Aspiring entrepreneurs or existing operators looking to vertically integrate their cannabis business will soon be able to apply for wholesale, distribution and delivery service licenses from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).
Starting Sept. 27, social equity businesses will be given priority review and approval for a 90-day period.
After that window closes Dec. 26, the CRC will accept applications from diversely owned businesses – categorized as certified minority-, woman-and disabled veteran-owned – as well as social equity businesses through March 24, 2024.
Then, the application process will open for all other applicants March 27, 2024, the CRC said.
CRC Chair Dianna Houenou described the launch of the license classes as “a significant step in the continued growth and diversification of New Jersey’s cannabis industry.”
“We now have more medicinal and recreational businesses open, so applicants for these additional license classes have a more robust industry to serve. We are committed to fostering inclusivity, empowering local communities, and providing opportunities for those typically underrepresented who want to enter the cannabis industry,” she went on to say.
Jeff Brown, executive director of the CRC, added, “Now that New Jersey’s market is on the cusp of 50 operational cannabis retailers, opening up applications for delivery services, wholesalers, and distributors will help New Jersey’s market serve consumers better.”
Of the 2,014 applications the CRC has received as of August 2023 for Class 1 (cultivator), Class 2 (manufacturer) and Class 5 (retailer) licenses, almost 1,800 cure letters notifying applicants of deficiencies have been sent, the state said.
In an effort to better prepare potential applicants for the process, the CRC has scheduled a webinar at 2 p.m. Sept. 14 about the overall process.
According to the CRC, the program will include information about eligibility criteria, navigating the application portal and information specific to the opening license classes. More details can be found here.
Brown encouraged interested applicants to sign up for the webinar, saying it will help them learn about the legal requirements for licensure so that they can “complete the process accurately and minimize hold-ups like cure letters.”