Back in January, on New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s last day in office, he signed 55 bills, one of which was for the legalization of medical marijuana. Well, at the end of last week, the new regulations were finally released. It has to be said, they’re far from liberal. In fact, New Jersey’s medical marijuana guidelines have to be some of the most stringent so far seen.
To qualify, patients must prove they have a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” by satisfying the following conditions:
- The physician has seen the patient for at least one year or;
- The physician has seen the patient four times for the patient’s debilitating condition or;
- The physician assumes responsibility for providing management and care of the patient’s debilitating condition after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination, including a personal review of the patient’s medical record maintained by other treating physicians reflecting the patient’s reaction and response and response to conventional medical therapies.
The original legislation allowed for six non-profit dispensaries to be set up within the state and to grow and sell medical marijuana to registered patients. These rules have been rewritten – there will still be six organizations allowed but they will be split into two growers supplying four non-profit dispensaries. And, perhaps most stringent of all: New Jersey medical marijuana will be limited to a potency of 10% THC content.
A maximum of 2 ounces of medical marijuana is allowable in any 30 day period.
Qualifying Conditions for the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program
Patients must be certified by their physicians as having a debilitating medical condition, for example:
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- multiple sclerosis
- terminal cancer
- muscular dystrophy
- inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illness also qualifies if the physician determines the patient has less than 12 months to live.
The following conditions qualify if they are resistant to conventional medical therapy:
- seizure disorder, including epilepsy
- intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
The following conditions qualify if severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome results from the condition or its treatment
- positive status for AIDS, HIV or cancer
To Register as a Patient with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program
If you would like to register to become a patient, you can do so from next month (November 2010); however, don’t expect to receive your medicine until summer 2011 at the earliest.
- Your physician must register with DHSS to participate in the program, and must attest that you are undergoing treatment for an active debilitating medical condition, and may benefit from the use of medicinal marijuana to relieve symptoms. This must be a physician who has ongoing responsibility for your care.
- Your physician will submit your name to the Department registry electronically. Then you can register with the state manually or electronically and then the state will issue a photo identification card.
- If you cannot travel you may identify a primary caregiver, who will be registered with the Alternative Treatment Center that provides your medicinal marijuana. The caregiver must undergo a criminal background check.
- Registration begins in November. Patient photo ID cards will be issued by the end of the year. Marijuana should be available in July 2011.
- The registration fee for patients and caregivers is $200, which is valid for two years. A reduced fee of $20 would be paid by patients who qualify for certain state or federal assistance programs.
To Apply to Become a Grower or Dispensary for the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program
- DHSS will issue applications for growers and dispensers in October. Proposals will be due in January and will be reviewed by a selection committee in February.
Update on New Jersey Medical Marijuana:
5th June, 2011 – There are still no marijuana doctors or marijuana dispensaries in New jersey. However there are 6 dispensaries that have been licensed to grow and distribute marijuana, which will be opening in the upcoming months.
It has been a long wait for New Jersey medical marijuana users considering that medical cannabis was made legal in January 2010.
Please contact us if you know of any marijuana doctors or dispensaries in New Jersey.