New Jersey Adult-Use Cannabis License Applications Coming in December

New Jersey Adult-Use Cannabis License Applications Coming in December

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) plans to issue and begin accepting applications for adult-use cannabis license applications for Class 1 cultivator licenses, Class 2 manufacturer licenses, and testing laboratory licenses on December 15, 2021. 

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) plans to issue and begin accepting applications for adult-use cannabis license applications for Class 1 cultivator licenses, Class 2 manufacturer licenses, and testing laboratory licenses on December 15, 2021.  The CRC will issue and begin accepting applications for Class 5 Retailer licenses on March 15, 2022. 

What Do We Know About the Cannabis License Application Process?

On November 10, 2021, the CRC published a Notice of Application, which outlines eligibility requirements, prioritization processes, application requirements (including a list of necessary forms and supporting documents), scoring methodology, and approval criteria regarding cultivator, manufacturer, and testing laboratory licenses. While potential applicants should review the Notice of Application in its entirety, below are a few key takeaways:

  • Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis: License applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the CRC indicates otherwise.  If the CRC decides to end the application process, it will provide at least 30 days’ notice of the application close date. Applications will only be accepted through an online application portal, which will be posted on CRC’s website.
  • Limits on Cannabis Licenses: Pursuant to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, the number of Class 1 Cultivators must be held to 37 licenses until February 22, 2023. This restriction includes any expanded Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) and conditional license-holders that have been approved to convert to a full annual license and can lawfully engage in cannabis cultivation. There are no established limits on the number of other cannabis business licenses.
  • Priority of Applications: Certain applicants will be afforded priority review, scoring, and approval. Priority will also be given to 1. social equity applicants; 2. diversely-owned applicants; 3. Impact Zone applicants (the CRC will provide a definitive list of Impact Zones “in the coming days”); 4. conditional and conditional conversion license applicants; 5. microbusiness license applicants; 6. applicants with bonus points (i.e., applicants with collective bargaining agreements, project labor agreements, or residency in New Jersey of at least five years); and 7. standard annual license applicants with none of the foregoing attributes.
  • Key Dates: The CRC will be holding a Pre-Application Webinar on November 30, 2021. The CRC begins accepting Class 1, Class 2, and Testing Laboratory applications on December 15, 2021 at 9 AM EST.

What About Other Cannabis Licenses?

The CRC has not yet announced when it will begin applications from entities interested in a Class 3 Wholesaler, Class 4 Distributor, or Class 6 Delivery license.  In addition, the CRC has yet to provide a date for medical marijuana dispensaries looking to transition to adult-use sales.

The Notice also provides no information about the process by which existing medical cannabis ATCs are to certify their inventory to the CRC in order to operate in the adult-use industry. It does, however, state that “speed of implementation” is a factor in awarding cultivator licenses. This favors the existing ATCs who are already operating, as they will be able to convert to adult-use operation after certifying their inventory to the CRC. These facts, together with the statutory deadline to start adult-use sales by February 2022 and the fact that adult-use retailer applications will not be accepted until March 15, 2022 seems to confirm that the existing medical ATCs will sell the first adult-use cannabis in New Jersey.

What Should Cannabis Applicants Be Doing Now?

After a slow start, the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market is poised to evolve quickly. For businesses interested in applying for any class of cannabis license, it is important to have a knowledgeable team assembled to navigate the application process and complex regulatory regime. We encourage you to contact Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Cannabis Law Group for more information regarding applications, CRC regulations, and other legal compliance issues.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact Dan McKillop or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.

This article is a part of a series pertaining to cannabis legalization in New Jersey and the United States at large. Prior articles in this series are below:

Disclaimer: Possession, use, distribution, and/or sale of cannabis is a Federal crime and is subject to related Federal policy. Legal advice provided by Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC is designed to counsel clients regarding the validity, scope, meaning, and application of existing and/or proposed cannabis law. Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC will not provide assistance in circumventing Federal or state cannabis law or policy, and advice provided by our office should not be construed as such.


