New Jersey

Marijuana in New Jersey

Medical Marijuana

  • 2 ounces useable.
  • Non-profit/for profit.
  • Proves for alternative treatment centers.
  • Physician permission.

Criminal Penalties


< 50grams: Disorderly – 6 months

> 50 grams: Felony – 1.5 years


Felony: 1.5 to 20 years


Felony: 3 to 20 years

New Jersey’s medical marijuana law (Senate Bill 119) – The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act of 2010 -- permits qualifying patients to possess up to 2 ounces of useable marijuana.

The law provides at least six alternative treatment centers around the state; the first two centers in each region are to be non-profit. Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDs, terminal illnesses and cancers, as well as glaucoma; severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, Lou Gehrig's Disease, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy.

The state’s patient registry opened in August 2012. The first dispensary permit was issued in October 2012, permitting Greenleaf Compassion Center to operate as an Alternative Treatment Center and marijuana dispensary. The Montclair dispensary took nearly three years to open amid the political turmoil.

By mid-2013, the dispensary had a waitlist of more than 1,000 patients, who had no other legal means of acquiring their legal medication. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services was blamed for a series of delays as five other dispensaries sought permission to operate elsewhere in New Jersey. Advocates say Gov. Chris Christie shut the approval process down for months out of fear that federal law enforcement might target the program. State officials messed up paperwork and changed the rules.

Christie inherited the medical marijuana issue upon taking office and has not been shy about his disagreement with the law. Rather than looking for ways to approve additional dispensaries, the state threatened Greenleaf with a shutdown, after the state Health Department said the dispensary had inventory tracking problems even as it urged it to help more patients.

Meanwhile, the state faced a number of legal challenges. One accused it of intentionally delaying the program while several others challenged the approval of dispensaries not yet in operation.

New Jersey Medical Marijuana News Archives:

Opening N.J.'s first medical marijuana dispensary was long, winding process,, Dec. 23, 2012.

First Ounces of Marijuana Leave a New Jersey Dispensary, The New York Times, Dec. 6, 2012.

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