How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey in 2023
Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Table of contents
Telehealth for medical marijuana is available in New Jersey and easily accessible via Leafwell. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey law required patients and physicians to establish an in-person relationship for an individual to qualify for an NJ medical marijuana card.
Following the pandemic, you can now do everything online in minutes! New Jersey also voted to increase the time between certification renewals. Patients can now renew annually, whereas previously, one had to renew their MMJ certificate every 90 days.
As a telehealth platform helping people quickly obtain their medical marijuana cards, you can quickly and securely get a New Jersey medical marijuana card online with Leafwell. This valuable guide will answer all your questions and help individuals living in New Jersey understand the importance of applying for their New Jersey MMJ Card via the easy, HIPAA-compliant process offered by Leafwell’s telemedicine platform.
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Benefits of Having a Medical Card in New Jersey
While recreational marijuana is legal for any New Jersey resident, there are several benefits to those seeking to join the New Jersey medical marijuana program. The possession and purchase limit for those with a valid medical marijuana card is three ounces of cannabis in 30 days. Conversely, adult-use consumers can purchase only up to one ounce of dried flower, five grams of concentrates, or 1,000 milligrams of THC in edible products.
Additionally, there is no sales tax for medicinal cannabis, making it more affordable than adult use. MMJ patients also enjoy the following:
- A separate checkout line in most dispensaries for medical cardholders
- Access to a broader selection of products
- Fewer purchasing restrictions.
To apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey, you must be a legal resident of the state. Temporary medical cards are available for people who hold cards in other states, but they are only valid for six months.
You must be aged 18 or over to get a medical marijuana card for yourself in New Jersey.
Can Minors Get a Medical Card in New Jersey?
Those under 18, or those unable to access medical cannabis for themselves, must have a registered caregiver apply on their behalf. Registered caregivers must be aged 18 or over.
A registered practitioner must certify a permanent or temporary diagnosis of one or more of the conditions listed under New Jersey law for your MMJ application to be successful. According to New Jersey law, the following qualifying medical conditions may qualify you for a medical marijuana card:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), aka Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- Chronic Pain (of visceral origin or related to musculoskeletal disorders)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBDs), e.g., Ulcerative Colitis
- Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Opioid Dependence, aka Opioid Use Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizure Disorder (Including Epilepsy)
- Terminal Illness (If the physician has determined a prognosis of fewer than 12 months of life)
- Tourette’s Syndrome (TS)
How to Apply
Documents You’ll Need
To apply for your MMJ Card in New Jersey, you must show your signed certificate and multiple identification documents as proof of your condition. You should gather together the following:
- Photo ID, such as a valid New Jersey driver’s license or state ID (note, out-of-state IDs are acceptable with two proofs of residency)
- Proof of residency, such as a utility bill, any government correspondence, or bank statements
- A signed physician’s certificate (which can be obtained via Leafwell)
Steps to Apply
- Register online with Leafwell and speak to a friendly physician. You can talk to a medical marijuana doctor and qualify for a medical card online. The cost of the online consultation is $149. You are only billed if approved.
- Receive your doctor’s certificate from Leafwell. This certificate says that your doctor recommends you become a cannabis patient under the state’s current laws.
- Complete the application on the government website. Enter your details and submit your physician’s certification to New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program website. The cost of the application is $50, payable to the state. Individuals receiving state assistance may be eligible for a reduced fee of $20.
- Receive your medical marijuana card. If approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card in the mail within 7-10 business days. Please note Leafwell will not send you the card – the state issues this.
Your new card will be valid for two years. The certificate and card are valid for temporary residents only for six months.
What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. To get started, we’ll need you to provide us with some preliminary details and invite you to upload some medical records (this is optional). These are all passed securely to one of our registered practitioners, who can familiarize themselves with your application before your consultation.
The consultation is simple and secure, taking place on our bespoke telemedicine platform. You will meet with a New Jersey registered practitioner who has experience issuing certificates for medical marijuana to patients for various medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions about your medical conditions and history.
At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner can make an informed decision about whether they recommend using medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification.
Once obtained, the certification will last for one year. For temporary residents, the certificate is valid for six months only.
The consultation with one of the New Jersey registered practitioners via Leafwell’s HIPAA-compliant online consultation service is a flat fee of $149. However, you will only be charged if you qualify for an MMJ Card and our practitioner elects to sign your certificate.
There is a $50 fee payable to the New Jersey government, which covers the cost of the application process. Those on state assistance can get their card for a reduced fee of $20.
