On September 27, 2023, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) will start accepting applications for licenses for wholesale, delivery, and distribution of recreational cannabis. The NJ-CRC will hold an in-depth webinar on September 14 to walk potential candidates through the prerequisites and processes prior to the opening date.
Who Can Apply In The First Round?
The application will be open from September 27, 2023, through December 26, 2023, with a special 90-day window for social equity and diversely-owned businesses. Applications from Diversely-Owned Businesses will start to be accepted for a further 90 days, from December 27, 2023, to March 26, 2024, while still accepting applications from Social Equity Businesses. The application period will open to all other applicants on March 27, 2024.
The following categories of cannabis business applications for recreational use are now being accepted by the NJCRC:
- Class 1 Cultivator
- Class 2 Manufacturer
- Class 5 Retailers
- Testing Laboratories
The NJCRC will start accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses in the remaining categories on September 27, 2023:
- Class 3 Wholesaler
- Class 4 Distributor
- Class 6 Delivery Service
Until otherwise stated, license applications will be received and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications will be given priority assessment, scoring, and acceptance for Social Equity Businesses, Diversely-Owned Businesses, Impact Zone Businesses, and applications that receive bonus points.
How Many Licenses Can A Business Apply For
Cannabis businesses that sell recreational products may vertically integrate. Operators who implement vertical integration are able to have multiple licenses at once, such as a wholesale license and a distributor license or any combination of a cultivator license, a manufacturing license, a store license, and a delivery service license. One business per class is the maximum allowed for all recreational license holders.
Priority review, evaluation, and approval will be given to some applications. Also given the highest priority are:
- Social equity applicants
- Diversely-owned applicants
- Impact Zone applicants
- Conditional and conditional conversion license applicant
- Microbusiness license applicants
- Candidates who have earned bonus points, such as those who have project labor agreements or have lived in New Jersey for at least five years.
- Applicants for standard annual licenses who lack the aforementioned attributes.
- Business plan – must include a minimum description of the proposed business, the value proposition for consumers, an overview of proposed financing for the business, product, and pricing plan, market analysis, and a complete profile of the management of the license applicant
- Regulatory Compliance Plan – must include a full overview of how the proposed cannabis plans comply with the regulations for the license type sought.
- Plan to obtain liability insurance – include a brief plan for obtaining appropriate liability insurance.
Key Points About The Application Process
- Send applications directly to the state. The state then approves applications and sends approved applications to the relevant municipalities.
- The process and specifications for adult-use licenses and cannabis business operations may vary by municipality.
- The application window is on a rolling basis, with no specified deadline.
- Each candidate may submit only one open application at a time.
- You can hold both manufacturing and cultivation licenses.
- Applications must be submitted online through the state’s website.
NJCRC Information Portals
The pre-application webinar took place on September 14, 2023. It will contain details on how to apply, what qualifications you must meet, how to use the application system, and details particular to the opening license classes Information on webinars is available at NJ-CRC
To learn more about the new cannabis business license classes and the Notice of Acceptance of Application
Start Preparing Now For Your Upcoming Application
The legal cannabis market is expanding, evolving, and strictly regulated. Businesses that want to prosper must get the permits and insurance they need to run legally and set themselves up for growth in the future.