New Jersey Cannabis Consultant Overview:

How To Open A Marijuana Business in New Jersey

Are you interested in starting a cannabis business in New Jersey? The cannabis consultants at New Leaf can help you navigate the process!

This summary of New Jersey requirements and license application process outlines what it takes to win a marijuana business license. Get started today to meet the demands of consumers! Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable cannabis consultants in New Jersey.

New Jersey Cannabis Consulting & License Application Writing Experts

New Leaf Cannabis Consulting is the #1 Top Rated Cannabis Application Writing, Consulting, and Capital Fundraising one-stop-shop in the U.S. We offer a complete range of services from business model formation and planning, to state licensure, to raising capital and finding investors for the business.

New Leaf has worked with over 180 clients in over 16 different states since we opened our doors in 2015. Our success rate is well over 95% across the board. We offer more services than any of our competition.

If you need cash for your cannabis startup, and/or state and municipal license approval for a completely reasonable price, look no further than New Leaf Cannabis Consulting.

Cannabis Market Condition Overview

Business Climate and Timeline

Recreational Use:

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act allows for the legal sale and use of cannabis and cannabis products for residents or visitors 21 years and older. Adopted August 19, 2021, NJ-CRC rules establish the recreational cannabis industry in the state.

Medical Use:

New Jersey’s Medicinal Cannabis Program (formerly called the Medicinal Marijuana Program) helps registered patients under the care of licensed medicinal practitioners safely access cannabis-based medicine from regulated and monitored facilities.

Real Estate & Zoning

In most states, you will need to lock down the location for business operations in the form of either a lease, lease with option to purchase, or a purchase agreement.

Most importantly, during the real estate acquisition process, your company MUST make sure that the actual location COMPLETELY adheres to state and municipal regulations regarding distance restrictions from other businesses such as a daycare or school. An example of this would be Dispensary/Retail. Most times you will not be able to locate your dispensary in a section of the city which is not zoned specifically for retail. Your dispensary location cannot be located anywhere else. Check with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission website for locality resolutions and ordinances.

Usually the next step is Municipal/City/Township Approval. Nine times out of ten, these steps will need to take place before the full license application can be completed and submitted.

Laws and Regulations

As you get started, read up on New Jersey’s laws, rules, and regulations. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) issues licenses for medicinal and recreational cannabis business operations in New Jersey. Each business must be in good standing with an active license to perform any commercial cannabis activity, including:

  • Making cannabis products
  • Growing cannabis plants
  • Storing cannabis and cannabis products
  • Transporting or delivering cannabis and cannabis products
  • Selling cannabis and cannabis products
  • Testing cannabis and cannabis products

License applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Priority application review will be given to Social Equity Businesses, Diversely-Owned Businesses, Impact Zone Businesses, and applications that receive bonus points.

By statute, the number of Class 1 Cultivators is to be held to 37 licenses until February 22, 2023. There is no established limit on the number of cannabis business licenses available statewide.

The Notice of Application outlines:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Prioritization processes
  • Application requirements, including a list of necessary forms and supporting documents
  • Scoring methodology
  • How approval or denial is determined

Need assistance getting a New Jersey cannabis business license?  Schedule a Free Consultation

New Jersey Cannabis License Types

Currently there are seven different types of adult-use cannabis business licenses in New Jersey:

The CREAMM Act (Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act) established seven classes of licenses for recreational use licensed businesses, described below. Applicants will also be able to apply for a temporary conditional permit which allows a business to lawfully act as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service while the business works towards meeting the requirements for a full license.

Class 1 Cannabis Cultivator: Grow recreational use cannabis
Class 2 Cannabis Manufacturer: Produce recreational use cannabis
Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler: Store, sell or otherwise transfer, recreational use cannabis items between cannabis cultivators, wholesalers, or retailers
Class 4 Cannabis Distributor: Transport cannabis items in bulk between cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, or retailers within the state of New Jersey
Class 5 Cannabis Retailer: Purchase recreational use cannabis from licensed cultivators, manufacturers, or wholesalers and sell those items to consumers in a retail store
Class 6 Cannabis Delivery: Transport a consumer’s purchases of recreational use cannabis and related supplies from the retailer to that consumer
Testing Laboratories
Conditional license: Begin building out operations for the cultivation, manufacture, dispensing, wholesale, distribution, or delivery of recreational use cannabis while working towards meeting the requirements for a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, dispensary, wholesaler, distributor, or delivery license

New Jersey Cannabis License Process and Scoring Criteria

New Jersey Cannabis License Requirements

Cannabis licenses are awarded by having a complete and well written application and all required supplemental documentation as well as city approval. An applicant’s criminal history also comes into play as well as past taxes of the owner/directors of the company. And of course, sometimes there is a required proof of capitalization — i.e. proving that you will have enough money in the bank to build out and run your business.

