How To Get a New Jersey Cannabis License
To operate a recreational or medical use cannabis business in New Jersey, you must first apply for an NJ cannabis business license. The application process might appear complicated at first, but it’s actually quite streamlined.
If your business performs any commercialized activities involving legalized cannabis, you need an NJ cannabis business license. This includes:
- Growing cannabis or hemp
- Storing cannabis or cannabis-related products
- Manufacturing cannabis products
- Transporting anything containing cannabis
- Selling anything containing cannabis
- Testing cannabis products
- Delivering cannabis products to consumers
Failing to follow the proper steps and procedures during the licensing process can result in a rejection of your application. And operating unlicensed is a recipe for disaster. With New Jersey officials cracking down on unlicensed cannabis businesses, it’s a risk that will result in catastrophic damages to your business and your life.
Understanding the cannabis license process is critical for a successful application. In this article, I’ll outline the basic information you need to know to apply for a cannabis business license in New Jersey. Keep reading to learn more.
New Jersey Cannabis License Types
Since the CREAMM Act (Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act) was established and signed into law by Governor Murphy, six types of cannabis businesses are now eligible for licenses in New Jersey.
The CREAMM Act provides the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission the authority to further expand and develop the current Medicinal Cannabis Program. This includes the provisions for further regulation and enforcement provisions of the rules and activities associated with recreational cannabis for adults 21 years or older. The Act also addresses other important issues related to cannabis.
New cannabis businesses can apply for a conditional license. This allows business owners to operate legally for a temporary period of time as they develop the systems required to obtain one of the six official licenses.
There are significant differences in the application process—in particular, the cost of fees—between mid and micro-sized companies, but the general process is similar.
Here are the six cannabis license types available in New Jersey:
- Class 1: allows cannabis cultivators to grow adult-use crops
- Class 2: allows cannabis manufacturers to create adult-use products
- Class 3: allows cannabis wholesalers to facilitate the sale of, store, and transport adult-use products
- Class 4: allows cannabis distributors to transport and sell large quantities of adult-use products within state lines
- Class 5: allows cannabis retailers to purchase and sell adult-use products
- Class 6: allows cannabis delivery companies to transport adult-use products to customers
NJ Cannabis License Social Equity Initiative
In an effort to increase social equity in the New Jersey cannabis industry, the state has implemented a prioritization program that provides application preference to marginalized groups and those from economically disadvantaged areas.
The prioritized groups are outlined below. They are designated for:
- Members of marginalized communities: businesses owned by those the New Jersey Department of the Treasury classifies as minorities, women, disabled people, or veterans
- Members of economically disadvantaged communities: business owners who have lived in specific state-designated areas, or those who are impacted by a cannabis-related criminal offense
- Impact Zone businesses: businesses located in, owned by a resident of, or employing residents of Impact Zones
- Microbusinesses: businesses with fewer than ten employees operating in less than 2,500 square feet
How to Get an NJ Cannabis Business License
The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Commission oversees all cannabis licenses in NJ through its online platform.
To begin an application, you’ll need to register for an account, confirm your email, then log in to your account. Once in the portal, you’ll be taken through the following steps:
- Create a new application
- Add all relevant information under the General Information tab
- Complete the license information
- Include detailed information about applicants and answer the required questions
- Add all information about the primary contact
- Include detailed location information and answer the required questions
- Provide the required documentation
- Complete your payment
- Review all information for accuracy and completeness
Once you’ve submitted your application, you may review your application status in the dashboard. Here you can also review information about payments and invoices, and make updates to your application and account.
How Much Does an NJ Cannabis License Cost?
The cost of a New Jersey cannabis business license varies depending on the size and category of your business.
How Much Does an NJ Cannabis License Application Cost?
First, business owners must consider application and certification fees. Both conditional and full license applicants can expect to pay $4,000 for a standard business and $3,000 for a microbusiness.
Additional fees that range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 apply to those seeking certain medical cannabis expansions or vertically integrated alternative treatment centers.
How Much Are NJ Cannabis Licensing Fees?
Licensing fees for New Jersey cannabis businesses are as follows:
- Fees for cultivators: between $5,000 and $50,000 depending on size and $1,000 for microbusinesses
- Fees for manufacturers: between $20,000 and $30,000 depending on size and $1,000 for microbusinesses
- Fees for retailers: $10,000 for standard businesses and $1,000 for microbusinesses.
- Fees for cannabis testing labs: $4,000
Get Your Cannabis Business License in NJ
The key to a successful New Jersey cannabis business license application is preparedness. Before you apply for your license, ensure your business is compliant with federal, municipal, and state regulations. You must enter the application with an understanding of what type of business license you’re applying for and whether or not you meet certain requirements for prioritization.
Once you’re ready, complete the pre-application checklist:
- Ensure compliance with all regulations
- Prepare a solid business plan
- Select a business structure
- Obtain tax ID numbers
- Select and register your business name
- Open a business account with a New Jersey bank
- Get insured and create a plan for remaining insured
- Research local commercial spaces
- Gather documentation to prove eligibility for application priority
- Gather documentation to prove compliance
Streamline the Cannabis Licensing Application Process With Qredible®
Once you’ve obtained your license, you can validate it on your Qredible® profile. Qredible is the industry’s only digital registry of validated and verified legalized cannabis, CBD, and hemp companies. Qredible can also assist you by finding a qualified attorney in the state through our community of professionals.
Qredible makes it easy to prove your compliance and gain trust with investors, retailers, and consumers by demonstrating the validity of your license. But it also makes the pre-application process simple with a series of tools and functionalities designed to ensure compliance and quality assurance.
At Qredible, we’re working hard to ensure trustworthy businesses outperform their corner-cutting competitors. To learn more about how we can support your team, set up a discovery call.