Yes, marijuana growers in New Jersey are required to obtain cultivation licenses, known as grower licenses in New Jersey. Grower licenses may be obtained from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). New Jersey Senate Bill 21, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act requires growers to register with the CRC before cultivating marijuana in the state. The registration involves obtaining a Class 1 Cannabis Grower license. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission regulates the number of grower licenses available to each class of prospective licensees based on market demands. The CRC is authorized to request new license applications when it deems it necessary. It is also responsible for reviewing applications for full, annual, or conditional licenses. A conditional license is issued and then subsequently replaced with a full license. An applicant may either apply as a standard business or a microbusiness. The CRC issues at least 35% of the total number of licenses as conditional licenses and at least 10% of the total number of licenses and conditional licenses to microbusinesses.
The CRC reviews and scores Class 1 Cannabis Grower license applications based upon a point scale. The CRC determines the number of points, the point categories, and the point distribution system by regulation. The application review process is subject to some required criteria for consideration in the point scale, such as an analysis of an applicant's financing plan, cultivation plan, environmental plan, operating plan, and safety and security plans. The CRC’s point system could be modified, or a different point system used for any conditional license application. The CRC may consider whether the applicant is from an impact zone or municipality adversely impacted by unemployment, poverty, or past marijuana enforcement activity. Whether the applicant participated in a collective bargaining agreement with a bona fide labor organization that represents or actively seeks to represent cannabis workers in New Jersey or other states may also be considered.
In addition, the CRC reviews and favors the application of an applicant who is a state resident of not less than 5 years and a significantly involved person. A significantly involved person is someone who holds a minimum of 5% investment interest or is a member of a group that holds a minimum of 20% investment interest and has the authority to make controlling decisions. Note that an applicant who employs at least 25% of their employees from impact zones may stand a better chance of getting a license than those who do not.
Cultivators of marijuana in New Jersey are required to obtain the Class 1 Cannabis Grower license. This license authorizes the holder to possess a cannabis cultivation facility in a specific location. However, they are first required to obtain local approval from the municipality where they will operate. New Jersey issues 8 different types of cultivation licenses, depending on the farm size. The 8 types of cultivator licenses include:
Cultivators will be required to cultivate in a secure facility or property. They can grow indoors or outdoors, but a municipality will only allow outdoor cultivation when explicitly approved.
New Jersey mandates that persons interested in growing marijuana be at least 21 years old and registered with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The registration will entail them getting a Class 1 Cannabis Grower license. However, persons previously convicted of drug-related crimes will not be allowed to obtain marijuana grower licenses. They will also not be allowed to own, operate, or work in a marijuana farm. Home cultivation of marijuana or cultivation of marijuana without a grower’s license is considered a crime in the state, and it is punishable by the following:
Senator Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, proposed Senate Bill 3582 on March 22, 2021. This bill will allow adults aged 21 years or over to cultivate up to six plants of cannabis for recreational use and up to 10 for medical use in their homes, with a maximum of 12 plants per household. However, this bill is yet to be approved as of August 2021.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission regulates marijuana cultivation, manufacture, and sale in the state. According to the New Jersey Administrative Code 1730 Personal Use Cannabis, Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC) applying for grower’s licenses from the CRC will be required to provide the following:
The CRC will require the applicant’s information and some documents created in the planning phase. These include:
The CRC is allowed to request any other information deemed relevant in determining whether to accept the ATC’s certifications may also be required.
Note that there is no Class 1 Cannabis Grower license application form available at the moment because cultivation licenses are currently not being issued. However, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will post a notification on its website when applications begin. For more information and inquiries, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CRC assesses the following when determining whether to accept the Alternative Treatment Center’s certifications:
After examining an ATC’s application, the CRC may issue a written notice of its approval to an expanded ATC if:
Following the completion of any necessary construction or preparation of expanded ATC, the ATC shall request an onsite assessment. This will be done to determine whether its premises, operations, and procedures are consistent with its application and compliant with the Act. However, if an expanded ATC application is denied, the CRC shall provide the denial to the ATC in writing, which shall include:
The CRC’s final decision on an expanded ATC is considered a final agency decision, although it may be subject to judicial review by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
The fee schedule for all cannabis grower licenses in New Jersey is as follows:
Licensing fees are due upon application approval and for each year an application is renewed. The licensing fee for the first year of operation is reduced by the amount paid in application submission and approval fees.
Submission fees are required to be paid at the time an application is submitted. An applicant will be required to pay approval fees when the CRC approves the application. If an applicant is denied approval for licensure, they will not be required to pay approval fees. Expanded ATC Certification Fees are to be paid at the time the ATC submits its required certifications to the CRC.
Yes, although this is divided into phases; phase 1 is the 24-month period following February 22, 2021, and phase 2 is the 24-month period after the first phase.
During the 24-month period following February 22, 2021, a license-holder and its owners and principals may hold one cannabis cultivator and one cannabis manufacturer license at the same time. Also, a license-holder and its owners and principals that have an expanded ATC license may hold a cannabis cultivator for each satellite dispensary.
After the end of the 24-month period following February 22, 2021, a license-holder and its owners and principals may hold one cannabis cultivator, one cannabis manufacturer, one cannabis retailer, and one cannabis delivery service license. A license-holder and its owners and principals with an expanded ATC license may also concurrently hold a cannabis cultivator license, a cannabis manufacturer license, a cannabis retailer license, and other cannabis retail licenses for each satellite dispensary.