New Jersey Marijuana Laws
Get the ins and outs of New Jersey marijuana laws in this detailed FAQ. From reciprocity and dispensaries to recreational and medical use — we cover it all.
So, is marijuana legal in New Jersey?
Let's find out.
Marijuana was recently legalized in New Jersey for both medical and recreational use. However, there has still been some confusion about New Jersey marijuana laws and what they mean.
Here’s everything you need to know about NJ legalization and how it affects both recreational and medical users.
An Overview of New Jersey Marijuana Laws
New Jersey marijuana laws have seen some sweeping changes in recent years, with the state becoming one of the most progressive marijuana policies among its peers.
In 2019, New Jersey’s medical marijuana laws were expanded to include a broader range of qualifying conditions, and recently, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that made New Jersey the first in the Tri-State area to legalize recreational marijuana.
While marijuana is now legal for people 21 years and older, certain regulations are still in place:
- Individuals cannot possess more than 6 ounces of marijuana
- No marijuana can be consumed in public places
- Marijuana delivery services still require special licensing
With its progressive marijuana laws, New Jersey is forging a new path in legal cannabis regulation — one that will hopefully inspire other states looking to experience similar milestones in 2023.
A Brief History of New Jersey Marijuana Laws
New Jersey marijuana laws have changed dramatically since 2010 when marijuana laws were first introduced.
In 2014, the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was passed and enacted to allow the medical use of marijuana for certain qualifying conditions. This was a major step forward in marijuana legalization in New Jersey and paved pathways for more changes to come.
Over the years, New Jersey lawmakers have passed numerous bills both expanding access to medical marijuana and laying the foundations for recreational marijuana use in New Jersey.
Most recently, in March 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed 3 pieces of marijuana legislation into law that included provisions allowing adults 21 and over to possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana for recreational use and 12 total marijuana plants for personal use, among other things.
After a long path of legislative efforts and advocacy, marijuana is now widely accepted as an important part legal culture in New Jersey.
Is weed legal in NJ?
Yes, marijuana is now legal in New Jersey for everyone over the age of 21.
New Jersey first legalized medical marijuana in 2010. The program initially only allowed marijuana prescriptions for patients who had one of 10 specified chronic conditions or a terminal illness.
The program expanded over the years to allow patients with other conditions to apply for medical marijuana cards. In 2018, the state increased possession limits for patients with medical marijuana cards. The state also legalized edible marijuana products for medical patients for the first time in 2018.
The New Jersey state government started debating legalization for recreational use in 2017. However, legalization did not pass until early 2021.
Legal weed in NJ will make products much more accessible to those who did not fit the strict guidelines for a medical card, or just those who want to enjoy marijuana for recreational use.
It is worth noting that having a medical card will save you a lot of time and money in New Jersey. NJ MMJ cards grant you lower taxes, everyday discounts, and priority service, making it much more sustainable to get your medical card renewed rather than rely on adult use.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in New Jersey?
New Jersey first legalized medical marijuana in 2010. The program initially only allowed marijuana prescriptions for patients who had one of 10 specified chronic conditions or a terminal illness. The program expanded over the years to allow patients with other conditions to apply for medical marijuana cards.
In 2018, the state increased possession limits for patients with medical marijuana cards. The state also legalized edible marijuana products for medical patients for the first time in 2018.
The New Jersey state government started debating legalization for recreational use in 2017. However, legalization did not pass until early 2021.
While recreational marijuana is legal now, there are still benefits to having a medical marijuana card if you qualify for one. The biggest benefit is a lower tax rate than recreational users.
While the recreational tax rate may not seem like much, it can really add up over time, so having a medical card can save you a significant amount of money. Additionally, medical patients will get access to cannabis products first in the unlikely event of a shortage.
What Medical Conditions Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey?
New Jersey marijuana laws list the following medical conditions as qualifiers for a medical cannabis card:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease (A.D.)
- Anxiety Disorders
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Chronic or Severe Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Glaucoma (if resistant to conventional therapy)
- Intractable Skeletal-Muscular Spasticity
- Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBDs, e.g., Ulcerative Colitis)
- Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.)
