NJ 

Marijuana Law & NJMMP Rules

What you need to know as a marijuana patient

The New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program

On January 18th, 2010, New Jersey became the 14th state in the US to pass a medical marijuana legalization bill. S No. 88, also known as CUMMA, was unfortunately stalled from being applied at a state-wide level the following day, by a change in New Jersey’s acting governor. On August 9th, 2012, the online patient registration portal finally reopened, allowing licensed physicians to include qualified patients into the newly-created New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program (NJMMP). 

Throughout the 2010s, supporting bills came in multiple forms. September 10th, 2013, marked the signing of S No. 2842, which legalized the consumption of edible marijuana medication for minor patients. Meanwhile, on June 2nd, 2019, acting governor Phil Murphy signed A No. 20, which brought about a significant overhaul to the NJ’s medical marijuana laws – facilitating the growth of manufacturer-led cultivation and distribution, as well as providing its patients with new options for their medical cannabis purchases.

On November 3rd, 2020, New Jersey voters approved the Marijuana Legalization Amendment act, with a remarkable 67% majority, thereby legalizing the adult-use of recreational marijuana all around New Jersey state. While the following months proved a rather difficult transitional period for the state’s would-be marijuana market, February 22nd, 2021 brought the Amendment into reality, with the legalization of personal-use possession of up to 6 ounces of cannabis/17 grams of hashish. Through this, NJ became the 14th US state to legalize marijuana for adults aged 21.

Program Approval Date

January 2010

Patient ID Card Validity

2 year

Application Fee

$100

Certification Renewal

Annually*

* The MMP-issued Identification Card expiry date may vary. Your physician’s recommendation, along with your medical marijuana purchasing rights, are only valid for 1 year. Following that, we recommend you book a re-evaluation with our licensed doctors. 

Being a Responsible MMJ Patient in NJ

While the state’s achieved normalization of adult-use weed spells remarkable news for the Garden State’s medical marijuana patient community, the NJ cannabis regulations for unlawful use of a Schedule I Drug, which marijuana is still classified as, have remained in place. As a responsible New Jersey state patient, you should always take note of the following: 

  • Your patient and/or NJ resident status provides you with access to a 6 ounce supply of cannabis at a given time. You have NO legal reason for you to possess any marijuana beyond this limited quantity, beyond a specific treatment-related mention by your recommending physician. 

  • Your patient status does NOT give you the right to grow medical cannabis plants in New Jersey, regardless of recreational legalization. Any and all cannabis you intend to use for medication purposes needs to be acquired through legal purchase from a state-approved MMJ dispensary. 

  • On the topic of the legal purchase of cannabis – New Jersey dispensaries should be the only establishments where your cannabis-related transactions occur. Personal sales are highly prohibited by the court of law and you should NOT engage with them in any way, shape, or form.

  • If your treatment includes hashish-based products OR any other type of marijuana concentrates, know that the regulations for unlawful use remain the same. The state of NJ treats hashish and concentrates just as it treats marijuana, as a Schedule I drug, and any quantity beyond the state-allowed limit of 17 grams exposes you to the relevant legal penalties. 

  • New Jersey patients and/or residents under the age of 21 are NOT allowed to engage with Marijuana paraphernalia, such as bongs, tobacco blunts, or rolling paper. You have no legal excuse for possessing such an item, or, similar to the infringement of cultivation laws, to be using it in order to create your own medication. 

  • As per its med card regulations, New Jersey has reciprocity with all other MMP states. This means that, if you are an out-of-state medical marijuana patient, you can partake in your marijuana medication for up to 6 months while you are visiting. Out-of-state patients may also be certified by an NJ MMJ physician. 

Taking all of these considerations into mind, we have outlined the five main types of marijuana penalties that the NJ medical marijuana laws can hold you accountable for:

Important Mentions Regarding Misdemeanor Charges

New Jersey law elicits specific misdemeanor charges for two types of violations:

  1. Refusing to hand over the incriminating cannabis product to an officer of the law. 
  2. Being caught under the influence of cannabis in public. The misdemeanor charge applies regardless if the offense occurred while driving a vehicle or not. 

These potential violations can incur the following types of punishments:

  • A prison sentence that can go up to 6 months. (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-8)

  • A legal fine of no more than $1000. (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3(c))

  • Eviction from Public Housing. (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1)

  • Possible eviction from rented private property. (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1)

  • Suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for a minimum of 6 months, going up to a 2-year suspension. (2C:35-16)

  • Obligatory driver’s license suspension for the two-year maximum sentence if the cannabis product is found within the vehicle. (N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1)

  • A full-term of court-imposed community service. (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2b(5))

  • An assessment from Safe Neighborhoods Services incurring a mandatory $75 legal fine. (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.2)

  • Mandatory laboratory sample $50 legal fine. (2C:35-20)

  • An obligatory penalty of $50 from the Victims of Crime Compensation Board. (2C:43-3.1a(2)(a))

  • An obligatory penalty of $500 from the Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction. (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-15(e))

  • Five years of probation. (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2b(2); State v. Dove, 202 N.J.Super. 540, (Law Div. Jan 29, 1985)

    Possession

    NJ Marijuana Law

    Thanks to the recent legalization of adult-use marijuana, possession in NJ is an offense that provides considerable difficulty in being charged with. 

