Medical and adult-use marijuana is legal in New Jersey – registered patients may possess, use, and purchase medical marijuana from state licensed businesses. On November 3, 2020, New Jersey voters voted to legalize adult-use/recreational marijuana. State licensed businesses are allowed to cultivate, manufacture and dispense marijuana – learn more about how to get a New Jersey marijuana business license or schedule a complimentary consultation with our licensing expert, below.
When to Apply
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NUMBER OF NEW JERSEY MARIJUANA BUSINESS LICENSES AVAILABLE
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Business License: The program was first established in 2010 with vertically integrated Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) licenses, which allowed for the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana to qualified patients. The state awarded six (6) ATCs in 2011, and an additional six ATCs in 2018.
In May 2019, the state allowed for ATC licenses with specialty endorsements for cultivation, processing, or dispensing, as outlined below. Vertically integrated permits include 1 cultivation endorsement, 1 manufacturing endorsement and 1 dispensary endorsement. In total, the state issued up to 5 cultivation endorsements, up to 15 dispensary endorsements, and up to 4 vertically integrated permits.
Cultivation Endorsements: The permit endorsement allows an ATC license to possess, cultivate, and package marijuana; and distribute or sell marijuana to other ATCs, but not directly to registered patients. Tiered by canopy size to allow for small, medium, and large business participation.
- 20,001 Square Feet To 30,000 Square Feet: Up To 2 Cultivation Endorsements
- 5,001 Square Feet To 20,000 Square Feet: Up To 2 Cultivation Endorsements
- Up To 5,000 Square Feet: Up To 1 Cultivation Endorsement.
Manufacturing Endorsements: The permit endorsement allows an ATC license to possess and process marijuana; and purchase, manufacture, and conduct research on marijuana from other ATCs but not directly from registered patients.
Dispensary Endorsements: The permit endorsement allows an ATC license to purchase marijuana from other ATCs; and supply and sell marijuana to registered patients.
Vertically Integrated Permit: The permit is issued by the Department, which allows for a cultivation endorsement, a manufacturing endorsement, and a dispensary endorsement.
There are no current available medical marijuana business licenses through an application process in New Jersey.
New Jersey Recreational Marijuana Business License: There will be a to-be-determined number of recreational marijuana business licenses available in New Jersey. While there is mention of marijuana businesses in the proposed amendment, there aren’t any specifics, it calls for the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Committee (CRC), to establish and oversee the recreational program’s rules and regulations. Limitations (if any) and details for marijuana business licenses will likely unfold in the rule-making process.
HOW TO START A MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN NEW JERSEY
To obtain a marijuana business license in New Jersey, you will be required to submit an application. As part of the application, some of the plans you will need to include the following:
- Security Plan
- Environmental Impact Plan
- Quality Control and Quality Assurance Plan
- Business History Plan
- Financial Plan
- Community Benefits Plan
- Research Plan
- Cultivation, Manufacturing and/or Dispensing Plan
- Labor Compliance Plan
- Staffing and Training Plan
Schedule for a complimentary 15-min consult with our licensing/application expert to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
ENHANCED OVERVIEW OF MARIJUANA IN NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Medical Marijuana Overview: The state of New Jersey legalized medical cannabis in 2010, through a legislative bill, Senate Bill 119, which provided a legal way for qualifying patients in the state to access and utilize medical cannabis as a form of treatment for their ailment. Access to medical cannabis is through state licensed businesses, Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) that are allowed to grow, manufacture and sell medical cannabis. By 2018, there were 12 total ATCs statewide.
When Gov. Phil Murphy took office, the Gov. immediately made changes to New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. Improvements to the program included adding 5 qualifying medical condition (including chronic pain); allowing for a non-vertical business model; reduction in patient fees; and the opening of satellite dispensary locations for existing business licensees to increase patient access.
Gov. Murphy worked with state legislators to legalize recreational marijuana throughout 2019 but ultimately was unsuccessful, which led him to expand further on the medical marijuana program, to increase medical marijuana business opportunities, product supply, and patient access. This was accomplished by amending the rules to establish separate specialty permits for cultivators, processors, and dispensaries; and simplifying the process to add qualifying medical conditions to the program.
Additionally, in 2019, Gov. Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act, which included further improvements to the program. The 2019 reforms:
- Increased monthly limits from 2 ounces to 3
- Legalized medical marijuana edibles for adults
- Phased out the sales tax on medical marijuana
- Removed the requirement for patients to have a bona fide relationship with their doctor
- Established a new regulatory department, Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) to oversee the medical marijuana program
- Legalized home delivery of medical marijuana to registered patients
- Allows dispensaries to establish “consumption areas” on dispensary premises.
- Called for the licensing of an additional 11 new cultivation centers due to growing patient demand
On July of 2019, the state released an updated Request for Applications to license 24 additional ATCs – applications were due August of 2019.
View the entire New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act here: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/PL09/307_.HTM
New Jersey Recreational Marijuana Overview: New Jersey Public Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, is on the ballot in New Jersey as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 3, 2020. This means state voters will be able to vote on the amendment, to legalize recreational marijuana. If passed, here’s what to expect from the program:
- The Cannabis Regulatory Committee (CRC) and the state Legislature will still need to develop rules and regulations to regulate number of marijuana business licenses, homegrown, possession limits, and other basic regulations.
- The creation of an online portal that allows individuals with marijuana convictions (possession charges of up to five pounds) to expedite expungements. The amendment also requires pending possession charges to be downgraded or dismissed.
- The program dedicates at least 25% of marijuana business licenses specifically for social equity applicants, further defined as residents of ‘impact zones’ – municipalities with more than 120,000 people, or those communities with the highest rates of marijuana arrests, crime, and unemployment in the state.
- The prevention of employers, landlords, and others from discriminating against people with marijuana convictions, and allows state residents to take legal action against such discrimination.
NEW JERSEY MARIJUANA TIMELINE
2010 – New Jersey legalized medical cannabis
2012 – First New Jersey ATC opened and medical cannabis sales began
2018 – New Jersey awarded additional ATC licenses (Phase 2)
2019 – New Jersey awarded additional stand-alone business licenses (Phase 3)
Dec 2019 – State passed a resolution to put Question 1 on the Nov 2020 ballot
Nov 3, 2020 – The state pass Question 1, to legalize recreational marijuana
Jan 2021 – If passed, the constitutional amendment (recreational marijuana law) will take effect
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