Is CBD Oil Legal in New Jersey?
Thankfully, hemp-derived CBD is readily available and perfectly legal in nearly all U.S. states. Is medicinal marijuana, including CBD oil, legal in New Jersey? Most certainly, yes—if you qualify for the state's Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP).
What's more—New Jerseyans seem to have their act together in terms of regulation and processes. There are already approximately 20,000 patients registered to the program, and this number is growing.
Read on to have your most pressing questions answered about what the state Department of Health says about medicinal marijuana, CBD oil, and NJ's legal stance on possession, as well as how to get on the program.
The Most Pressing Questions and Answers: "Are Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil Legal in New Jersey?"
1. Is CBD Oil Really Legal in New Jersey When It Is Still Federally Illegal?
It is true that possession of marijuana is still unlawful according to national law. However, states have the freedom to choose how they would like to specifically enforce the national Controlled Substance Act (CSA). 
Regarding medical marijuana and CBD oil, NJ state law is pretty clear—if you qualify for the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program, you have protection against "arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties," according to criminal trial attorney Frederick Sisto. This is also called an "affirmative defense." 
Called "CUMMA" (Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act), the law creates an affirmative defense against the violation of the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act, as explained by the NJ Department of Health in a 2012 brief to law enforcement.
Even law enforcement in NJ has formal instructions in this regard, which puts the Garden State ahead of most.
"When a person in possession of marijuana claims to be a registered medical marijuana patient or primary caregiver, an officer should not make an arrest, file criminal charges, or seize marijuana or associated paraphernalia unless the officer has specific and articulable reasons to believe that the CUMMA affirmative defense does not apply to this suspect or in this situation." 
There are processes and procedures in place to get on the medical program and legally obtain medical marijuana and/or CBD oil, so read on.
2. What Are the Qualifying Health Conditions?
To legally possess and use CBD oil, NJ Department of Health requires your physician to certify that you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following debilitating conditions:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders
- Chronic pain of visceral origin
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
- Muscular dystrophy
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
- Any terminal illness, if the physician has given you a prognosis of fewer than 12 months of life
- Tourette syndrome
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If your condition is resistant to treatment or you are intolerant of conventional treatment, the following conditions also apply:
- Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
- Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
You will also qualify for the program if you experience severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome because of the treatment you receive for any one of the following conditions:
- Positive status of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Cancer 
3. I'm Underage and Have a Listed Disease. Is CBD Oil Legal in New Jersey for Me Too, and May I Register?
Minor patients may register with the MMP, but you are required to have a legal guardian, such as a parent, who is also your designated caregiver. At this point, minors still need a psychiatrist and a pediatrician to submit a minor attestation, but there are calls to repeal this regulation. Every minor patient is allowed up to two caregivers who may register with the MMP.
4. How Do I Register for the Program?
In order to register for the MMP, you will need the following documents and to take the following steps:
- A passport-style photo of yourself without glasses or headgear, taken against a white background.
- Government-issued photo ID, which can be a driver license, a non-driver ID card, or an NJ County ID card.
- Proof of New Jersey Residency—current residential address and no P.O. Boxes. These can include a recent utility bill (gas, electricity, sewer, cell phone, or cable) with your name clearly visible as the account holder.
- Any correspondence from IRS or the NJ State Tax Office, no older than a year.
- A state-registered, qualified physician must complete an Attending Physician Statement (APS), for which they will receive a Patient Reference Number. They then need to give you a copy of the APS as well as your personal reference number.
- Now you're ready to go online and register here. Be sure that you're able to scan in the required documents.
5. What if My Doctor Is Not MMP Registered?
Previously, you could only get a recommendation from a physician who was registered on the Medicinal Marijuana Program. However, this registry is now being phased out, and you may ask any physician who can prescribe opioids to give you a recommendation. If yours is resistant, you can still obtain names of participating physicians from the Department's website. 
6. How Much Marijuana or CBD Oil Am I Allowed as a Registered Patient?
Currently, you are lawfully allowed two ounces of marijuana per month. However, the Department has recommended amending CUMMA for an increase to four ounces. No more than 10% of the product may contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana's psychotropic compound.
[IMAGE: Medicinal bottle and marijuana, dried or fresh, such as this one: https://pixabay.com/en/cannabis-marijuana-weed-drug-hemp-1418331/]
7. Where Can I Get My Products?
The Department requires you to register with a state-regulated supplier at an alternative treatment center (ATC). You can switch between ATCs by going online using your active patient ID.
So, now the question "Is CBD oil legal in New Jersey?" should be answered. Hopefully, the new ATCs in New Jersey will be in place and running soon, so nobody has to miss out on the near-miraculous healing benefits of medicinal marijuana and CBD oil.