In highly competitive states such as Illinois or New York, there is a scoring process for an extremely limited number of available licenses. Licenses will be awarded to only the best of the best submissions. It is highly suggested that you hire an agency that can provide you with an “above and beyond” application submission.

Eligibility for a Cannabis License in New Jersey

To apply for a marijuana license in New Jersey, applicants must meet several qualifications and eligibility requirements necessary to receive a license. Each applicant must be 21 years of age or older and is required to undergo a criminal background check.

Application Requirements for Marijuana Licenses in New Jersey

To apply for a cannabis business license, you must show compliance with New Jersey laws and local ordinances. To illustrate your commitment to the process, hundreds of pages of technical writing may be necessary.

Some of the necessary documentation includes the following:

  • License Application (Required Measures and/or Exhibits). A well written application will need to be written in lockstep with the State Regulations for each Exhibit/measure.
  • Business Plan. Including executive summary, mission statement, market analysis, 5 to 7 year business life-cycle timeline with expansion events. Products and services, management and staff, SWOT analysis, quality assurance and compliance.
  • Financials. Full 5 to 7 year financial projections, income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows.
  • Operations Manuals, Exhibits and SOP’s such as:
    • Inventory and Recordkeeping/Diversion
    • Quality Assurance Manuals
    • Operations Manuals/Procedures for cultivation, processing, dispensary, lab testing, transportation
    • Transportation and Distribution Plan
    • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
    • Social and Economic Impact/equity plans/community outreach plan
    • Environmental Plans with water and electrical usage plan/manual
    • Chemical and Pesticide Storage Plans
    • Waste Disposal Procedures
    • Accounting and Tax Compliance
    • Hemp Research Plan
    • Sanitation and Maintenance Plans
    • Odor Control Plan
    • Patient/Customer Education Manuals (mainly for dispensary/retail)
  • Labor/Union Compliance Agreements
  • Training Manuals. New Leaf will design manuals to your specifications, along with state regulations, for all cannabis business models
  • Regulatory Compliance Manuals. These explain all the different regulatory compliance regulations, such as quality assurance, product recall, packaging and labeling, advertising, hours of operation, patient and/or customer purchase limits, staffing and training, inventory and record keeping, security, tax payment and insurance compliance.
  • Security Plan. Video Surveillance, Alarm System, Emergency Procedures.
  • Floor Plans, Blueprints. To-Scale, with Security Overlays. Floor plans of the entire facility.
  • Corporate Structuring. Social Equity Certification and Registration, LLC and Corporation Registration and FEIN filing, Operating Agreements, Capitalization Tables, Shareholder Rights and Regulations Consultation, Corporate Bylaw Strategy.

Post Licensure Support.

New Leaf serves as a liaison between you, your company, and the State Licensing Commission to help you get through the application evaluation. The State, no matter how good your application is, most definitely will have follow up questions and requests for additional documentation and/or information.

Denial Appeal.

Denial appeal is also part of the Post Licensure Support.

Financial Requirements — How much does it cost to get a cannabis license in New Jersey?

Many states will require what is known as a Capitalization Attestation. What is this, you may ask? A capitalization attestation is usually done by a CPA. It involves submitting your profit and loss statements, bank account information, proof of funds, and an assumption of the costs for startup CapEx and OpEx.

Need Cash for your Cannabis Startup? New Leaf offers a full suite of Investment Capital Fundraising Services including corporate structuring and partnership agreements, 409 (B) company valuations, 5-7 year pro forma financial projections, and more! New Leaf will act on your behalf in actually SHOPPING the deal to our syndicate of accredited investors from across the globe. We can help you successfully raise the capital needed to get your project off the ground. Find out more here.

