New Jersey’s newly-released cannabis industry regulations include social equity provisions, microbusinesses, and application fees as low as $100. The rules were approved Thursday by the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC).
The rules establish three types of cannabis businesses that will receive priority review and approval in the application process:
- Social Equity Businesses – which are owned by people who have lived in economically disadvantaged areas of the state or who have past convictions for cannabis offenses;
- Diversely Owned Businesses – which are minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned and certified as such by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury in one or more of the listed categories; and
- Impact Zone Businesses – which are located in an Impact Zone (municipalities with a large population, high unemployment rate, or high numbers of crime or arrests for cannabis) owned by people from Impact Zones, or employ residents of Impact Zones.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D), said the regulations “reflect the CRC’s commitment to transparency and social equity.”
“Prioritizing applications from women and minority entrepreneurs, from business owners living in economically-disadvantaged communities, and from small business owners will ensure the market grows the way we envisione—in a way that is socially equitable and reflective of our state’s diversity.”—Murphy in a statement
Under the rules, the state will consider an operation a microbusiness when it has less than 10 employees and premises no larger than 2,500 square feet. Application fees for microbusinesses will be as low and $100, with annual license fees ranging from $1,000 for a microbusiness to $50,000 for a cultivator with up to 150,000 square feet of cultivation capacity.
Cannabis industry employees will have to be licensed by the state and will have to pay a $25 fee annually for the ID Card and complete a brief, CRC-approved, training course.
New Jersey Cannabusinesses will be allowed to advertise, “but with significant restrictions,” the summary of the rules states.
Advertising will only be allowed on mediums where the audience is determined to be primarily over the age of 21. TV and radio ads will only be permitted between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, and advertisers will not be allowed to promote overconsumption or make any claims not supported by credible research.
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