New Jersey Cannabis Market
Act Now: New Jersey License Opportunities Are Open
Cultivation & Manufacturer License Applications Opened December 15. Retail Applications Opened March 15.
After much anticipation, New Jersey began accepting license applications on December 15. This round includes applications for Class 1 Cultivators, Class 2 Manufacturers, and Class 5 Testing Laboratories. This is a rolling application period with no deadline and no cap on the number of licenses for each type, except for Cultivation licenses, which are limited to 37 until February 2023.
Applications can be made in three categories: Conditional, Annual, and Microbusiness. The process is further complicated by several criteria and opportunities for priority review status including diversity, social equity, and high impact.
On March 15, 2022, the Cannabis Review Commission began accepting Class 5 Retail license applications, using the same structure as above. Wholesaler, Distributor, Transporter, and other licenses will be announced later.
As of mid-March, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission has begun awarding conditional licenses for adult-use cultivation and manufacturing licenses.
Winners of these conditional licenses should start now on the more rigorous process of converting to a full annual license.
How to Win A New Jersey Cannabis Business License
With this license application structure, it will be important to have expert guidance on the opportunity and the process and to apply early to maximize your opportunity in the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market.
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Contact our New Jersey cannabis experts today to discuss how to successfully apply for a cannabis license in New Jersey.
Cannabis Business Guidance in New Jersey
What Are the 3 Primary Adult-Use License Categories in New Jersey?
This is a preliminary award that allows an applicant to apply for a cultivation, manufacturing, or testing laboratory license, without having a facility or financing secured. This type of license also has a much lighter information burden on the applicant. Upon award, the Conditional applicant will have 120 days to get their facility and financing in order, then they must submit a Conversion application, which is essentially the same as an Annual license. Upon preliminary award of a Conversion license, the applicant will have 365 days to request a final inspection from the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. As long as the applicant meets all requirements at the time, a final formal license will be issued.
As of mid-March, New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Commission has begun awarding conditional licenses for adult-use cultivation and manufacturing licenses. Winners of these conditional licenses should start now on the more rigorous process of converting to a full annual license.
These are the full New Jersey adult-use licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, or testing laboratories. A significant amount of information, documents, and data is required for this application. Upon submission, the state has 90 days to evaluate the application, and, upon preliminary award, the applicant will have 365 days to request a final inspection, whereupon a full formal license will be awarded if all requirements are met.
This license is for owners who have resided in New Jersey for 2 years, and who earn less than $200k per year. This limit for microbusiness facilities is a physical plant that is not larger than 2,500 square feet.
Other License Resources & Cannabis News From Our New Jersey Cannabis Consultants:
- Major Flaws Found in New Jersey Cannabis License Scoring
- CoStar: New York, New Jersey Marijuana Legalization May Spark Flurry of Commercial Real Estate Activity
- mg Magazine: Competition for Real Estate in Cannabis Markets
- Cannabis Business Executive: Space for Small Cannabis Companies in the Northeast?
- Watch the recording from our New Jersey webinar on January 18, 2022
Market Conditions in New Jersey
The race is on to build an entirely new industry to service New Jersey’s 9.4 million residents.
Strong Competition For Cannabis
New Jersey received over 500 adult-use cultivation and manufacturing applications within the first 4 hours of opening the application portal on December 15 and saw a flurry of applications in the first days of the dispensary application period opening on March 15.
The state continues to accept cultivation, manufacturing, testing laboratory, and dispensary applications on a rolling basis.
Get our best advice for New Jersey cannabis entrepreneurs from our VP of Business Development and New Jersey native Bob Wagener.
Get Priority Review Status
For more reasons to get started now, these are several opportunities for priority review status:
- Microbusiness – Microbusiness licenses are designed to encourage the growth of small businesses in New Jersey, so these applications are prioritized.
- Conditional – Conditional licenses are also designed to help independent businesses get established, so these applications are also prioritized.
- Diversity – This priority status is for businesses where the owners or principals are women, veterans, or people who have been convicted of certain cannabis-related crimes.
- Social Equity – This priority status is for minority applicants or those from low-income areas.
- High Impact – This priority status is allotted to applicants who intend to locate the cannabis business in a high-impact zone, as defined by state regulations. High impact zones are those that have been significantly affected by the criminalization of cannabis.
New Jersey Cannabis Market Background and License Wins
New Jersey voters showed strong support for Public Question 1, with 66.9% of votes in favor of Adult-Use cannabis. Governor Murphy's signature on three pieces of adult-use legislation closes the long prologue to the saga of the adult-use cannabis market in the Garden State.
With the much-anticipated opening of adult-use applications in December 2021, the state continues to award licenses from previous medical application rounds, with big wins for Canna Advisors' clients.
Our clients won 2 of the 14 licenses. These cultivation and manufacturing licenses were all awarded to minority- and women-owned companies.
Timeline of Cannabis in New Jersey
- November 3, 2020 - Adult-Use & Medical Legislation Passed
- November 2021 - Process Developed/Announced
- December 15, 2021 - First Cultivation & Manufacturer Applications Open
- March 15, 2022 - First Retail (Dispensary) Applications Open