Medical Marijuana in New Jersey
On January 18th, 2010, Governor Corzine signed into law the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. Although there was a two year pushback on the implementation of the medical marijuana programs, the first Alternative Treatment Center (“ATC”) began providing qualified patients medical marijuana in December 2012. Currently, there are twelve (12) licensed ATCs in the State of New Jersey.
By 2019, the New Jersey cannabis industry expanded dramatically with the passage of “Jake’s Law” by creating a new foundation for the medical marijuana programs in New Jersey. This law established a new Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”) to oversee the medical marijuana programs, set forth the licensing and operational requirements of the ATCs, and create eligible patient criteria.
Recreational Use of Marijuana in New Jersey
On November 3, 2020, 67.08% of New Jersey voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use under the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, or commonly known as New Jersey Public Question 1. Due to the passage of Question 1, New Jersey became the first state in the Mid-Atlantic to legalize marijuana for adults aged 21 or older.
Under the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“CREAMM Act”), the CRC will promulgate regulations to govern the medical and adult-use industries and oversee the applications for licensing of cannabis businesses. The legislation further provides for the New Jersey Legislature to reinvest cannabis revenues in designated “impact zones”; directs the CRC to promote diversity and inclusion in business ownership; and contains critical employment protections for people who engage in lawful behavior with respect to cannabis.
In addition, Question 1 applied the state sales tax (6.625 %) to recreational marijuana, but prohibited additional state sales taxes. The New Jersey Legislature was authorized to allow local governments to enact an additional 2 % sales tax on recreational marijuana.
Applications for Marijuana Business Licenses
Medical Marijuana Business License Applications
You can view the 2019 RFA Dispensary Permit Application here: 2019 Application
Currently, the CRC is not accepting applications for Alternative Treatment Centers (“ATC”). If you are a current operating ATC, there are different requirements to follow if you wish to enter the recreational cannabis industry including, but not limited to, notifying the CRC of your intent, demonstrating adequate supply for medical marijuana patients, and approval from the municipality your company is located within.
Adult-Use Marijuana Business License Applications
Presently, there are several recreational cannabis business license applications open or upcoming in the near future. Under the CREAMM Act, there are six (6) classes of licenses for recreational use licensed businesses:
- Class 1: Cannabis Cultivator
- Class 2: Cannabis Manufacturer
- Class 3: Cannabis Wholesaler
- Class 4: Cannabis Distributor
- Class 5: Cannabis Retailer
- Class 6: Cannabis Delivery
* The CREAMM Act also permits a temporary Conditional License while the business works towards acquiring a full license. For information on whether your application is a “Priority Application,” click NJ.gov.
Currently, the CRC is accepting applications for Cultivator, Manufacturer, Retailer, and Testing Laboratory licenses. On September 27th, 2023, the CRC began accepting applications for Wholesaler, Distributor, and Delivery licenses. This application window will be limited for one (1) year and restricted to social equity applicants only.
Starting on December 27th, 2023, diversely-owned businesses will be allowed to start applying for a Wholesaler, Distributor, or Delivery Service license. It will not be until March 27th, 2024, that such licenses will have an open application window for general applicants.
Now is the time to start structuring your business plan and solidifying your application. If you are interested in acquiring a New Jersey Marijuana Business License, contact us to discuss your options. There are several additional requirements that we can discuss with you. Schedule a consultation to further discuss your options here!
Last Updated: September 28th, 2023