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Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get a medical marijuana card in NJ.
Step 1: If you qualify, gather your medical records proving that you have a qualifying condition.
READ: Who qualifies for medical marijuana in NJ?
Step 2: Find a New Jersey marijuana doctor or convince your current doctor to register for the MMP.
As of March 28, 2018, any NJ doctor who is able to prescribe a controlled substance is allowed to recommend cannabis.
Additionally, doctors are no longer required to register in the public registry. They may choose to do so if they prefer.
If your doctor will not prescribe cannabis, you may choose an already registered doctor from the list of providers on the NJ MMP website. Contact their office to schedule an appointment.
The “Bona Fide” Patient Relationship
If you must choose a new doctor then NJ requires that doctor to establish a “bona fide” relationship in order to prescribe marijuana to that specific patient.
Your routine physician already meets this requirement, but if you are seeing a new doctor specifically for medical marijuana, you’ll find doctors establish this relationship in several different ways.
- Clinics that openly accept new patients generally require 3-months of visits before they will write the recommendation for medical marijuana. This means you may have to go to see them once each month, three months in a row, and then on the third visit, they will write a recommendation. This is how they legally establish a “bona fide” doctor-patient relationship as required by NJ state law.
- Some doctors will only accept new patients based on a referral from a physician they know. Some of these doctors will write a prescription for marijuana on the first visit (only some).
After you receive your prescription, you will need to return to the doctor every three months to have it renewed.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Medical Marijuana in NJ?
Remember, medical insurance does not cover doctor visits specifically for cannabis.
If you’re seeing your regular physician, they might include it with your routine visit charges. However, if you need to see a different doctor specifically for medical marijuana, you will be required to pay out of pocket on the day of your visit. Here’s the range of prices I’ve found around central NJ.
Initial Doctor Consultation: $200-$350
Subsequent Visits: $60-$200.
[That means, if you have to see the doctor three times before the prescription, you could pay at least $500 before you even get the prescription. Remember, none of this is covered by insurance.]
Step 3: Go see the marijuana doctor
If you are seeing a separate doctor to obtain a medical marijuana prescription, bring your identification and all medical records relating to your qualifying condition.
Count on it being a fairly long visit. There will be a history and physical portion, and a lengthy online NJ state registration form that the physician must complete online.
At the end of the visit, the doctor will give you two things:
- An individual patient reference number
- An attending physician’s statement/Prescription
You need these documents in order to apply for your card.
Step 4: Go home (or somewhere with internet access). Complete application.
Don’t get too excited, you can’t pick up your weed just yet. But now that the state of NJ has determined that you are both:
- medically ill enough to desperately require cannabis, and
- privileged enough to pay for it (because NJ’s MMJ Program is prohibitively expensive)
You can finally apply for a medical marijuana card.
You will need internet access and the ability to upload documents in order to complete the application.
(Tip: a high-quality photo from a good camera phone may substitute for a scanner.)
Follow these instructions from the NJ MMP website to complete the online application for your medical marijuana card. Scans or photos of the following documents must be submitted:
- Passport style photograph with a white background. (No glasses or hats.) Tip: A selfie in front of a white wall works fine.
- Government issued photo ID
- Proof of New Jersey Residency (Utility bill and tax documents accepted)
- *Documentation of Government Assistance (If applicable)
*Patients receiving government assistance qualify for a reduced registration fee for a medical marijuana card.
Step 5: Payment for your card
What’s another $100.00?
Once your application is completed, submitted, and approved, you will receive an email. The email gives you permission to PAY for your medical marijuana card. That’s another $100.00 (or $20 for veterans and seniors).
The email will contain a link that will take you to a site where you can pay using a credit card.
*MMP Patients on public assistance can apply for a reduced payment of $20.00 for their marijuana card. Proof documentation must be submitted with the initial application. See application instructions.
Step 6: Receive your card & schedule an appointment with the dispensary.
After your payment is processed, the state will send you your medical marijuana card in the mail. Contact the dispensary you selected on your application to schedule an appointment.
Step 7: Buy your medication.
Yes, you still actually have to buy the cannabis, so I hope your bank account isn’t empty yet. And it’s not cheap.
In NJ, medical marijuana is sold in quarter ounce denominations. The average cost of medical marijuana is about $122.00 per quarter ounce.
Prices vary according to the dispensary and some dispensaries offer discounts for low-income patients.
How much weed you need varies from patient-to-patient. I use approximately one and a half ounces to two ounces per month, depending on the strain.
Honestly, it’s sickeningly expensive and a pain-in-the-ass, but medical marijuana is one of the best things to happen to me in years, so if quality, I encourage you to speak with your doctor about it.
Step 8: Smoke/Eat/Vaporize your cannabis. Feel better.
Go home, and find a nice spot to start consuming your medication.
There are a variety of ways you can consume cannabis. Here are details about the different methods of cannabis administration.
If you’re new to marijuana, avoid these 5 Common Marijuana Mistakes New Users Make.
FAQ about NJ’s Medical Marijuana Program