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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Priority Applicants are:
- Social Equity Businesses, owned by people who have lived in economically disadvantaged areas of the state or who have past convictions for cannabis offenses;
- Diversely Owned Businesses, which are minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned and certified as such
- 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.
- Priority Applicants will be prioritized in the licensure process so that their applications are reviewed before other applicants –regardless of when they apply.
- 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.
- 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.
- Municipalities can impose caps on the number of cannabis business allowed.