How do I become a medical marijuana patient in New Jersey?
If you live in New Jersey and have a qualifying medical condition, you must first be approved for medical marijuana by a New Jersey-licensed physician who is registered with the Medicinal Marijuana Program. Your physician will provide you with a Patient Reference Number and an Attending Physician Statement. Once you have the required documentation, you may apply for a medical marijuana card from the Department of Health.
What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in New Jersey?
Patients diagnosed with any of the following conditions are eligible to participate in New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders
- Chronic pain of visceral origin
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
- Muscular dystrophy
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life
- Tourette’s Syndrome
The following conditions also qualify if the patient has a resistance or intolerance to conventional treatments:
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
- Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
When will Columbia Care begin serving patients?
Columbia Care is working to bring pharmaceutical-quality medicines to qualifying patients throughout the Garden State as we launch our operations in 2019. We’ll continue to update our site as more details become available.
Are patients permitted to cultivate medical marijuana?
No. Home cultivation is not permitted in New Jersey.
How much medical marijuana should a patient take?
Dosage depends on the needs of the individual patient and can vary greatly. Patients experiencing severe chronic pain may consume multiple moderate to strong doses per day, while patients seeking help with appetite or sleep may sometimes only require a smaller single dose at the onset of symptoms. We provide our patients with instruction in how to carefully adjust dosage to achieve the desired effect.
How will my privacy be protected?
Patient records will be maintained by your doctor and the New Jersey Department of Health. Strict rules protect the privacy of these records, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Your identity and patient status in the Medicinal Marijuana Program may never be disclosed to anyone without your prior authorization. We take patient privacy very seriously are will gladly answer any questions or concerns you have about this important issue.
What does science say about medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana has been studied extensively by the scientific community and a great deal is known about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant. Americans for Safe Access has some great resources available online for patients and doctors who want to learn more about the science of medical marijuana, including a selection of booklets on the use of medical marijuana to treat specific conditions. We also recommend this article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta at CNN who writes about how he became a strong supporter of medical marijuana after researching the issue in depth. Columbia Care is committed to providing our patients with up to date research and important developments.
Where does the medical marijuana come from?
All medical marijuana is produced in New Jersey at one of a few licensed cultivation centers. These facilities are carefully regulated by the New Jersey Department of Health and must follow strict guidelines to ensure product safety. Alternative Treatment Centers may not acquire marijuana products from any source other than the licensed and regulated facilities.
I’ve never been to an Alternative Treatment Center. How does it work?
An Alternative Treatment Center (sometimes referred as a medical marijuana dispensary) is a simple, secure facility designed to provide access for patients to receive their medicine in a safe, welcoming environment. Qualified patients or their caregivers must present their state-issued ID cards at the door. No one else is permitted to enter the establishment other than registered employees attending to the facility. Once inside, visitors are greeted by a friendly staff who are happy to answer questions about the medicine and to help the patient make decisions based on their individual health needs. The patient or caregiver then makes their selection, purchases the medicine, and exits. Security staff monitor events inside and outside the facility.
Does New Jersey accept medical cards from other states?
No. Only New Jersey-issued medical marijuana cards are accepted at New Jersey’s Alternative Treatment Centers.
What medical marijuana products are available for purchase in New Jersey?
New Jersey law allows medical marijuana to be dispensed in the form of flowers, vape cartridges, extracted oil, lozenges, and topicals.
Is there a list of doctors who can approve patients for medical marijuana in New Jersey?
Yes. The Department of Health provides a list of approved practitioners.