Applications for marijuana distributors, wholesalers, delivery companies or medical marijuana dispensaries looking to convert to recreational sales will not be accepted until a later date.
The application process is a prelude to sales of recreational marijuana, approved by New Jersey voters in a 2020 ballot measure. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission hasn’t provided an estimate on when sales can begin.
Impact zones are towns or cities with large populations who also have high rates of crime, unemployment and a history of marijuana possession arrests.
TRENTON — After years of entrepreneurs and enthusiasts chomping at the bit to make their mark in the legal marijuana industry, the state will begin accepting license applications next month.
And converting to a full legal weed dispensary comes with a $1 million fee for a licensee with three or more retail locations.
It could take months for such operations to open their doors after trying to find a location, building out and waiting for cannabis plants to grow.
The licenses awarded Friday were part of a 2019 request for applications by the state Department of Health, which oversaw the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program until the CRC was established.
CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown said the goal was to ease supply and demand issues faced by the state’s 117,000 registered medical marijuana patients. Initially, the state was only set to issue five cultivation permits — but Brown asked commissioners to approve the 10 licenses as a way to kickstart the process.
The terms of the licenses issued Friday emphasized the importance of ensuring patients’ needs are met before worrying about legal weed. License holders must wait at least one year before applying for a permit to transition into recreational sales and cannot change ownership for two years.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Friday voted 4 to 1 to issue 10 new licenses for medical marijuana cultivators and four new licenses for vertically integrated businesses, which grow, manufacture and sell medical marijuana at dispensaries.
“Approving additional cannabis growing, processing and dispensary licenses in the state will immensely help the program, providing patients with more variety and reducing their travel time to obtain their medicine,” Etain CEO Amy Peckam said. “We cannot wait to bring our high-quality products and formulations to the patients and customers of New Jersey.”