What Is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational Cannabis in NJ?  

Posted on March 14th, 2024 to Education by

Medical and recreational cannabis availability in New Jersey now makes it possible for people who use cannabis for wellness purposes to have access to options. You can either go through the process of obtaining a New Jersey medical marijuana card through the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) or purchase cannabis as an adult customer.

There are differences and benefits to consider when it comes to being either a medical or adult-use customer. What is the difference between medical and recreational marijuana in NJ? Take a closer look below.


What Is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana in NJ?

Menu Selection

Medical dispensaries boast a wide range of cannabis flower and products, from an assortment of flower strains and pre-rolls to an array of concentrates, edibles, topicals, and tinctures. Tailored to cater to the unique needs of patients with various medical conditions, these dispensaries provide comprehensive options for symptom relief and wellness support. Therefore, medical menus often have wellness-focused products from different brands.

Meanwhile, recreational dispensaries showcase popular strains and products favored by general adult consumers. With both dispensaries featuring similar categories of products, a lot of people assume the product collections are mostly the same. However, there can be big differences between the products available on each menu when it comes to potency, availability of major and minor cannabinoids, and more.

Pricing Paid at Checkout

Customers who are buying New Jersey medical marijuana are no longer subject to the same sales taxes on their purchase as adult-use customers. While medical cannabis patients were initially expected to pay sales taxes, the state phased out those taxes to 0% after 2022.

By contrast, customers purchasing recreational cannabis are subject to state sales taxes (6.625%), as well as additional locality taxes of up to 2% based on where the dispensary is located. Therefore, medical cannabis patients usually spend much less on cannabis than recreational customers.

Legal Age to Purchase

In New Jersey, the legal age to purchase marijuana differs between medical and recreational use. For medical marijuana, individuals must be at least 18 years old and have a qualifying medical condition to obtain a medical cannabis card from a licensed healthcare provider. Recreational marijuana, however, is restricted to individuals aged 21 and older. Therefore, unless you have an NJ medical cannabis card, you won’t be able to purchase cannabis or even enter the dispensary.

Purchase Limits

Both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey enforce purchase limits to regulate the amount of cannabis products individuals can buy at one time. These limits help prevent overconsumption, discourage illegal diversion, and ensure fair access to cannabis for all consumers.

However, the specific purchase limits differ between medical and recreational customers. Medical patients have the liberty to buy up to 85 grams (3 oz) within 30 days, so they have an ample supply for their therapeutic needs. In contrast, recreational consumers are limited to purchasing 28.35 grams (1 oz) per transaction.

Is Medical Marijuana New Jersey Worth It?

Because New Jersey is now legal for both medical and recreational cannabis, a lot of medical cardholders have been tempted to allow their registration as a patient to expire. However, there are noteworthy benefits to maintaining your registration as a medical cannabis patient, as explained above. In a nutshell, as a patient, your benefits include:

  • Access to more therapeutic cannabis options (access to a more diverse menu geared toward wellness)
  • Ability to shop for cannabis at 18 with a qualifying medical condition
  • Access to both recreational and medical menus (if over the age of 21)
  • Cost savings due to taxes on recreational cannabis (0% taxes on medical cannabis vs state and local taxes on adult use)
  • Greater purchase limits (3oz vs 1oz)

Keep in mind, to register as a patient, there are required steps. Take a look at how to get a medical marijuana card in New Jersey to find out about qualifying conditions and the steps involved.

Shop for Recreational and Medical Marijuana at Eastern Green Dispensary

Whether you are a New Jersey medical marijuana cardholder or simply an adult customer looking for recreational cannabis, we’ve got you covered at Eastern Green Dispensary in Voorhees Township, NJ. If you have questions as a new customer of either type, we will be happy to offer guidance and help you explore the best cannabis in the state. Don’t forget, you can also place orders online through the recreational or medical menu for more convenient pickup when you arrive.



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