Canna Business Services Announces to New Jersey Cannabis Business Applicants: Act Fast!

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Thinking about applying for a cannabis business license in New Jersey? According to Emily Seelman, Founder and CEO of Canna Business Services, you will need to act fast.

New Jersey is what we would consider a "competitive state" for licensing. This means that many MSOs (multi-state operators) and newcomers alike will be clamoring for licenses because the round opens quickly and priority will be given to those that get their applications in first. With the State's cap on cultivation licenses, limiting the number of licenses that will be awarded, hopeful applicants are aiming to submit the most robust and competitive applications possible.

Not only will applicants feel the pressure of a hyper-competitive application round, but they will also feel the pressure of the State's looming application opening date. The State will begin accepting applications for cultivation, manufacturing, and testing laboratories beginning December 15th, 2021. It will accept applications for retail licenses beginning March 15th, 2021. "Your competition? They started months or even years ago," says Seelman.

So what can you do? Start by determining which type of application you will apply through. Then, determine if you can receive priority grading based on satisfying particular requirements. Teams that apply as Microbusinesses will get the first pass. The CRC will also prioritize application reviews of social equity and diversely owned businesses who are applying for conditional licenses over those who are applying for annual licenses. Other groups that will receive priority grading over other applicants include Social Equity Businesses, Diversely-Owned Businesses, and Impact Zone Businesses:

  1. Social Equity Businesses: Are 50% owned by people who have lived in economically disadvantaged areas of the state or who have past convictions for cannabis offenses.
  2. Diversely Owned Businesses: Minority-owned, woman-owned, and/or disabled veteran-owned and certified as such by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury.
  3. Impact Zone Businesses. Can qualify if your business is located in an Impact Zone, owned by people from Impact Zones, or employ residents of Impact Zones. Under the statute, Impact Zones are municipalities with a large population, high unemployment rate, or high numbers of crime or cannabis arrests.

As Seelman stated, "The competition started a year ago, so start yesterday!"

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