Alright, I’m incredibly excited about today’s topic. It’s cause I’m still continuing with the theme of walking you through how to get medical marijuana in various states across America. And, today, I’m talking about a very special state. It’s New Jersey. Now, of all states why in the world would I get excited about Jersey. Because my friends I’m a Jersey Girl – born and raised.
Alright so on to today’s question. It comes from Pete. Underneath the video I did on How to Get Medical Marijuana in Hawaii, Pete commented,
So, Pete, here’s an answer to your question. There are several requirements to become a registered patient with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) in New Jersey
REQUIREMENT #1: You must be a resident of New Jersey.
REQUIREMENT #2: You must be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a New Jersey physician who is registered with the Medical Marijuana Program.
Approved debilitating medical conditions include:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- 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.
The following conditions apply, if the patient is resistant to, or intolerant to, conventional therapy:
- Seizure Disorder, including Epilepsy
- Intractable Skeletal Muscular Spasticity
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The following conditions apply, if severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia or wasting syndrome results from the condition or its treatment:
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
REQUIREMENT #3: You must maintain a bona fide relationship with a physician who is registered with the program. So what does this mean?
A bona fide relationship is defined as a relationship in which the physician has an ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a patient’s debilitating medical condition, where:
- The physician-patient relationship has existed for at least one year; or
- The physician has seen and/or assessed the patient for the debilitating medical condition on at least four visits; or
- The physician assumes responsibility for providing management and care of the patient’s debilitating medical 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 to conventional medical therapies.
Physicians must be registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program in order to certify your eligibility. So, how you know that your physician is registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program?
- He/she holds an active New Jersey Medical license in good standing issued by the NJ Board of Medical Examiners
- He/she possesses an active controlled dangerous substances registration issued by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs that is not subject to limitation.
- He/she practices in the State of New Jersey
If your current physician is not registered with the Medical Marijuana Program, a list of physicians who are registered with the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program is available on the Department of Health website.
So once you’re registered New Jersey physician has diagnosed you with an approved debilitating medical condition, what happens next?
1. Your physician must complete an Attending Physician Statement for you – the patient. Once the statement is submitted, a unique Patient Reference Number will be produced. The physician will provide you with this Reference Number along with a copy of the Attending Physician Statement. You’ll then go to the New Jersey Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program website and register online. The registration does require a photograph, some form of government issued identification, and proof of residency in the state of New Jersey. There is a registration fee you’ll have to pay. There is a discount for patients who qualify for
- NJ Medicaid Program
- Current Food Stamp Benefits Card
- NJ temporary disability insurance benefits
- Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD)
It’s important to know that your patient registration is valid for 2 years. But, your physician certification is valid for either a 30, 60, or 90 day period. And, once your physician certification expires, your physician must re-assess your condition and determine whether to continue your authorized use of medicinal marijuana for an additional 30, 60, or 90 day period. It’s also important to know that, in terms of confidentiality, the registration application will only be available to your registered physician, the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program staff, and Alternative Treatment Center personnel. And, just in case you don’t know, an Alternative Treatment Center is basically a medical marijuana dispensary.
2. Once you have a Medical Marijuana Identification Card from the New Jersey Department of Health, you then register with a specific Alternative Treatment Center to purchase your medicinal marijuana.
What’s an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC)? An Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) is a state-registered facility authorized to grow and provide registered patients with medical marijuana. In other words it’s a medical marijuana dispensary. It’s important to know that you may can only be registered with one Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) at a time.
What forms of medical marijuana are available at the Alternative Treatment Centers? Most of the centers dispense in bud form. There’s only one center that has lozenges and topical ointments available. And, only minors are able to access edible forms of marijuana.
How much medicinal marijuana can you get approved for? Your doctor determines the proper dosage. But, the maximum amount allowed by law is 2 ounces in a 30 day period.
Is medicinal marijuana covered by Medicaid or any other health plans? Medicinal marijuana is not a covered service under Medicaid or any other health plans in the State of New Jersey.
Know that the laws on medical marijuana are constantly changing. So, please check the New Jersey Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program website for updates. I’ve included a link to the website below.