In 2016, New Jersey joined its neighbors in the legalization of medicinal cannabis use. While it may be some time before the approval for the use of recreational marijuana, New Jersey residents with qualifying medical conditions can now purchase, possess and use cannabis for the purpose of medicinal treatment.

Unfortunately, the medicinal marijuana laws do not come without their own share of rules and regulations. The state of New Jersey currently has less than 8,000 patients certified for medical cannabis use, a much lower rate than other states that are similar in population. This low certification rate is due to the unusually strict qualifications designated by the state. In addition to holding one of the smaller lists of qualifying conditions, New Jersey patients must also be reassessed every 90 days. Doctors looking to prescribe cannabis as medical treatment must first register and complete a course. Finally, the prices for medicinal marijuana in New Jersey are some of the highest in the country.

Once becoming a registered patient within the medical marijuana program, patients will be allowed to purchase up to two ounces of cannabis per month from a state-licensed dispensary. Unfortunately, patients are ineligible from cultivating any cannabis plants within their home. It is still illegal for any cannabis, medicinal or otherwise, to be taken outside of New Jersey state borders. Doing so can be viewed as a felony and charged as drug trafficking depending on the amount.

As new laws develop around the legalization of medical marijuana, it's important to stay aware of current laws at all times. It is important that both residents and tourists look into New Jersey laws prior to purchasing or consuming cannabis in order to avoid federal interference. Residents who are in favor of the recreational use of cannabis in New Jersey are strongly urged to contact their local lawmakers and show their support.