Application and Certification Fees (effective 8/19/2021)

Application Submission Fee — up to $400
Approval Fee — up to $1600
Conditional Conversion Submission Fee — up to $200
Conditional Conversion Approval Fee — up to $800
Testing Laboratory Application Submission Fee — $400
Testing Laboratory Approval Fee — $1,600

Expanded ATC Certification Fee

Medical Cannabis Cultivator Expansion – $400,000
Medical Cannabis Manufacturer Expansion – $300,000
Medical Cannabis Dispensary Expansion – $100,000
Vertically Integrated ATC with 1 dispensary – $800,000
Vertically Integrated ATC with 2 dispensaries – $900,000
Vertically Integrated ATC with 3 dispensaries – $1,000,000


Cultivator Licensing Fee
Tier I – $5,000
Tier II – $10,000
Tier III – $20,000
Tier IV – $30,000
Tier V – $40,000
Tier VI – $50,000
Microbusiness — $1000

Manufacturer Licensing Fee
Up to 10,000 sq ft – $20,000
More than 10,000 sq ft – $30,000
Microbusiness — $1000

Retailer Licensing Fee — $10,000, Microbusiness — $1000
Testing Laboratory Licensing Fee — $4,000

Cultivation Tiers
Tier I. Mature cannabis plant grow canopy area greater than 2,500 sq ft but no more than 10,000 sq ft
Tier II. Mature cannabis plant grow canopy area greater than 10,000 sq ft but no more than 25,000 sq ft
Tier III. Mature cannabis plant grow canopy area greater than 25,000 sq ft but no more than 50,000 sq ft
Tier IV. Mature cannabis plant grow canopy area greater than 50,000 sq ft but no more than 75,000 sq ft
Tier V. Mature cannabis plant grow canopy area greater than 75,000 sq ft but no more than 100,000 sq ft
Tier VI. Mature cannabis plant grow canopy area greater than 100,000 sq ft but no more than 150,000 sq ft

What is a Microbusiness?
A microbusiness is a licensed business with a relatively small operation. A cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, distributor, retailer or delivery service can be a microbusiness if it meets all of the following requirements:

  • No more than 10 employees at one time
  • Physical plant is no more than 2,500 square feet. The canopy height cannot be more than 24 feet in the case of a cannabis cultivator.
  • Possesses no more than 1,000 mature cannabis plants each month
  • Acquires no more than 1,000 pounds of usable cannabis (or equivalent amount in other forms) each month.

How to Win a New Jersey Cannabis Business License

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for and WIN a cannabis license in New Jersey.

  1. Review the state laws, rules & regulations. Learn about the rules and regulations necessary to operate a cannabis business in the state of New Jersey. This will help you and your team understand the requirements to win a cannabis license.
  2. Choose a New Jersey cannabis business license type. New Jersey issues seven different types of cannabis business licenses.
  3. Connect with a New Jersey cannabis consulting firm. Consider reaching out to a New Jersey cannabis consultant. Cannabis business license applications can be extremely complex and time-consuming to write. The professional New Jersey marijuana consultants at New Leaf can manage the entire process for you. We can assist you with license application writing services, increasing your chance of winning a cannabis license in New Jersey. Book a free consultation today!
  4. Form a business entity. Forming a legal business entity is the next step in the process of applying for a cannabis license in New Jersey. LLCs and corporations are the two types most commonly formed by cannabis applicants. Find out which is the best choice for your business goals — we can help.
  5. Select a location for your cannabis business in New Jersey. Choosing a property for your cannabis business that meets all the state and local requirements can be complicated as well. Our experience with zoning processes that can help you find the ideal property for your marijuana business.
  6. Build the best team. The team that you list on your application will have a major impact on whether or not you receive a license.
  7. Write a business plan. After securing a location for your cannabis business, the next step is to develop a carefully detailed business plan. Your business plan will help lay out your goals and track progress as your business begins to grow. Business plans can also help attract investors. Investors use them to determine if a business is on the right path and worth putting money into.
  8. Raise capital for your New Jersey cannabis business. Although start-up costs for a cannabis business can be significant, careful planning and the right team can make it a huge success. New Leaf can help you craft a detailed plan and get it into the hands of investors.
  9. Write and submit your New Jersey cannabis business application. Depending on type of license, applicants may need to write and submit the following documentation:
  • Business Plan and Financials
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Safety and Security Plan
  • Location Information
  • Waste Disposal Procedures
  • Transportation and Distribution Plans
  • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
  • Regulatory and Compliance Plans
  • Quality Assurance and Control Plans
  • and much more!