Adult-use cannabis sales are one step closer to becoming a reality in New Jersey.
After the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) missed its deadline to start accepting business license applications in September, the commission has finally announced applications for growers, producers and testing laboratories will open Dec. 15. Adult-use license applications for retailers will open March 15, 2022, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, NJ.com reported.
According to JD Supra, CRC will prioritize reviewing, scoring and approving applications in the following order:
Social Equity Businesses ApplicantsDiversely Owned Businesses ApplicantsImpact Zone Businesses ApplicantsLicense Applicants receiving bonus points for collective bargaining agreements, project labor agreements or residencyAll other applicants
Additionally, “priority will be given to conditional license applications over annual license applications, and microbusiness applications will be prioritized over standard cannabis business applications in every category,” the article states.
As Cannabis Business Times previously reported, the CRC is not permitted to approve more than 37 cultivation licenses between February 2021 and February 2023—excluding microbusinesses and expanded alternative treatment centers. However, during that time, the CRC may accept and review additional licenses as long as the issued license number does not exceed 37.
The state’s adult-use cannabis law requires legal sales to begin by mid-February or six months after the CRC adopted its initial rules in August, but, according to NJ.com, it’s unlikely sales will start by then without new businesses.
Medical cannabis businesses and growers in the state will first be permitted to legally sell adult-use cannabis once they can prove they have enough product to meet patient demand and can pay the fees to expand to the adult-use market, according to the news outlet.
CRC issued an additional 14 medical cannabis business licenses Oct. 15—10 cultivation and four vertically integrated—to minority- or women-owned companies, CBT reported. However, the newly licensed businesses must operate as medical-only for one year before being eligible to serve in the adult-use market, according to NJ.com.
Jeff Brown, CRC executive director, said the commission is “trying to move as quickly as [it] possibly can,” as several new medical dispensaries are still awaiting licenses, NJ.com reported.
The commission is set to host a pre-application webinar Nov. 30 for individuals interested in applying for a license.