New Jersey approved the state’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) in January 2010 with the signing of the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into law. However, the first dispensary or alternative treatment center (ATC) didn’t open until 2012. While New Jersey’s MMP was thought of as one of the strictest programs in 2010, it was expanded in 2017 to increase the list of qualifying conditions, thus making it easier to learn how to get a medical marijuana card in NJ.
In New Jersey, patients must now order ahead from an ATC and pick up their cannabis products at a designated time via curbside collection. NJ does not offer delivery options as of this writing.
Patients are also encouraged to book telehealth consultations by phone. You can sign up for one at Heally. In a telehealth appointment, you meet with a certified doctor virtually, from the comfort of your home, for an evaluation. Further, ATCs are only required to conduct consultations for new patients if they are requested by either the caregiver or the patient.
Quick Guide on How to get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey
If you’re seeking to learn how to get a medical marijuana card in NJ, here are the three steps you must take:
Review Qualification Requirements: You can only register for a New Jersey medical ID card if you meet the MMP’s qualifying conditions for a medical card in NJ.
1. Review Qualifying Conditions for How to get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey
The qualifying conditions for a medical card in NJ are similar to those in other states. You must be 18 years of age to register. If you’re a minor, you can receive a medical card but you’ll need a legal guardian to register for you, as well as written confirmation from both a psychiatrist and a pediatrician to move forward with the application process.
You’ll also need to be a resident of New Jersey with proof of residency. Further, you will need to have been diagnosed with one of the following debilitating qualifying conditions and shown to be resistant or intolerant to conventional therapy:
Terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months to live
2. Book a Consultation
Once you’ve determined whether you’re likely eligible for NJ’s Medicinal Marijuana Program, you’ll need to book a consultation with a healthcare practitioner registered with the MMP to authorize your eligibility. This may be your current medical provider, but if your provider is not registered, you can also quickly and easily connect with an NJ physician online through Heally. Since NJ has strict guidelines on which doctors can qualify patients for medical marijuana cards, this can speed up your application process by reducing the amount of time required to find a registered practitioner.
During your consultation, the doctor will perform an evaluation and exam, review your medical history, and determine whether you might benefit from and qualify for a written recommendation.
Have your medical records, photo ID, and proof of residency ready for this appointment. Expect the doctor to ask if you’ve ever used cannabis before and how it has affected you. You should also be ready to designate your preferred alternative treatment center (ATC), which is the dispensary where you will get your cannabis products. You can only register with one ATC at a time.
New Jersey differs from other states in that you need at least one follow-up visit, typically one week after the first, before you can receive a recommendation. New Jersey regulations state that you need a bonafide relationship with the doctor who will qualify you, so you’ll need to see the doctor more than once before they can certify that you need medical cannabis.
3. Complete the Patient Registration
Once a doctor has provided a written recommendation, you can complete the online patient registration form – the last step in your application process for a medical marijuana card in NJ. Have all your documentation ready since you will need to enter information on your attending healthcare practitioner’s statement, your patient information, your ATC of choice, the patient certification, and caregiver information if applicable.
You’ll also need to upload documents such as a recent photo taken within the last 60 days. This photo requires a plain white background and a full-face view with a neutral expression. No hats or glasses are permitted. You’ll also be required to upload a government-issued photo ID, such as an NJ driver’s license or county ID, and proof of residency, such as a recent utility bill, IRS correspondence, government correspondence, or bank statements with your name and address.
The Medicinal Marijuana Program will review your registration and get back to you via email with further instructions to finalize your application (if incomplete) or pay the NJ medical marijuana card fee (if approved). The fee is $100. It may be reduced to $20 if you have proof showing you’re a senior citizen, a military veteran, or on SSD, SSI, SNAP, NJ Medicaid, NJ TDI, or Medicare (under 65) financial assistance.