- Muscular Dystrophy (M.D.)
- Nausea/Vomiting – Severe
- Opioid Dependence
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, if resistant to conventional therapy)
- Seizure Disorders, including Epilepsy (if resistant to traditional treatment)
- Terminal Illness (If the physician has determined a prognosis of fewer than 12 months of life)
How Do I Get Certified for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey?
In order to get a medical marijuana card, patients need to get a prescription from a licensed physician. You can do this in person or by using a telehealth service like Elevate Holistics. Telehealth services make it easy to get the prescription you need from the comfort of your own home.
Once you have a prescription from a licensed physician, you can get the medical marijuana products you need from an Alternative Treatment Center.
Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to 3 ounces of product every 30 days, and they can choose from flower, edibles, topicals, and more. The total possession limit for all adults over 21 in New Jersey is now 6 ounces.
Is Telemedicine Allowed for Medical Marijuana Consultations in New Jersey?
Yes, telemedicine is legal in New Jersey, and you can get certified for cannabis online with Elevate Holistics!
What are the Benefits of a New Jersey Medical Card?
As a patient registered in the Medicinal Cannabis Program (MCP), you enjoy exclusive benefits available to only registered patients.
According to New Jersey marijuana laws, these benefits include:
- Registered patients pay less for medical marijuana because sales tax does not apply, and dispensaries often offer promotions and discounts to only medical marijuana patients.
- Patients have access to a wider product range.
- Dispensaries prioritize medical marijuana patients over recreational users; if there’s a shortage of marijuana, medical patients come first.
- Medical patients have a higher purchase limit. Patients can buy up to 3 ounces every 30 days, while recreational users can buy only 1 ounce.
- Patients have a lower age limit of 18 compared to recreational marijuana, where the legal limit is 21.
MMJ Benefits for Patients Under 18 Years of Age:
You must be 18 or older to qualify for medical marijuana in New Jersey, but those under 18 can qualify as minors if they have a caregiver.
• A patient certified for medicinal marijuana may elect to have up to two caregivers if needed (Caregivers must be aged 18 or over).
• The use of medical marijuana is permitted on school grounds, on a school bus, on a field trip, and at a school-sponsored function to authorized students enrolled in Department of Children and Families (DCF) Regional Schools.
We have explained all the benefits you enjoy as a medical marijuana patient here.
Does Health Insurance and Medicaid Cover Medical Cannabis?
No, the New Jersey Health plan does not cover medical marijuana.
However, you can talk with your insurer and find out if insurance covers visits to your doctor to treat the qualifying medical condition with medical marijuana.
Can I Use My Marijuana Card in Another State?
If you frequently travel outside of New Jersey, you may be wondering if you can use your medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis products in other states.
This is called medical marijuana reciprocity, and each state has its own laws about whether it is allowed or not.
Some states near New Jersey do offer medical marijuana reciprocity, but not all. For example, Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C. all offer medical marijuana reciprocity right now. New Jersey cardholders can visit these states with their medical marijuana prescriptions and access the products they need.
There are also many nearby states that do not have medical marijuana reciprocity, but do have recreational dispensaries up and running.
Examples of these states include Massachusetts and Vermont. New York and Connecticut will also be opening recreational dispensaries in the years to come. This means that anyone 21 years and older can visit a dispensary and get the products they need.
Additionally, New Jersey marijuana laws offer medical marijuana reciprocity for visitors from other states.
The state allows up to six months of reciprocity for visitors with an out-of-state medical marijuana card. Those visiting from out-of-state can also get a New Jersey medical marijuana card from a licensed physician if necessary.
Can I Use an Out-of-State Marijuana Card in New Jersey?
New Jersey is one of the most accepting states when it comes to medical marijuana reciprocity.
Current New Jersey marijuana laws allow for anyone to bring a medical marijuana card from another state to New Jersey and receive reciprocity for up to six months.
