New Jersey Prepares to Launch Recreational Cannabis Market
March 22, 2022
By Gaye Eschenbach
New Jersey took a major step forward on March 15 by accepting license applications for adult-use cannabis dispensaries. New Jersey began taking applications for growing, processing, and testing laboratories in December; now applications for retail stores have been added.
Priority is given to potential licensees that are considered social equity businesses, diversly owned businesses, and impact zone businesses. Social equity businesses are either owned by individuals who have past marijuana convictions or individuals from economically disadvantaged zip codes. Diversely owned businesses are minority-owned, women-owned, or disabled veteran-owned and certified as such by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury. Impact zone businesses are either located in an impact zone, owned by people from an impact zone, or employing residents of an impact zone.
Applications will undergo a lengthy review process with a goal of approving conditional licenses in about 90 days. New Jersey has beaten Connecticut and New York to accepting retail license applications. Connecticut and New York are approximately six months or longer away from reaching this milestone. Revenue projections show New Jersey sales of adult-use cannabis could reach $730 million in the first year; within four years, sales are expected to exceed $2 billion in revenues. The market is expected to become one of the largest on the East Coast.