New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP), established by the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medicinal Marijuana Act (CUMMA) in 2010, has been growing in popularity.

The state announced that as of mid-March 2019 that 42,528 patients, 1,736 caregivers, and 925 doctors were participating in the MMP, and over the past year more than 400 new physicians signed on to the program.

Murphy earlier this year announced the addition of opioid addiction to the Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) as an eligible condition, allowing for the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for all patients that suffer from opioid addiction, not just for those with chronic pain.

Advocates pushing for adult-use legalization were dealt a setback on March 25 when a bill to legalize cannabis in New Jersey was pulled due to a lack of votes in the state Senate. The proposal would have allowed adults 21 and older to purchase, possess, and consume marijuana from licensed retailers.

New Jersey’s Qualifying Conditions

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders
  • Chronic digestive system pain, including inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Opioid use disorder as an adjunct to Medication Assisted Therapy
  • Terminal cancer
  • Terminal illness, if the physician has determined a patient has less than 12 months to live
  • Tourette’s syndrome

Applying for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey

A physician must certify that a patient has an approved debilitating medical condition to participate in the MMP and provide a patient reference number to register at the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Registry website. The site requires patients to upload a photograph, proof of identification, and proof of current New Jersey residency. The MMP will review applications and respond via e-mail with further instructions.

Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps News

After being notified, patients are prompted to return to the registry homepage, pay a fee, and complete the required information. There is a $100 registration fee for patients and caregivers. There is a reduced $20 registration fee for veterans, seniors, and individuals receiving government assistance.

Appointing a Caregiver

Medical marijuana patients may appoint a caregiver if their condition is too severe to physically go to an alternative treatment center (ATC). Patients may designate up to two caregivers. Caregivers can purchase medical marijuana from an ATC without a patient being present.

Caregivers should first visit the MMP website. Caregivers are required to go through the same process as patients to receive a card, and they are required to submit fingerprints for a criminal background investigation. The fee is $100 for a caregiver identification card, unless a caregiver is a senior citizen, military veteran, or receives government assistance. The reduced fee is $20. There is an additional fee that varies depending on where the caregiver chooses to have the background check processed.

Acquiring Your Medicine

The state lists six ATCs in Egg Harbor, Montclair, Woodbridge, Cranbury, Secaucus, and Bellmawr. Patients and caregivers are prohibited from growing or cultivating marijuana, or being in possession of a marijuana plant. ATCs are limited to dispensing 2 ounces, or 56.7 grams, of medical marijuana to a patient or primary giver in a 30-day period, but the CUMMA doesn’t impose limits on the amount of medical marijuana a patient or caregiver may posses at any given time. The Department of Health is currently proposing to repeal a regulation that establishes a 10 percent THC limit.

Rules for Out-of-State Patients

There is no reciprocity under current New Jersey law. Out-of-state visitors cannot possess or purchase medical marijuana in New Jersey.

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