Yes. New Jersey requires a marijuana manufacturing entity to obtain a Class 2 Cannabis Processor license. The Senate Bill 21, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, provides that this license is required for facilities involved in manufacturing, preparing, and packaging cannabis products. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) regulates the licensure of manufacturing entities in the state. The CRC’s regulatory jurisdiction also covers the number of processor licenses available to manufacturing entities in the state. The CRC may request new license applications when it deems it necessary, in accordance with the Act. A Class 2 Cannabis Processor license may be requested as a full, annual, or conditional license. A conditional license refers to a temporary license that is first issued then 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 available licenses as conditional licenses. Also, it issues at least 10% of the licenses to microbusinesses.
The CRC determines when applications will be requested as well as the procedure for application. The scoring of Class 2 Cannabis Processor license applications is based upon a point scale. The CRC regulates the point categories, the number of points, and the point distribution system. In assessing applications, the CRC reviews applicants’ financing plans, environmental plans, operating plans, and safety and security plans, amongst others. The CRC may decide to adopt a modified or completely new point system for any conditional license application. Importantly, the CRC considers whether the applicant is from an impact zone or municipality adversely impacted by past marijuana enforcement activity, unemployment, or poverty. Also, an applicant who employs at least 25% of their employees from impact zones may also have a high chance of getting a license.
In addition, if the applicant previously 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, it may be considered an added advantage. A Class 2 Cannabis Processor license applicant must be a state resident of not less than five years. They must also be “significantly involved.” A significantly involved person refers to a person who holds a minimum of 5% investment interest or is a member of a group that holds a minimum of 20% investment interest and is authorized to make controlling decisions.
The CRC issues licenses covering manufacturing, retail sale, cultivation, distribution, and other cannabis business activities.
New Jersey does not mandate that a licensed cannabis manufacturer gets a cultivation license. However, during the 24-month period beginning from February 22, 2021, a licensed manufacturer may decide to get a cannabis cultivator license. A licensed manufacturer may purchase or obtain marijuana from other licensed cultivators and manufacturers. In addition, licensed manufacturers will be allowed to develop, produce, manufacture, prepare, or otherwise create and package cannabis products. They may possess, transport, supply, distribute, or sell cannabis and cannabis products to other cannabis manufacturers. They may also sell usable cannabis and cannabis products to cannabis retailers or wholesalers.
Note that the ATC (Alternative Treatment Center) license granted to medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey covers both cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. However, an ATC licensee can only grow and manufacture cannabis and cannabis products for their dispensary.
New Jersey only classifies marijuana manufacturing licenses according to the size of the marijuana manufacturer’s premises. While it issues the same manufacturing licenses for businesses of all sizes, it charges different licensing fees for those with up to 10,000 square feet of manufacturing space and facilities occupying spaces bigger than 10,000 square feet.
The Cannabis Regulatory Commission does not differentiate manufacturing licenses in the state pursuant to New Jersey Administrative Code 1730: Personal Use Cannabis. Manufacturing establishments are required to obtain a state-issued manufacturing license. The manufacturing license is the same regardless of the manufacturing establishment’s production methods, types of chemicals used for extraction and post-processing, or whether the establishments are in shared or single-use facilities.
However, New Jersey issues different types of cannabis manufacturing licenses based on other factors such as facility and business sizes, target marijuana market, and special-interest groups. The state has a conditional manufacturing license granted as a pre-qualification for its standard manufacturing license. Its ATC (Alternative Treatment Center) license may also allow cannabis manufacturing but for medical cannabis dispensaries and patients. Lastly, New Jersey has a microbusiness license for small businesses with fewer than 11 employees who may seek permission to engage in cannabis manufacturing.
No, New Jersey does not require a separate license to manufacture edibles. Marijuana edibles can only be used for medical purposes by persons with qualifying medical conditions. Hence, they must be dispensed to these patients with prescriptions. The law only permits marijuana edibles to be made in the form of pills, capsules, drops, chewables, lozenges, syrups, tablets, or oil.
A manufacturing establishment may apply to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to obtain a manufacturing license in New Jersey. All cannabis manufacturing must take place in an enclosed and secure facility and be overseen by a qualified manufacturing supervisor. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission is responsible for issuing licenses for marijuana cultivation, manufacture, and sale in the state. The New Jersey Administrative Code 1730 Personal Use Cannabis provides that Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC) applying for Class 2 Cannabis Processor licenses should submit the following:
In addition to the above, the CRC will require the applicant’s information and some documents created in the planning phase. These include:
After submitting the required documents, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission may request any other information to determine whether to accept the ATC’s certifications. The CRC is yet to release a Class 2 Cannabis Processor license application form. When it is available, it will be uploaded on the Cannabis Regulatory Commission website. The CRC may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the application is from an Alternative Treatment Center seeking expansion, the CRC will also evaluate the following:
After examining an ATC’s application, the CRC may issue a written notice of its approval to an expanded ATC if:
An Alternative Treatment Center seeking expansion will be required to request an onsite assessment after the completion of any necessary construction or preparation of the expanded ATC. The assessment ascertains that the premises, operations, and procedures are consistent with the ATC’s application and compliant with the Act. If the application is denied after the assessment, the CRC shall provide the denial to the ATC in writing. It shall include:
While the CRC typically has a binding decision on every application for an expanded ATC, an applicant may seek a judicial review by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
The fee schedule for all cannabis processor licenses in New Jersey is as follows:
Applicants are required to pay licensing fees as soon as their applications are approved. Licensing fees will also be due every year the application is renewed. In addition, the fee paid during application submission and the approval fees will be deducted from the licensing fee paid for the first year of operation.
After the CRC approves the application, applicants will be required to pay approval fees. However, if the application is denied, the submission and approval fee will not be necessary; they will be refunded. ATC applicants seeking expansion are to pay the Expanded Certification Fees when they ATC submit the required certifications to the CRC.