Healthy New Jersey

Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Recreational Cannabis Businesses

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License Applications

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission issues licenses for medicinal and recreational cannabis business operations in New Jersey. Each business requires a license, which must be active and in good standing, to perform any commercial cannabis activity, including:

  • Growing cannabis plants
  • Storing cannabis and cannabis products
  • Making cannabis products
  • Transporting or delivering cannabis and cannabis products
  • Selling cannabis and cannabis products
  • Testing cannabis and cannabis products

We are currently accepting applications for personal-use (recreational) cannabis businesses in the following categories:

  • Class 1 Cultivator
  • Class 2 Manufacturer
  • Class 3 Wholesaler
  • Class 4 Distributor
  • Class 5 Retailer
  • Class 6 Delivery Service
  • Testing Laboratory

    License applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until indicated otherwise. Social Equity Businesses, Diversely-Owned Businesses, Impact Zone Businesses, and applications that receive bonus points will be afforded priority review, scoring, and approval.

    Recreational cannabis businesses may integrate vertically. Vertical integration allows operators to hold any combination of a cultivator license, a manufacturer license, a retailer license, and a delivery service license simultaneously or hold a wholesale and a distributor license simultaneously. All recreational license holders can have only one business in each class.

    There is no established limit on the number of cannabis business licenses available statewide. 

    The Notice of Application outlines:

    • Eligibility requirements
    • Prioritization processes
    • Application requirements, including a list of necessary forms and supporting documents
    • Scoring methodology
    • How approval or denial is determined

    From application to award: the stages of the application process

    Avoiding Cure Letters

    No person or entity that completes a cannabis business application, submits all the required document, and meets all requirements is denied a license. Incomplete applications receive a Cure Letter - an opportunity to fix errors with your information or documentation. The time it takes to receive and respond to a cure extends the application review process.  It is best to avoid receiving one at all. 

    The Most Common Reasons for Cure Letters (Things to check before submitting an application)

    • Entity Disclosure Form (EDF) Issues: It is essential to provide disclosure forms for license applicants and any related entities providing financial or management support.  
    • Persons of Interest (POI) issues: Signing the necessary documents, including the statement of truth and waiver of liability, and having them notarized is an essential step to ensure the accuracy of the process. Additionally, you must correctly identify the people involved and provide their Personal History Disclosure (PHD). Finally, ensure you provide all the requested data and complete the PHDs. 
    • Tax Return issues: To complete your submission, you must provide us with your latest state and federal tax return. If submitting returns from a previous year, you must also provide proof of any extensions obtained. 
    • Government Identification Issues: Ensure you use valid government IDs that is current at the time of submission. 
    • Business Certification Issues: Diversely-owned businesses' certification must be up-to-date on New Jersey Selective Assistance Vendor Information (NJSAVI) and in the name of the correct applicant.  
    • Priority Designation Issues: The documentation must accurately reflect your priority status. Any errors or inconsistencies in the information or documentation will delay the processing of your application. 
    • Business Registration Documentation Issues: Your formation and business registration certificates must be in the applicant’s name.
    • Financial and Management Service Agreement Issues: If you have agreements for financial or management services, it is essential to submit them for review once they are finalized. Failure to submit these agreements will result in processing delays. Include an EDF for financial entities and a PHD for financial individuals.  
    • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Issues: Before submitting your plans or Standard Operating Procedures, it's crucial to refer to the regulations and verify that they are compliant to ensure completeness.
    • Site Control Issues: To obtain NJ-CRC approval, you must have local support in the form of a resolution signed by the municipality’s governing body, zoning approval in the form of a letter of approval from a zoning official, and a signed lease agreement. Ensure that the applicant's name and business location is mentioned in the documents.

    Applicants who receive a cure letter should, as quickly as they can, make the necessary corrections on the licensing platform, submit any requested paperwork, and resubmit their application. Your application will still be reviewed based on its priority. If, for example, you're a social equity applicant for a microbusiness license and your application is rejected, your resubmitted application will be placed at the end of the highest-priority list, not at the end of the overall queue.

    Remember, the NJ-CRC accepts applications on a rolling basis. There is no deadline to beat. Getting your application done right the first time is the fastest way to your cannabis business license. 

    Before you Apply

    • Decide what kind of business you want to establish.
      • Cultivator – grow cannabis
      • *Manufacturer – produce cannabis goods
      • *Wholesaler – store, buy and/or sell bulk cannabis and cannabis products
      • *Distributors – transport bulk cannabis and cannabis products
      • Retailer – purchase cannabis and cannabis products from licensed cultivators, manufacturers, and/or wholesalers for sale to consumers in a retail store
      • *Delivery – transport retail purchased cannabis and cannabis products to consumers
      • Diversely-owned business – certified minority-owned, woman-owned, disabled veteran-owned
      • Social Equity business – owned by people who have lived in an Economically Disadvantaged Area
      • Impact Zone business – located in an Impact Zone, owned by people from an Impact Zone, or employing residents of Impact Zones
      • Conditional License – interim status that gives applicants 120 days to find site, secure municipal approval, and apply for conversion to annual license
      • Microbusiness – 10 employees or less and 2500 square feet or less of operation space
    • Look into the municipal regulations regarding cannabis business where you intend to establish your business
    • Determine whether you qualify as a priority applicant
    • Check off all the items on the pre-application check list 
    • Read through the Application Guide and review the Application Platform demo video.

    *Recreational cannabis businesses

    Applying for a License & Opening a Cannabis Business FAQs

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