The demand for medical marijuana is on the rise in New Jersey. Ever since the induction of the medical marijuana program, patients with specific diseases and conditions have benefited heavily. In early 2010, the then governor of New Jersey signed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and made the law that enabled patients to acquire medical marijuana from dispensaries.
It took around two years for the first dispensary to open in New Jersey. Since then, several outlets have been launched – with more likely to follow. Even then, many individuals were not getting access to medical marijuana simply because their health conditions did not fall into the existing qualifying factors – something which was later fixed and the new conditions added to the list.
While there are still many roadblocks along the way, patients can now obtain a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card to access cannabis with relative ease. Continue reading this article to learn this in-depth.
Which Health Conditions Qualify for a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card?
As mentioned before, the list has never been absolute and might not be in the future. Thus, we have compiled the most updated list of conditions so that you can take references. The list is provided below.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Chronic pain from a musculoskeletal disorder.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Terminal cancer.
- Opioid use disorder.
- Muscular dystrophy.
- Tourette’s syndrome.
- Terminal illness.
- Inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Intractable skeletal and muscular spasticity.
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy.
How to Get a New Jersey Medical Marijuana Card?
To get a medical marijuana card in New Jersey, you need certain documents and a few steps to follow. The following sections describe all these steps in detail.
Arrange the Prerequisites for the Application
First thing’s first: you need to be 18 years or above to apply for the card. If you are eligible, you need to show proof of ID to confirm that you are a resident of New Jersey. That, coupled with the qualifying condition that you are suffering from, would be enough to get you a medical marijuana card in no time.
In case you are a minor, you would need a dedicated legal guardian, along with a prescription from a doctor, to obtain the card.
Visit a Doctor
Getting a recommendation from a doctor is the most crucial step in getting a medical marijuana card. In New Jersey, the doctor needs to be registered to the New Jersey Department of Health. Then, the healthcare professional will analyze your physical condition and decide if you need a written recommendation.
The evaluation process does not take that long, although it depends on your recurring health conditions and the quality of the doctor. First, your entire medical history will be reviewed before a decision is taken. Then, physical exams are done to determine the presence of any qualifying conditions. You might even need to take a urine test to verify if you are a drug user.
Most of the documents mentioned in the previous section are needed when visiting the doctor. The physician might ask to see them all, ranging from complete medical records to a photo ID. The authorities may even go as far as checking your tax records.
Make a Follow-Up Visit
The medical marijuana procedure in New Jersey differs from several other states. Prospective patients must arrange a follow-up visit one week after their initial consultation. The doctor examines the test findings and determines the appropriate monthly marijuana dosage. This ranges from a half-ounce to two ounces on average, although it changes based on the patient.
Anticipate your doctor to inquire if you have ever smoked cannabis. It is essential to be aware of this. There is no way to predict how marijuana will impact you if you are a newbie. Please keep in mind that the doctor will urge you to choose an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) or, in simple terms, a dispensary. At any one moment, you can only register with one ATC.
Register with the Program
Once you have the doctor’s certification in hand, you can then register with the medical marijuana program of the state of New Jersey. You will need to fill in all the necessary information, which might require you to provide the Patient Reference Number issued by your doctor.
After you provide the data they ask for, the program will analyze your application and paperwork and email you. Next, they will inform you about the fee amount, which you can make via the payment portal of the registry’s homepage. It might take about 2-3 weeks for you to receive the medical marijuana card afterward.
Re-Visit Your Doctor
Once you start taking cannabis, you should schedule an additional appointment with your doctor. They will monitor how your body reacts to cannabis and, as with any prescription medicine, may opt to adjust the dose. In addition, when you visit a dispensary for the first time, you will most likely be subjected to an orientation session. It has a maximum duration of about 20 minutes.
Regrettably, one ounce of marijuana in New Jersey is among the most costly in the entire United States. Although you may obtain mid-level marijuana for $350 per ounce, top-tier strains can cost up to $500 or more! Luckily, the local government has already started taking steps to reduce the price of medical marijuana in the state.
Patients can enjoy greater ease and convenience with a medical marijuana card simply because having one proves that they have a clinical need for it – something which dispensary owners have to take very seriously, and they do. Take this article as a reference and, if you qualify, register for your medical marijuana card today.