New Jersey Begins Accepting Applications for Recreational Cannabis Licenses

High Times

The state of New Jersey has finally begun to accept applications for recreational cannabis licenses on December 15. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) announced that within the first four hours of applications opening, 500 people had already submitted their applications, with 635 accounts created by the end of the day. “We are happy to reach this milestone,” said Jeff Brown, CRC executive director. “Applications are coming in, the platform is performing well, and we can officially mark the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis industry. Getting cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs licensed and operating will set the framework and establish supply for retailers who will start licensing in March 2022.” The CRC also noted that highest priority would be given to “Social Equity Businesses, diversely-owned businesses, microbusinesses, and conditional license applicants” when being reviewed. This includes applicants who were previously convicted for cannabis crimes, live in “economically disadvantaged areas” or fit the criteria of minority, women or disabled-veteran owned businesses. Following Governor Phil Murphy signing three cannabis bills earlier this year in February, the CRC created the Office of Minority, Disabled Veterans, and Women Business Development in order to follow through with the promise of supporting diversity. A category was specifically created for Social Equity Business applicants as well, which includes “people who have lived in an economically disadvantaged area or who have convictions for cannabis-related offenses. Those areas are defined as places where individuals earn 80 percent or less of the state median household income ($90,444), and also have an uninsured rate of one to one-and-a-half times more than rates throughout the state, according to NJ.com. The CRC held a New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City in mid-November to discuss the details of this process. There, CRC Chair Dianna Houenou confirmed that accepted applications with…

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