  • Share:

AboutDaniel T. McKillop

Dan McKillop has more than fifteen years of experience representing corporate and individual clients in complex environmental litigation and regulatory proceedings before state and federal courts and environmental agencies arising under numerous state and federal statutes.Full Biography

Get In Touch

* The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Share this article


Get the latest from our attorneys!

Please fill out our short form to get the latest articles from the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorneys weekly on the cutting-edge legal topics.

New Jersey Adult-Use Cannabis License Applications Coming in December

New Jersey Adult-Use Cannabis License Applications Coming in December
Author: Daniel T. McKillop

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) plans to issue and begin accepting applications for adult-use cannabis license applications for Class 1 cultivator licenses, Class 2 manufacturer licenses, and testing laboratory licenses on December 15, 2021.  The CRC will issue and begin accepting applications for Class 5 Retailer licenses on March 15, 2022. 

What Do We Know About the Cannabis License Application Process?

On November 10, 2021, the CRC published a Notice of Application, which outlines eligibility requirements, prioritization processes, application requirements (including a list of necessary forms and supporting documents), scoring methodology, and approval criteria regarding cultivator, manufacturer, and testing laboratory licenses. While potential applicants should review the Notice of Application in its entirety, below are a few key takeaways:

  • Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis: License applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the CRC indicates otherwise.  If the CRC decides to end the application process, it will provide at least 30 days’ notice of the application close date. Applications will only be accepted through an online application portal, which will be posted on CRC’s website.
  • Limits on Cannabis Licenses: Pursuant to the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, the number of Class 1 Cultivators must be held to 37 licenses until February 22, 2023. This restriction includes any expanded Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs) and conditional license-holders that have been approved to convert to a full annual license and can lawfully engage in cannabis cultivation. There are no established limits on the number of other cannabis business licenses.
  • Priority of Applications: Certain applicants will be afforded priority review, scoring, and approval. Priority will also be given to 1. social equity applicants; 2. diversely-owned applicants; 3. Impact Zone applicants (the CRC will provide a definitive list of Impact Zones “in the coming days”); 4. conditional and conditional conversion license applicants; 5. microbusiness license applicants; 6. applicants with bonus points (i.e., applicants with collective bargaining agreements, project labor agreements, or residency in New Jersey of at least five years); and 7. standard annual license applicants with none of the foregoing attributes.
  • Key Dates: The CRC will be holding a Pre-Application Webinar on November 30, 2021. The CRC begins accepting Class 1, Class 2, and Testing Laboratory applications on December 15, 2021 at 9 AM EST.

What About Other Cannabis Licenses?

The CRC has not yet announced when it will begin applications from entities interested in a Class 3 Wholesaler, Class 4 Distributor, or Class 6 Delivery license.  In addition, the CRC has yet to provide a date for medical marijuana dispensaries looking to transition to adult-use sales.

The Notice also provides no information about the process by which existing medical cannabis ATCs are to certify their inventory to the CRC in order to operate in the adult-use industry. It does, however, state that “speed of implementation” is a factor in awarding cultivator licenses. This favors the existing ATCs who are already operating, as they will be able to convert to adult-use operation after certifying their inventory to the CRC. These facts, together with the statutory deadline to start adult-use sales by February 2022 and the fact that adult-use retailer applications will not be accepted until March 15, 2022 seems to confirm that the existing medical ATCs will sell the first adult-use cannabis in New Jersey.

What Should Cannabis Applicants Be Doing Now?

After a slow start, the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market is poised to evolve quickly. For businesses interested in applying for any class of cannabis license, it is important to have a knowledgeable team assembled to navigate the application process and complex regulatory regime. We encourage you to contact Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Cannabis Law Group for more information regarding applications, CRC regulations, and other legal compliance issues.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact Dan McKillop or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.

This article is a part of a series pertaining to cannabis legalization in New Jersey and the United States at large. Prior articles in this series are below:

Disclaimer: Possession, use, distribution, and/or sale of cannabis is a Federal crime and is subject to related Federal policy. Legal advice provided by Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC is designed to counsel clients regarding the validity, scope, meaning, and application of existing and/or proposed cannabis law. Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC will not provide assistance in circumventing Federal or state cannabis law or policy, and advice provided by our office should not be construed as such.