New Jersey Cannabis License Guidelines

New Jersey Division of Medical Marijuana

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

Residents of New Jersey, aged 21 and above can apply for a business license, either alone or in partnership with someone.

The board issued a set of specific licensing criteria:

  • At least one significantly involved person in the business must have resided in NJ for at least two years as of the date of application.
  • All requirements of any rule adopted by the CRC regarding the payment for the application fees, public health and safety standards, and industry best practices must be met.
  • Each of the owners, directors, officers, and employees must undergo a criminal history record background check

New Jersey Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the New Jersey commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:


What is the process for obtaining a license in New Jersey?

The newly formed Cannabis Regulatory Commission has up to 180 days to come out with its regulations after the enactment of the law. The commission would begin accepting and processing applications for licenses and conditional licenses within 30 days after the commission’s initial rules and regulations have been adopted.

Permanent license: If approved, a license would be issued by the commission not later than 30 days after a notice of approval has been given, unless the applicant is found to not be in compliance with relevant regulations or local regulating ordinances applicable to their business operations. An issued license would expire after one year but could be renewed following submission of a new application, in which the applicant would detail aspects of the cannabis licensee’s operations and on-going compliance measures as part of the renewal process.

Conditional license: The applicant would not need to be in compliance with every aspect of the regulatory requirements expected for full licensure in order to obtain a conditional license, but would need to provide sufficient plans for actions to be taken to eventually achieve compliance for full licensure. During a 120-day period following issuance of the conditional license, if it is determined that the conditional licensee is in compliance with all plans to achieve full licensure, it would replace the conditional license with a full, annual license, dated to expire one year from its date of issuance, otherwise, the conditional license would expire after the 120 days period.

The CRC would determine the maximum number of licenses for each class based on market demand. Watch this space for more details on the application process, as and when CRC updates them on its website.

Is one entity allowed to apply for more than one license?

For the first 18 months, no business will be allowed to have both cultivation and retail cannabis licenses. There will be additional restrictions against vertical integration that will prevent the formation of possible monopolies.

An existing medical cannabis operator could begin adult-use sales immediately after rules are issued – but only if the company can prove it has sufficient supply to meet medical marijuana demand, which must be prioritized.

Where can a marijuana dispensary or retail establishment be located?

Each municipality has its own laws and regulations regarding this, and although the state of New Jersey has legalized recreational cannabis, municipalities are allowed to implement the law as they please. So read up more on your region-specific regulations before deciding on a location.

Can medical marijuana and recreational cannabis be sold in the same dispensary?

Yes, medical dispensaries can sell adult-use cannabis, but only if they have enough stock to meet medical marijuana demand. But, Marijuana retail stores cannot operate as medical marijuana dispensaries.

New Jersey Cannabis License Types

There are many different license types for cannabis in New Jersey. We are here to help you understand which one is the best for you and your business.

Class 1 Cannabis Grower License

The Cannabis Grower license shall be granted to a person or entity that will grow or cultivate cannabis to be sold to other cultivators, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, but not to direct customers. Holders of this license are also permitted to transport their product to qualified recipients. For the first 24 months, only 37 cannabis grower licenses will be given by the state, including ATCs with a cultivator endorsement.

Class 2 Cannabis Processor License

A cannabis processor is a person or entity that will process or manufacture cannabis and sell the resulting product to other manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, but not directly to consumers.

A licensed cannabis processor is permitted to purchase cannabis from a licensed grower or another licensed processor or manufacturer. They are also allowed to transport their product to intended legal recipients.

Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler License

A licensed wholesaler of cannabis is permitted to acquire and store cannabis and cannabis products intended to be resold later to cannabis retailers but not to direct consumers. Holders of this license are also allowed to transport their products to the retailers. The Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler license will be issued for the warehouse where the cannabis products will be stored.

Class 4 Cannabis Distributor License

The Class 4 license is intended for persons or entities that will transport cannabis or cannabis products in bulk from one licensed cannabis establishment to another within the state. Holders of the Class 4 Cannabis Distributor License are also permitted to store the cannabis or cannabis products temporarily if it is necessary for fulfilling their duties in transporting the goods.

Class 5 Cannabis Retailer License

Intended for businesses that will sell cannabis, cannabis products, or paraphernalia at a specified location. Holders of the Class 5 Cannabis Retailer license are permitted to purchase from a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler and sell to direct consumers on site. In addition, they are also granted the privilege to pursue the services of a certified cannabis handler who will fulfill the orders off-site and licensed cannabis delivery services to deliver the cannabis products from the retailer to the consumer, or from the cannabis handler the retailer is working with to the consumer.

Class 6 Cannabis Delivery License

The Class 6 Cannabis Delivery license shall be granted to businesses that will act as a courier for a licensed cannabis retailer. A business with this type of cannabis license is also permitted to accept direct orders from consumers that will be fulfilled by a cannabis retailer. A licensed cannabis delivery service may also pick up the product from the certified cannabis handler a retailer is working with to be delivered to a consumer.

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