New Jersey Marijuana Microbusiness License

Interested in starting a Cannabis business in New Jersey?

What Is a Marijuana Microbusiness in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a marijuana microbusiness may be an individual or entity licensed by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission to be a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or operate a delivery service. The Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act provides the operation, capacity, and product quantity features that a microbusiness must possess. According to the law, a microbusiness must:

  • employ 10 or fewer employees
  • possess no more than 1,000 mature cannabis plants each month (unless it is a cannabis distributor)
  • operate in an area no larger than 2,500 square feet (and with a maximum plant canopy height of 24 feet, if a cultivator)
  • not acquire more than 1,000 pounds of usable cannabis (or equivalent amounts in other forms) every month

To own a marijuana microbusiness in New Jersey, an interested person must have been residing in the state for at least two years. Furthermore, not less than 51% of any cannabis microbusiness owners, directors, officers, or workers must be residing in the municipality where the microbusiness is located.

Does New Jersey License Marijuana Microbusinesses?

Yes, New Jersey licenses marijuana microbusinesses. The Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act empowers the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to administer the state’s adult-use cannabis program. This Act authorizes the commission to issue licenses for the cultivation, processing, and retailing of recreational marijuana by cannabis entrepreneurs.

This Act recognizes six classes of marijuana licenses in the adult-use market:

  • Class 1 License - Cannabis Cultivator
  • Class 2 License - Cannabis Manufacturer
  • Class 3 License - Cannabis Wholesaler
  • Class 4 License - Cannabis Distributor
  • Class 5 License - Cannabis Retailer
  • Class 6 License - Cannabis Delivery

Microbusinesses must choose the license class under which they intend to operate. For instance, a microbusiness may decide to engage in cannabis delivery. However, the business should have features of a microbusiness established under the state’s cannabis law. Part of these requirements is that the owner(s) of the microbusiness(es) must be residents of the state for a minimum of two years at the time of application. Also, at least 51% of the persons employed must be New Jersey residents. It is also important that a microbusiness obtains zoning approval and complies with municipal regulations.

Under the state’s law, a minimum of 10% of each class of licenses and 25% of the aggregate licenses are to be given to microbusinesses. The Personal Use Cannabis Rules were made by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to administer the state’s adult-use cannabis program between August 19, 2021, to August 19, 2022. It limits the number of licenses that the commission will approve in certain circumstances. For example, within 24 months after February 22, 2021, the Commission must not approve more than 37 cannabis cultivator licenses. However, there is no limit to the number of microbusiness licenses the commission can issue. Marijuana microbusinesses will pay only 50% of any fee earmarked for their license class, including application or renewal fees. The commission will prioritize microbusiness applications over other standard cannabis business applications. These concessions are made to promote the growth ofl business ownership in the state’s cannabis industry.

A microbusiness annual license is valid for one year. Based on the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s process and criteria, a license may be renewed annually or replaced with an annual license allowing it to convert and continue operations as a standard business. A microbusiness owner cannot sell or transfer their microbusiness license. This is to prevent established out-of-state cannabis companies from attempting to manipulate the state’s microbusiness market.

How to Apply for a Marijuana Microbusiness License in New Jersey?

There is presently no information on how to apply for a New Jersey marijuana microbusiness license. After the enactment of the Personal Use Cannabis Rules, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will issue a notice of application acceptance period. At that time, the commission will advise the public with the information required to apply for recreational cannabis business licenses. This notice is expected to include:

  • The open period for applications
  • A list of supporting documents for an application
  • Application scoring rubric
  • Criteria for priority qualification
  • Grounds for disqualification

Microbusinesses may either apply for a conditional license or an annual license. The conditional licensing program is designed to assist small businesses in breaking into the cannabis market. A conditional license requires the submission of background disclosure information, a business plan, and a regulatory compliance plan from applicants. The applicant has 120 days from the date of acceptance to identify a site, obtain municipal approval, and apply to convert their conditional license to an annual license. The section of the application that describes the previous experience in a regulated cannabis industry will not be required to be completed by the applicant.

How Much Does a Marijuana Microbusiness License Cost in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Fee Schedule stipulates the cost of all marijuana business certification, application, licensing, and change. The application submission fees for conditional license and annual license are $100 and $200 respectively. Also, the approval fees for conditional license and annual license are $400 and $800, respectively. There is a $1,000 licensing fee to obtain a cultivator, manufacturer, wholesale, retailer, or delivery microbusiness license while the state charges $4,000 for a testing laboratory license. Licensing fee is due once an application is approved and when a licensee submits a renewal application. The amount paid for application submission and approval fees is deducted from the licensing charge for the first year of operation.

Can Marijuana Microbusiness Licensees Hold Other Cannabis Licenses in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the six classes of marijuana licenses allow businesses to cultivate, manufacture, wholesale, distribute, retail, or deliver marijuana in the state. Any of these activities may be done as a standard business or a microbusiness. A microbusiness will decide under what license class it intends to operate without any additional licenses.

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New Jersey Marijuana Microbusiness License