Healthy New Jersey

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Cannabis Regulatory Commission

Economically Disadvantaged Areas

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission defines Economically Disadvantaged Areas as zip codes within the state that meet certain socioeconomic criteria and designates those zip codes as the locations for a category of Social Equity applications. Those criteria are:

  • A median income 80% or less of New Jersey’s median household income, and
  • A health uninsured rate at least 150% of the state’s health uninsured rate.

Fifty-five, or 9%, of New Jersey’s 595 zip codes qualified as an Economically Disadvantaged Area. Roughly 17% of New Jerseyans live in these 55 zip codes.  Economically Disadvantaged Areas are generally younger, more diverse, and more densely populated than the state average.

Though there is overlap, Economically Disadvantaged Areas and Impact Zones are not the same, and qualify separately for priority review in the cannabis business license application process.

The data supporting the designation of Economically Disadvantaged Areas is compiled from various sources and some assumptions regarding missing values and legislative intent were made. The data sources, the methodology, and the rationale for the assumptions are detailed in the report Identifying Economically Disadvantaged Areas.

Identifying Economically Disadvantaged Areas


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