Following the election of Phil Murphy as Governor, New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is undergoing a 60-day review with a focus on increasing its scope and access. Murphy also campaigned on the promise to legalize adult use in the state. Applications for new marijuana facilities are anticipated.

New Jersey Cannabis Law History

Senate Bill 119, also known as The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, was signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine in January 2010, allowing the use of medical cannabis by patients with certain conditions and a physician’s recommendation, as well as defining the term “Alternative Treatment Center” to mean an organization approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide patients with medical cannabis.

The first ATC was licensed in 2012, and the last to receive a license did so in mid 2017. Known for having one of the strictest medical programs in the nation, an expansion of the program’s access will likely cause a significant increase in demand for medical cannabis.

Qualifying Conditions

A physician must certify that a patient has an approved debilitating medical condition to participate in the Medicinal Marijuana Program. Approved debilitating medical conditions include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • 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 resistant to, or if the patient is intolerant to, conventional therapy:

  • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • 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 treatment thereof:

  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Cancer

Key Dates

An executive order calling for a review of the state’s medical program in order to expand it was issued on January 23, 2018.

Application Fees/Start-up Costs

The one-time application fees for ATC’s was $20,000. Unsuccessful applicants were returned $18,000 of their payment.

The ATC permit renewal fee is currently $20,000.

License types

Medical marijuana establishments, referred to as Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC), are vertically integrated in New Jersey. There are currently five (6) licensed ATC’s in the state.


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