The Medicinal Marijuana Program of New Jersey lists the following categories as eligible for the lower cost:
- Senior citizens, age 65 and older
- Military veteran (submit DD-214 Form)
- Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Submit a “Verification of Benefits” letter from SSA.GOV
- NJ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- NJ Medicaid
- NJ Temporary Disability Benefits
- Medicare — under the age of 65
Caregiver applications usually cost $50. However, caregivers who meet the above criteria qualify for a reduced fee of $20. Parents or legal guardians of minor patients are not charged a fee for their cards.
Leafwell also offers renewal services for those already holding an MMJ Card. The cost is $149.
Note that while your MMJ card is valid for two years, it must be presented with a valid doctor’s certification, which you’ll receive after your Leafwell appointment. Certificates are licensed for one year. For more information, ask your doctor during your evaluation.
Insurance does not currently cover applying for an MMJ Card in New Jersey.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Card-carrying out-of-state patients may legally possess cannabis in NJ for up to six months, but only if they meet with a New Jersey provider and get a temporary certification. Leafwell offers this service; you can use our platform to get your six-month temporary card.
Several other states, however, practice reciprocity and will recognize a New Jersey medical marijuana card. The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- Alaska ^
- Arkansas *
- California ^
- Colorado ^
- Connecticut ^
- Hawaii *
- Illinois ^
- Maryland ^ (as of July 2023)
- Michigan (qualifying state must also have reciprocity with Michigan)
- Missouri ^
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico * (recreational cannabis is legal in NM)
- New York ^
- Oklahoma *
- Oregon ^
- Pennsylvania (minors only)
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- U.S. Virgin Islands *
- Utah (max. 45 days, after which the patient must apply for a Utah MMJ card)
- Vermont ^
- Virginia ^
- Washington ^
- Washington D.C.
States marked with * require visitors to complete a visiting patient application for the duration of their stay.
States marked with ^ have adult use programs but do not accept out-of-state cards.
Applying as a Caregiver
Some patients may be eligible for an MMJ card but cannot apply themselves. For example, should the patient be a minor under 18, or if the patient needs assistance accessing medical cannabis, a caregiver can be assigned to complete the process on their behalf.
A primary caregiver is a person 18 years or older who has agreed to assist with a registered qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana. The primary caregiver cannot be the patient’s physician and must be a resident of New Jersey. The primary caregiver can never have been convicted of a felony drug offense.
Caregivers may provide for more than one patient at a time. An “institutional caregiver/s” is defined as “an employee of a health care facility who is authorized to assist qualifying patients who are patients or residents at the health care facility with the medical use of cannabis, including obtaining medical cannabis for the patient from a medical cannabis dispensary or clinical registrant and accepting deliveries of medical cannabis for the patient.”
A minor can have up to two caregivers. There is no application fee for parents or legal guardians of minor patients, so we recommend applying for two caregiver cards, where possible.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
In NJ, medical marijuana patients may acquire cannabis at either a medical-only dispensary or an establishment that sells both adult-use and medical products. However, there are benefits to purchasing from a medical marijuana dispensary or as a cardholder.
Medical-only dispensaries usually have lower wait times and a smaller client base, so you benefit from more personalized attention. Many recreational dispensaries will also have fast-tracked lines for patient clients, a medical-only menu with reserved product stock, and a much wider variety.
When seeking medical marijuana, it’s a good idea to talk to dispensary staff and ask plenty of questions. These trained professionals can assist you in identifying the best cannabis products for specific health conditions and address any questions or concerns.
Cultivating cannabis is illegal in New Jersey, even for qualified NJ medical marijuana patients.
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Laws to Know
While medical marijuana is legal in New Jersey, patients are still subject to the law. Patients may not operate, navigate, or control any vehicle, aircraft, railroad train, or stationary heavy equipment vessel while under the influence of marijuana.
Patients may also not smoke medicinal marijuana:
- On a school bus or public form of transportation
- In a private vehicle, unless the vehicle is not in operation
- On any school grounds, in any correctional facility, at any public park or beach, or any recreation center
There are some protections for MMJ cardholders in the workplace. Being a registered patient in the Medicinal Cannabis Program does not mean you do not have to comply with your employer’s drug testing policies. However, every workplace is different, so we recommend you familiarize yourself with your employer’s policies on drug testing and know how it applies to you. If you have questions about employer policies, these should be directed to your human resources department.
In May 2020, the Supreme Court in New Jersey ruled that medical marijuana patients could not be fired just for failing a drug test.
As of 2022, recreational, adult use of cannabis is legalized, with those aged 21 or over able to purchase cannabis from an appropriately licensed dispensary.
Learn more about New Jersey cannabis laws here. And if you’re ready to secure your New Jersey MMJ card, schedule an appointment with one of Leafwell’s physicians today.