    For reference, New Jersey law allows adult residents to possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana.  Your 1st possession offense will be punished as follows by New Jersey law enforcement:

    • Being in possession of more than 6 ounces of marijuana is treated as a 4th-degree crime. This is punishable with 18 months in prison, and a legal fine not to exceed $25,000. 
    • If the offense occurred within 1,000 feet of school grounds, 100 hours of community service are added to the initial sentence, alongside an additional fine, varying on the quantity of possessed marijuana.
    Possession 
    Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
    >6oz Crime  18 months $25,000
    Any quantity within 1000 ft of school grounds Crime Court sentence + 100 hrs community service Varying based on quantity

    Distribution/Intent to Sell

    NJ Marijuana Law

    New Jersey’s marijuana law makes it so distribution offenses receive an increasingly harsher punishment in both prison sentencing and legal fine with the quantity that the offender distributes, especially concerning distribution around children-populated area or restricted public property. 

    • Distribution of less than an ounce of cannabis results in a simple written warning for first offenders
    • Subsequent offenders will be charged with a 4th-degree crime which is punishable with a sentence of 18 months in prison, and a legal fine of up to $25,000.
    • Distribution of anywhere between one ounce and 5 pounds of cannabis will result in the offender being charged with a 3rd-degree crime which is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine of up to $25,000.
    • Distribution of anywhere between 5 and 25 pounds of cannabis will result in the offender being charged with a 2nd-degree crime which is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 5 to 10 years, and a legal fine of up to $150,000.
    • Distribution of more than 25 pounds of cannabis will result in the offender being charged with a 1st-degree crime which is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 10 to 20 years, and a legal fine of up to $300,000.
    • Distribution of marijuana in a 1000 feet proximity of school grounds will result in the offender being charged with a 3rd-degree crime which is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine of up to $150,000.
    • Distribution of less than an ounce of cannabis in 500 feet proximity of restricted public property will result in the offender being charged with a 3rd-degree crime. This is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine of up to $25,000.
    • Distribution of more than an ounce of cannabis in 500 feet proximity of restricted public property will instead result in a felony charge. This is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 5 to 10 years, and a legal fine of up to $150,000.
    • Distribution to minors and pregnant women carries a felony charge doubling the prison sentence, as well as the legal fine. 
    Sale and Distribution
    Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
    <1oz — first offenders Written warning N/A N/A
    <1oz — subsequent offenders Crime 18 months $25,000
    >1oz Crime 3 — 5 years $25,000
    5 — 25lbs Crime 5 — 10 years $150,000
    >25lbs Crime 10 — 20 years $300,000
    1000 ft proximity of school grounds Crime 3 — 5 years $150,000
    <1oz — 500 ft proximity of public property Crime 3 — 5 years $25,000
    >1oz — 500 ft proximity of public property  Felony 5 — 10 years $150,000
    Special Considerations
    Distribution to a minor or a pregnant woman doubles the pre-existing prison sentence and the legal fine. 

    Cultivation

    NJ Marijuana Law

    Cultivation penalties function on a raw quantity/number of plants binary as per New Jersey’s cultivation laws. Take note of the following:

    • Marijuana cultivation of anywhere between 1 ounce and less than 5 pounds (under 10 plants) is treated as a 3rd-degree crime that is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $25,000.
    • Marijuana cultivation of anywhere between 5 and 25 pounds (10 to 50 plants) is treated as a 2nd-degree crime that is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 5 to 10 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $150,000.
    • Marijuana cultivation of more than 25 pounds (50+ plants) is treated as a 1st-degree crime that is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 10 to 20  years, and a legal fine not to exceed $300,000.

