Healthy New Jersey

Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Cannabis Business License Application Process

Current processing time for business license applications (from the time submission fees are submitted on the application platform to board consideration) is 7 to 12 weeks for conditional applications; 15 to 28 weeks for annual license applications and conditional-to-annual conversion applications.*

Application process time is dependent on its priority designation, the complexity of the application (The more persons of interest, for example, the longer the investigation period will be.), the completeness of the initial submission, how many cures have to be issued to get to completeness, how long the applicant(s) take to respond to cure requests and other correspondence from Licensing and from Investigations, and if there are any changes to municipal approval.

Note, application review is not complete until the NJ-CRC Board of Commissioners approves your application. Additional cures may be required at any stage.

*Average timeline as of January 11, 2024

Application Verification

Priority Verification

Your application has been submitted under a specific priority and the process begins with Priority Verification. The Office of Licensing reviews supporting documentation to confirm that the submitted priority is correct. 

Completeness Review/Scoring

Your application has moved to Completeness Review/Scoring. This includes Office of Licensing review and scoring of your application, and confirming that required labor agreements are in place. 

Conditional license applicants jump a few steps
Completeness Review/Scoring / Conditional license applicants jump a few steps

After Completeness Review/Scoring, conditional license applications move to Final Application Review.  Annual license and conditional-to-annual conversion applications move to the next step: Location Review/Municipal Outreach.

Location Review

Municipal Outreach

Your application has moved to Municipal Outreach. During this stage, NJ-CRC staff will verify your application includes requirements such as municipal and zoning approvals. 

Ownership Review


The investigation stage includes Office of Compliance and Investigations review of your application. During this stage you will need to be fingerprinted and submit to background checks, interviews, and probity review. Some of this stage is carried out by third-party agencies whose response times will affect how long an application is in the investigation stage. Be sure to respond to all requests for information and documents in a timely manner.

Final Application Review

Your application has moved to Final Application Review. This includes Offices of Licensing and Compliance and Investigations quality control review of your application, as well as Chief Counsel's Office review.

On to Board Review
Final Application Review / On to Board Review

After Final Application Review, applications become eligible to be presented to the NJ-CRC Board of Commissioners for consideration at a public meeting. The applications to be considered at any public meeting of the NJ-CRC are at the discretion of the Board Chair.  No applicant is guaranteed a date on which their application will be considered and no one is guaranteed any specific outcome upon the Board's consideration.

Applicants approved by the Board are issued a Final Agency Decision.  Upon their acceptance, an invoice will be issued.

Awaiting Payment

Please proceed to invoice payment. Conditional license awardees are required to pay an approval fee.  You will then have 165 days to apply for a conversion to annual.  If you are getting close to the end of your 165-day period and you need more time, be sure to apply for an extension.

Annual license awardees and those approved for conditional-to-annual conversion are required to pay an approval fee, a background check fee, and their annual fee. The Office of Compliance and Investigations will then review your Standard Operating Procedures and conduct final site inspections.

How much are the fees?
/ How much are the fees?

License Approved

Your annual license or conditional-to-annual conversion is issued and you may begin operations.

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