21 and older to smoke or consume adult-use cannabis products.
The social space must be equipped with a ventilation system that is exhausted separately from the smoking area, and cannot be re-circulated to the non-smoking area. The lounge must be enclosed by windows or walls, have a ceiling and a substantial door.
Home cultivation: prohibited
Marijuana cannot be legally grown in New Jersey without a cultivation license.
Any individual caught growing their own cannabis is considered a manufacturer, and criminal charges will be applied based on the weight of the amount grown.
The New Jersey code 2C:35-5. Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing reads:
“… it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely: To manufacture, … a controlled dangerous substance … with respect to … [Marijuana] in a quantity of less than one ounce … is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.”
Penalties start at a written warning for being caught with a baby plant weighing under 1 ounce.
Penalties go up from there: greater than 1 ounce is a 3rd-degree crime; etc.
New Jersey hemp and CBD laws
Anyone can legally purchase and use Hemp-derived CBD products in New Jersey, as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC.