Opioid misuse costs the United States $78.5 billion every year.

It can be challenging, if not impossible, to use the recommended dosage of opioids when you’re in chronic pain. Often patients develop a tolerance and need higher dosages to get the same relief. If you’re ready to leave the life of harmful prescriptions behind,  explore what a medical marijuana card in NJ can do for you.

In this cannabis guide, we’ll give you a step-by-step look at how to apply for your medical card. We’ll also answer all of your marijuana-related questions along the way!

What exactly do you need to know before applying for your New Jersey medical marijuana card? Read on to find out.

What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?

What does a medical marijuana card do? In New Jersey, anyone with a medicinal marijuana certification will have special access to THC products. THC is the cannabinoid that produces the soothing high you’ll hear marijuana patients referring to.

Medical marijuana cardholders can also appoint a caregiver if need be. If the patient cannot go to the dispensary themselves, their caregiver can go in their place. There can be as many as 2 caregivers for each designated patient in New Jersey.

Another advantage of having your medical marijuana card is that you’ll be eligible for product delivery. Instead of dealing with the hassle of waiting in line at the dispensary, everything can be conveniently delivered to your front door!

Schedule an Appointment

Now that you know some of the benefits of being an NJ medical marijuana cardholder, let’s talk about taking your first step toward applying. The first thing you’ll need to do is schedule an appointment.

You can usually schedule your appointment online after creating an account. As you create your account, you’ll have to fill in a questionnaire. Once you’ve completed your online account, you’ll be able to book an appointment with the medical marijuana doctor or MMJ.

Are Marijuana Doctors Real Doctors?

Sometimes medical marijuana doctors are referred to as weed doctors, pot doctors, or MMJ physicians. However, all medical marijuana doctors are licensed physicians.

Marijuana doctors have state-mandated training, along with their formal medical degree. In other words, MMJ doctors are real doctors in a legal sense. They have the rights and privileges to practice medicine in their residing state.

Many medical marijuana doctors specialize in other fields such as geriatrics or oncology. When you meet with a medical marijuana doctor, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of patient-doctor confidentiality.

Licensed doctors have to abide by all HIPAA privacy guidelines. They’ll never share your information without your written permission.

Find Doctors You Can Trust

One thing that you’ll find medical marijuana doctors have in common is their belief in the power of cannabis. MMJ doctors know how beneficial cannabis can be for health conditions.

You shouldn’t worry about there being any type of judgment because you want access to cannabis. The best doctors will be on your side, and ready to help in any way they legally can.

If you have any doubts about the doctor you’re getting ready to meet with; you can always double-check their licensing online. It’s also a good idea to read a few online reviews to be sure you’re going to a clinic you can trust.

Meet With an MMJ Doctor

You filled out your online application and found the perfect doctor to meet with. Now it’s time to attend your scheduled appointment to chat with an MMJ doctor.

You’ll either have to go to the doctor’s office in person, or you can request a phone or virtual meeting. Virtual meetings are usually conducted using Zoom, making them incredibly convenient for patients. If you’re new to virtual meetups, check out this guide for setting up your computer, phone, or tablet.

What Happens During the Visit?

What exactly can you expect during the evaluation process? The answer will depend on the type of health conditions you’re dealing with. Your evaluation can be as short or as long as you need.

If you have a lot of questions, you could benefit from a longer evaluation appointment. At the same time, if you already know the basics you’ll only need a quick appointment that helps you on the way towards approval. Whatever you’re looking for, the right licensed doctor will be able to walk you through the process.

Typical Questions From the MMJ Doctor

What type of questions will the doctor be asking you during your evaluation? If you’ve ever had a routine checkup at your physician’s office, you already have an idea of what to expect. There aren’t going to be any in-depth evaluations or tests performed.

Instead, you’ll simply be having a conversation during your visit. The doctor will be looking to confirm that you have a qualifying condition. If you have any documentation to prove your condition, bring it.

The doctor is also likely going to ask you if you already know what the effects of marijuana feel like. They might ask if you’ve tried marijuana in the past. They’re not trying to get you in trouble, they just want a feel for your experience with THC.

If you have any questions about how marijuana will affect your mind and body, take advantage of the doctor’s expertise. Ask them everything on your mind.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Don’t be afraid to answer honestly. Throughout your entire visit, honesty is always the best policy. Remember, the doctor’s mission is to help you get the best help possible.

You shouldn’t feel nervous or on edge. Instead, rest assured that you’re with a licensed professional who has your best interest at heart. At the end of the visit, you should have a stronger understanding of whether or not you’re eligible, and how marijuana can help.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Card in NJ

During your meeting with the marijuana doctor, they will confirm that you have a qualifying condition. What exactly is a qualifying condition? Qualifying conditions are health problems that marijuana can help alleviate.

Here’s a shortlist of the different qualifying conditions in New Jersey:

  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscular dystrophy

Along with having a qualifying condition, patients must be at least 18 years old. When you come to your appointment, be prepared to provide proof of residency. A New Jersey-issued identification card or license will do the trick.

Submit Your Paperwork

After a discrete meeting with the medical marijuana doctor, you’ll need to submit your paperwork to the state of New Jersey. During your appointment, the physician will give you a patient reference number. Only registered marijuana doctors will have the authority to provide you with an official patient number.

New Patient Registration Process

Once you have your patient reference number, you can begin the new patient registration process online. When you’re approved for a medical marijuana card in NJ, you’ll receive an email confirmation email.

The online application process is easy. New Jersey wants to collect your personal information, such as your full name, date of birth, and course the patient reference number.

Timeframe for Application

You can expect to spend as little as 5 minutes completing your patient registration form online. Once you have your medical marijuana card, it’ll be valid for 2 years. However, you’ll need to recertify annually. The recertification has to be from a licensed physician.

Caregiver Registration Tips

Make things easy by registering the caregiver at the same time you submit your patient registration reference number.  You’ll need a photo of your caregiver, a government-issued ID, and proof of their New Jersey residency.

Uploading Information Online

When uploading the photos for yourself or your caregiver, make sure that they’re high-quality digital photos. The patient or caregiver’s face needs to take up at least 70% of the picture.

You’ll want to use a high-quality digital image that takes that implements a JPEG format. Many digital cameras on the market today default to a JPEG format, so submitting your photos should be easy.

Proving New Jersey Residency

As far as proving your New Jersey residency, all you’ll need is a utility bill issued within the last 90 days. The utility bill needs to show your name and address clearly.

You can submit a gas, water, electric, cell phone, sewer, or cable utility bill. Other qualifying documents include any correspondence from the New Jersey state tax office or IRS within the last year.

Documenting Government Assistance

Let the state know if you’re on government assistance. To prove your government assistance, you want to submit your New Jersey Medicaid information, food stamps benefits, and social security disability benefits.

If you’re receiving temporary disability insurance benefits or supplemental security income benefits, include that information as well. You’ll also need to download a criminal background check for your caregiver application if necessary.

The caregiver will be able to complete the form following the online instructions. Once you’ve submitted all of your information, it’ll be thoroughly reviewed by the state.

When to Carry Your Medical Marijuana Card

Once you have your medical marijuana card, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different rules and regulations. When you have a medical marijuana card in NJ, there are specific responsibilities you’ll have to uphold. Being aware of the different New Jersey cannabis-related regulations and laws will help you stay safe while preventing any legal infractions.

For instance, once you get your card, both patients and caregivers should carry the card on them. Having your card with you will make it easy should you deal with law enforcement. It’s also vital to keep all of your medicinal cannabis in its original package and labeling.

Where to Use Medical Marijuana

Patients are often encouraged only to use their medicinal cannabis at home since it’s entirely legal for use in their residence. You should only transport your medical cannabis when it’s necessary. After all, the smell of flower can easily attract unwanted attention from law enforcement.

It’s also the patient’s responsibility not to share their dose with anyone else. Medicinal cannabis is intended solely for the registered patient, and no one else.

Should you come into the possession of unwanted cannabis, it’s your responsibility to return it to the ATC. The person disposing of the cannabis will need a valid registry identification card, such as a New Jersey driver’s license.

How to Get Medical Marijuana With a Prescription

Does having your medical marijuana card mean you can buy as much cannabis as you like? Not quite.

Your healthcare practitioner will decide the proper dosage of marijuana depending on your qualifying condition. In New Jersey, the maximum prescription is 3 oz for 30 days.

The exception to the rule would be any patient dealing with a terminal condition. Patients dealing with terminal illnesses can easily surpass the 3 oz limit.

Explore Discounted THC Products

Remember that your prescription doesn’t just apply to medical marijuana flower. Depending on the type of prescription you get, you can also get access to other THC-infused products.

We suggest exploring edibles, concentrates, topicals, and even THC pills. As you experiment with the different products, you’ll be able to find the perfect dosage to bring you comfort.

Unfortunately, medical cannabis isn’t covered by any health plan. However, you’ll have access to special dispensary discounts by carrying your medical card.

Medical cardholders don’t have to pay retail taxes, and they also get to skip out on all sorts of cannabis fees. As a bonus, cardholders have access to some of the most potent cannabis products.

Get Your NJ Medical Marijuana Card

Whether you’re looking for relief from chronic pain, anxiety, or another qualifying health condition, we’re here to help.  Doctors of Cannabis has you covered if you need a medical marijuana card in NJ.

Here at DOC, our simple 3-step process makes connecting with a licensed marijuana physician fast, and easy. You’ll receive a discrete and expert consultation from a real MMJ. Once approved, you’ll be able to get your medical card.

If you start the process today, you could have your card in as soon as a few weeks! Choose your State to get Started.