     

    Cultivation
    Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
    1oz — 5lbs Crime 3 — 5 years $25,000
    5 — 25lbs Crime 5 — 10 years $150,000
    >25lbs Crime 10 — 20 years $300,000

    Hashish & Concentrates

    NJ Marijuana Law

    With the status of Hashish and other marijuana concentrates as a fellow Schedule I Drug, here is what you need to know about illegal interactions with the substances and what types of penalties they can result in:

    For reference, New Jersey law allows adult residents to possess up to 17 grams of hashish

    • Being found in possession of more than 17 grams of hashish will result in the offender being charged with a 4th-degree crime. This is punishable with 18 months in prison, and a legal fine not to exceed $25,000. 
    • Distribution, manufacture, or possession with the intent to distribute less than 5 grams of hashish results in a simple written warning for first offenders. Subsequent offenders for the same amount will be charged with a 4th-degree crime which is punishable with a sentence of 18 months in prison, and a legal fine of up to $25,000.
    • Distribution, manufacture, or possession with the intent to distribute anywhere between 5 grams and 1 pound of hashish will result in the offender being charged with a 3rd-degree crime. This is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $25,000. 
    • Distribution, manufacture, or possession with the intent to distribute anywhere between 1 and 5 pounds of hashish will result in the offender being charged with a 2nd-degree crime. This is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 5 to 10 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $150,000. 
    • Distribution, manufacture, or possession with the intent to distribute more than 5 pounds of hashish will result in the offender being charged with a 1st-degree crime. This is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 10 to 20 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $300,000. 
    • Distributing or manufacturing hashish in 1000 feet proximity of school grounds is treated as a 3-rd degree crime, which is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $150,000.
    Hash and Concentrates
    Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
    Possession
    >17g Crime 18 months $25,000
    Distribution
    <5g — first offenders Written warning N/A N/A
    <5g — subsequent offenders Crime 18 months $25,000
    5g — 1lb Crime 3 — 5 years $25,000
    1lb — 5lb Crime 5 — 10 years $150,000
    >5lb Crime 10 — 20 years $300,000
    Any quantity within 1000 ft of school grounds Crime 3 — 5 years $150,000

    Paraphernalia

    NJ Marijuana Law

    As a recreational state, owning pot paraphernalia is legal in NJ for any adult aged 21 years or older. However, there are still a few noteworthy distribution-related regulations that you should be aware of:

    For reference, New Jersey allows adults over the age of 21 to acquire, possess, and engage in the use of marijuana paraphernalia.

    • Distribution of marijuana paraphernalia is treated as a 4th-degree crime that is punishable with 18 months in prison, and a legal fine not to exceed $10,000.
    • Promoting or advertising the sale of any paraphernalia-type of equipment is also treated as a 4th-degree crime with an identical punishment – 18 months in prison, and a legal fine not to exceed $10,000.
    • Distribution of paraphernalia to a minor is treated as a 3rd-degree crime that is punishable with a prison sentence ranging between 3 to 5 years, and a legal fine not to exceed $25,000.
    Paraphernalia 
    Offense Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
    Distribution Crime 18 months $10,000
    Promoting distribution Crime 18 months $10,000
    Distribution to a minor Crime 3 — 5 years $25,000

    FAQ

    NJ Marijuana Law

    Questions about NJ Laws and Regulations

    While the penalties for each medical marijuana law are highly important to take note of, we know that state regulations do not always cover the niche cases.

    Below you can find a list of potential FAQs that you might have regarding the current state of medical marijuana in New Jersey:

    Who prescribes medical cannabis?

    It is important to note that doctors cannot prescribe cannabis, they can only recommend it. In addition, only a licensed medical marijuana doctor may recommend cannabis treatment. Furthermore, the doctors are guided by a list of qualifying conditions when evaluating if you’re a suitable candidate.

    However, once you’ve been approved and you get your New Jersey medical marijuana card, you can go to a state-licensed dispensary to get your medicine. If your doctor does not state a specific dose then you can buy up to 3 ounces of medical weed.

    How do I get a medical marijuana card in NJ?

    Getting a medical marijuana card in New Jersey is very simple. Especially when you use QuickMedCards. Because the process is direct, simple, and efficient, and can easily be done online thanks to telemedicine. 

    Starting from your online medical marijuana evaluation, which you can attend through your mobile phone or laptop, to your actual application to the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program after having received your certification. Your med card will arrive via post after you have been successfully approved by the NJ MMP, and your patient status will officially be confirmed. 

    If you have a medical card where can you smoke?

    While cannabis may now be fully legal in NJ, we recommend that you partake in your medication only from the comfort of your own home or on a private property that allows the smoking of cannabis, so as to avoid any legal complications related to public consumption. Cannabis is treated in the same regard as tobacco and alcohol for public consumption purposes. 

    Is CBD oil legal in NJ?

    Yes, CBD oil that is derived from hemp extract can be legally purchased from all NJ dispensaries. Smokable flower, topical products, and edibles are also available for purchase at your local dispensary. 

    Is recreational marijuana legal in New Jersey?

    Yes. On 3rd November 2020, NJ voted on weed legalization for recreational use for adults aged 21 years or older. Consequently, the law passed with an impressive 67% of the voters supporting legalization. However, places to buy recreational marijuana haven’t been established yet. It is likely that more laws will be made to support recreational marijuana. 

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