New Jersey Opens Cannabis Industry Applications Permanently

New Jersey cannabis officials opened a permanent application window for adult-use cannabis retailers this week.

Full story after the jump.

New Jersey has opened applications for adult-use cannabis retail licenses for the second time, NJ.com reports. The permanently open application window began on Tuesday and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) will review and score applications as they come in. The CRC opened the process on March 15 and by 4:00, the CRC indicated it received more than 170 applications.

The first applications round opened on December 15, 2021 and included producers, processors, labs and 12 existing medical cannabis dispensaries, the report says.

“Since the portal opened in December, potential cannabis entrepreneurs have been establishing accounts and beginning the application process, so we did not see the flurry of new accounts being set up today as we did on December 15. What we saw were applicants who were already familiar with the system and ready to apply.” — CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown, in a statement

The CRC is behind on issuing licenses, however, missing a self-imposed deadline on February 22 – exactly one year after Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed New Jersey‘s adult-use cannabis law – to approve licenses. Out of the 12 medical cannabis licensees who submitted applications in December, the CRC said it is reviewing eight, explaining that a handful were missing key information like municipal approvals.

Expecting hundreds more applications to come in, the CRC is planning to “beef up” staffing at the agency, it said in the report. Social equity candidates, businesses with diversity ownership, micro-businesses, and conditional license candidates will be prioritized going forward.

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