Becoming a Patient in New Jersey

New Jersey residents registered with the Department of Health and Senior Service’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) are protected from "arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties." Those protections extend to qualifying patients, their physicians, primary caregivers, and individuals licensed to cultivate and distribute medical cannabis. DHSS is to license six “alternative treatment centers” in the state, two each in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state.

To obtain a registration ID card, you must be certified as having a qualifying debilitating medical condition by a physician who has been approved by the MMP and has ongoing responsibility for your treatment of that condition. The fee for registration is $200 unless you are on a state of federal assistance program, in which case you may qualify for a reduced fee of $20. Registration is valid for two (2) years, but physicians may certify your eligibility for only 30, 60 or 90 days. When the certification expires, you must have the physician recertify your treatment with the MMP.

Qualifying conditions are:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Terminal cancer
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life
  • Any other medical condition or its treatment that is approved by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services by regulation

The following conditions apply if resistant to, or if the patient is intolerant to, conventional therapy:

  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

The following conditions apply if severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia or wasting syndrome results from the condition or treatment thereof:

  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Cancer

Registered patients must obtain their medicine from an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) with which they are registered; patients may only purchase medicine from their registered ATC. The amount of cannabis a patient may obtain is to be indicated by the patient’s physician but may not exceed two (2) ounces in a 30-day period.

A registered patient may designate as a caregiver a New Jersey resident who is at least 18 years old, has never been convicted of a felony drug offense, has agreed to assist with a registered qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana, and has been designated as primary caregiver on the patient's registry identification card.  A caregiver may only assist only one qualified patient at a time and cannot be the patient's physician. 

To receive legal protections, you must be registered and in good standing with the MMP.

Finding a Doctor for a Recommendation

Only physicians who are registered with the MMP can certify you as eligible for registration in the program. Ask if your current doctor is registered; if not, speak with him or her about registering so you can obtain a medical cannabis recommendation. There is nothing wrong with using medical cannabis or discussing it with your doctor. A federal court has ruled that, under the First Amendment, doctors may not be punished by the DEA for recommending medical cannabis, and New Jersey law contains specific protections for physicians participating in the MMP.

 If you are already medicating with cannabis on your own, tell your doctor specifically what condition or symptoms you treat with cannabis. Honestly describe the amount of cannabis you use, how often, and by what delivery method.

 If your doctor is not registered with the MMP and declines to do so, you will need to visit a physician who is. You can find a registered physician in your area by going to the MMP Website

Obtaining a Registry Identification Card

The law provides that medical cannabis patients who have been certified by a registered MMP physician as having an approved debilitating medical condition can apply for and obtain an MMP identification card. To apply, you will first need to be assessed by a bona fide registered MMP physician, who will complete and submit to the MMP an “Attending Physician Statement.” When that is submitted, your physician will receive a unique Patient Reference Number. Your doctor will provide you that number, along with a copy of the attending physician statement.

You will then go to the MMP Website

 to complete the online registration process. You must supply all the required information, including the Patient Reference Number your doctor provided. Once you have completed the Patient Registration page, including choosing an Alternative Treatment Center where you will obtain your medicine, you will be required to upload scanned photographs and documents. If you do not have a scanner, your local library or copy center should be able to assist you.

Required Documents:

  • Patient photograph (similar to a passport photo – white background, no hat or sunglasses, face must be 70% of the picture) in JPEG format
  • Proof of Identification-Government Issued Photo ID
  • Proof of current New Jersey residency
  • Caregiver photograph (if applicable)
  • Caregiver government issued ID (if applicable)
  • Caregiver proof of NJ residency (if applicable)

Your government ID must be one of the following:

  • Current NJ digital license
  • Current NJ digital non-driver ID card
  • NJ County ID card
  • [US passport, current or expired less than 3 years
  • Current US Passport card
  • Valid active duty US military photo ID card
  • US military photo retiree card]

Proof of New Jersey residency is required and must be one of the following:

  • Utility or credit card bill issued in the past 90 days that shows your name at your current address
  • Checking or savings account statement from a bank or credit union, issued within the past 60 days
  • Property tax bill, statement or receipt from the past year
  • Any letter or correspondence (including tax bills) received from the IRS or state tax office in the last year\
  • First-class mail received from any federal, state or local government agency within the past six months

If you receive government assistance, you may also qualify for a reduced registration fee of $20. To qualify, you will also need to submit proof of government assistance.

  • NJ Medicaid
  • Food Stamp Benefits
  • NJ Temporary Disability Insurance benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits

Once the MMP has reviewed your application and supporting documents, they will contact you via email with instructions for finalizing your application and paying the registration fee of $200 on the MMP website (or $20, if you qualify for reduced fee). The MMP will approve or deny your application within 30 days and issue a registration card within 5 days of the final completion (and approval) of your application and payment of the registration fee.

Qualified Doctor

Your physician must be registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program to certify you as a qualifying patient. If your doctor is not registered with the program and does not want to register, you can find a registered physician on the MMP website, as outlined above.

Renewals

You need to update your registration and pay another $200 every two years (unless you qualify for the reduced fee of $20). However, the certification provided by your MMP-registered physician will only be valid for either 30, 60, or 90 days. Your physician can renew your certification with the MMP online. You will not need to pay a fee to the MMP for renewing the certification, but your physician may charge you for an assessment visit. You should update your MMP registration at least 30 days before your card expires in order to ensure that you will have uninterrupted protection from state criminal law.

Registry Card Changes

If there has been a change in your name, address, telephone number, physician, or primary caregiver, or if you want to change your registered Alternative Treatment Center, you must do so via the MMP website. If your MMP registry identification card is lost, damaged, or stolen, you must notify the MMP via their website within 24 hours; there is a $10 fee for a replacement card. To add a caregiver or change caregivers, you must notify the MMP through their website, and the caregiver must then complete the caregiver application and pay a $200 registration fee, or $20 if your caregiver is on a government assistance program that qualifies for a reduced fee.

Indigent Patients

A qualifying patient who can demonstrate his or her current participation in a government assistance program may qualify for a reduced fee of $20.  The qualifying programs are as follows:

  • NJ Medicaid
  • Food Stamp Benefits
  • NJ Temporary Disability Insurance benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits

Minors

Patients under the age of 18 who suffer from a debilitating medical condition as defined by the MMP may register with the program provided they have a legal custodian assume responsibility as their caregiver until they are 18 years of age. Once a minor patient turns 18, he or she will need to re-register with the MMP as an adult.  A minor patient may qualify for a reduced application fee under their legal guardian/caregiver’s government assistance eligibility.

Becoming a Legal Caregiver

New Jersey's medical cannabis laws protect patients and their primary caregivers from prosecution for cannabis law violations. By state law, a designated caregiver is allowed to possess, obtain, and provide cannabis for the patient. The caregiver is not allowed to use this cannabis for his or her personal use, nor provide this medicine to unqualified patients.

A caregiver must be at least 18 years of age and a New Jersey resident. A caregiver can be designated by the patient at any time on the MMP website. Once the caregiver is designated, the caregiver must complete the MMP application form and agree to a criminal background check. Caregivers cannot have been convicted of possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance unless it was a federal conviction for marijuana sale or possession that was authorized by New Jersey medical cannabis law.

Obtaining Cannabis for Qualified Patients

Qualified patients in New Jersey must obtain their medicine from the Alternative Treatment Center they selected when registering with the MMP. Registered patients may change ATC by notifying the MMP via the MMP website. If the patient is unable to travel to the ATC, the patient may designate a primary caregiver to obtain the medicine. For a list of ATCs please visit the MMP website.