How Did New Jersey Legalize Medical Marijuana

The History of New Jersey Medical Marijuana

The fight for medical marijuana in New Jersey was not easy. Decades of political opposition and stalled legislation have prevented patients with qualifying conditions from receiving the care they need, until the passage of the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) in 2010.

Even after CUMMA was passed, medical cannabis advocates had to fight relentlessly for the establishment of the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program -- and today, thousands of patients can access appropriate treatment.

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When Did New Jersey Legalize Medical Marijuana

On January 18th, 2010, then-Governor Jon Corzine signed a flurry of bills into law on his last day in office. One of these was CUMMA, which passed the New Jersey legislature during the week prior on January 11th. New Jersey became the fourteenth state to legalize medical marijuana.

However, Governor Chris Christie took office the next day, and took a number of divisive actions to stall the program. Christie imposed restrictions and limitations on the program that led to significant delays, and New Jersey was described as having some of the toughest medical marijuana regulations among the states who had legalized these programs.

CUMMA allows for the purchase of dried cannabis, oils, and edibles. Both adult and minor patients can purchase edible marijuana products, after Governor Chris Christie signed SB 2842 into law in 2013.

The Opening of the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program

CUMMA originally called for the medical marijuana program in New Jersey to begin six months after its passage. However, the state’s medical marijuana patient registry did not open until August 2012, and the first Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) began providing cannabis to patients in December 2012 -- over two years after medical marijuana was legalized.

Now, adults 18 years and older can purchase medical cannabis at any licensed ATC in the state of New Jersey. However, due to strict legislation, New Jersey only allows a maximum of six ATCs to operate in the state at a time.

Currently, patients can purchase medical marijuana at:

To purchase cannabis at an ATC, patients must apply for a medical marijuana card after receiving an evaluation from a licensed New Jersey physician. Patients will need to bring identification and their cannabis card with them every time they visit an ATC.

Applying for A New Jersey Cannabis Card

If you are a New Jersey resident with a qualifying condition, you may be eligible for a medical marijuana card. Don’t wait to seek the care you need -- contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute today.

Our friendly staff members will gladly assist you with the application process, answering any questions you may have and connecting you with a certified New Jersey doctor who can evaluate your condition. Call us today at (484) 346-5140 to learn more about the process.