New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Launches Application Process for Recreational-Use Businesses

CANNANNEW REPORT

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) held a public meeting on November 9, 2021 and released the 2021 Personal Use (Recreational) Notice of Application. As announced at the meeting, the CRC will begin accepting adult-use applications commencing December 15, 2021. Specifically, as of that date, CRC will begin accepting license applications for Cultivation, Manufacturers and Testing Laboratories, and 90 days later, on March 15, 2022, will begin accepting adult-use license applications for Retailers. The Notice of Application includes: eligibility requirements prioritization process application requirements (e.g., forms, supporting documents, etc.) scoring measures; and approval process and denial determinations The Notice of Application also provides clarity on local approval and municipality preferences. Specifically, it outlines what applicants need in municipality letters or resolutions of support, what counts as a municipal preference, and the consistency between them. However, the Notice of Application does not address the expanded ATC certification process, distributor licenses, wholesaler licenses, or delivery service licenses – and the CRC commented that those items will be addressed in future CRC guidance. Priority of Applications Significantly, the CRC also revealed how it will prioritize applications. Essentially, applications will be accepted on a continuous rolling basis and will be prioritized for review, scoring, and approved in the following order: Social Equity Businesses Applicants Diversely Owned Businesses Applicants Impact Zone Businesses Applicants License Applicants receiving bonus points for collective bargaining agreements, project labor agreements or residency All other applicants Moreover, priority will be given to conditional license applications over annual license applications, and microbusiness applications will be prioritized over standard cannabis business applications in every category. Additional highlights of the Notice of Application include a pass/fail scoring model. If an application has been deemed complete, it will receive full points. In contrast, an incomplete application will receive no points and be rejected with an opportunity…

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