Highlights of New Jersey Rules and Regulations Relating to Adult-Use Cannabis

By:  Sheila M. Mints, Esq. and Alana M. Hans-Cohen, Esq.


Yesterday, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission issued long-awaited initial regulations on legalization of adult use cannabis in New Jersey.  Here are some of the highlights of the application process:

  1. The application will be printed in the NJ Register, which is published twice a month, and layout timelines for the application process and all details regarding the application. No date was provided for publication.
  1. There will be a rolling application process for “Priority Applicants.” This means anytime a priority applicant submits their application, they will immediately jump to the front of the line for review.
  2.   Priority Applicants are:
    1. Social Equity Businesses, owned by people who have lived in economically disadvantaged areas of the state or who have past convictions for cannabis offenses;
    2. Diversely Owned Businesses, which are minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned and certified as such
    3. Impact Zone Businesses, which are located in an Impact Zone, owned by people from Impact Zones, or employ residents of Impact Zones. Impact zones are municipalities with a large population, high unemployment rate, or high numbers of crime or arrests for marijuana.
  3. Priority Applicants will be prioritized in the licensure process so that their applications are reviewed before other applicants –regardless of when they apply. 
  4. Microbusinesses, which are limited to 10 employees and 2,500 square feet, will also be prioritized and, if successful, allowed to apply to expand their business in accordance with consumer demand.
  5. There are no caps on the number of licenses to be awarded EXCEPT that a 37 Cultivator License cap will be in place for the first twenty four (24) months.  This cap does not apply to microbusiness cultivators.
  6. Municipalities can impose caps on the number of cannabis business allowed.

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