If you are visiting from another state and need a medical marijuana prescription, law allows you to see a New Jersey doctor and get your own NJ medical marijuana card. Right now, there are 37 states in total that have medical marijuana cards.
Additionally, New Jersey has recently legalized recreational marijuana, so visitors over the age of 21 can legally buy the cannabis products they need, regardless of where they live or if they have a medical card.
Are Edibles Legal in New Jersey?
New Jersey marijuana laws do allow for the purchase of edible products. Many people prefer to use edible products rather than to smoke or vape, so edible legalization makes cannabis products more accessible to those who need them.
Medical marijuana patients have been able to purchase edible products since 2018. Recreational users will also have access to edible marijuana products when dispensaries open to the public in 2022.
However, there are limits on the types of edible products allowed in New Jersey.
For example, dispensaries cannot currently sell products that are designed to resemble food, such as brownies or cookies. But, they can sell chewable tablets or syrups that are ingested orally.
The state has indicated that this could change in the future as the marijuana grows, but right now, these are the products that are the easiest to regulate.
What are Marijuana Dispensary Laws in New Jersey?
New Jersey opened recreational dispensaries in 2022. It’s important to note that some New Jersey towns have already passed legislation preventing marijuana sales there.
Anyone over the age of 21 can walk in and purchase cannabis from a licensed recreational dispensary. You will need to show some form of government-issued ID in order to purchase these products, though.
Dispensary staff will be able to help you select the products you need, whether that is flower, topicals, or edible products. Marijuana possession in NJ currently allows anyone over the age of 21 to have up to 6 ounces of cannabis at one time.
Those who have medical marijuana cards right now can already visit a medical dispensary in New Jersey. These dispensaries are called Alternative Treatment Centers, or ATCs.
To enter a medical marijuana dispensary, you will need to present a government-issued ID as well as your medical marijuana prescription.
Your doctor can recommend cannabis products and dosing to you based on your unique medical needs. The dispensary staff can also help you make sure you get the best products for your needs.
How Many Dispensaries are in New Jersey?
As of May 2023, there are 38 dispensaries in New Jersey, 11 of them being medical-only, and the rest serving both medical patients and recreational consumers.
According to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, recreational marijuana brought in $24 million from 212,433 transactions in the first month of legal sales.
Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, said, “This is only a beginning—it shows there’s a lot of growth in this market.”
READ MORE: New Jersey Dispensaries Continue to Expand
Where Can I Smoke Cannabis in New Jersey?
New Jersey’s Smoke-Free Air Act prohibits smoking in most public spaces, but you’re free to do so in private spaces like your home.
Note that landlords can prohibit cannabis use on their property, so you must be on the same page regarding New Jersey marijuana laws.
Can I Give Marijuana to Friends?
Recreational consumers can give another adult 21 years or older up to one ounce of cannabis free of charge without any form of payment or compensation.
On the other hand, medical marijuana patients cannot share their medicine with anyone and should return all unused cannabis to the dispensary.
Can I Grow Marijuana at Home in New Jersey?
No, New Jersey marijuana laws do not permit home cultivation for recreational users and patients.
Though medical and recreational marijuana use legal in New Jersey, there are advantages to having a certified MMJ, which is why medical marijuana cards in New Jersey are still growing in popularity.
Elevate Holistics makes it easy to do get your MMJ.
Simply schedule a secure, HIPAA-compliant appointment with a doctor via video chat. Your doctor will verify that you have a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in New Jersey and provide a patient reference number.
They can also answer any questions that you may have about your medical marijuana prescription.
After the appointment, you can take your patient reference number to the New Jersey Department of Health’s online application portal. You will need to answer a few basic questions about yourself and upload proof of residency.
You will also need to pay the $100 application fee.
Once the state has approved your application, you will get an email notifying you of your approval, and your card will be sent in the mail.
New Jersey medical marijuana cards are valid for one year, at which point you will need to apply for renewal.
The renewal process is quick and easy — you will need to have a doctor review and approve your certification, and then you can go online to the state website to submit your renewal application.
If you’re interested in getting your own medical card in New Jersey, simply click here or the button below to get started.