On August 19, 2021, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s (CRC) released initial rules for New Jersey’s personal use cannabis industry. The rules and regulations were created to specifically address social equity in the cannabis space by increasing opportunities for people from statutorily designated target communities.
WHAT ARE THE 3 SOCIAL EQUITY CATEGORIES?
- Social Equity Businesses. These are 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. These businesses 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.
- Impact Zone Businesses are 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 arrests for marijuana.
WHY THIS IS PROMISING NEWS
New Jersey is prioritizing business licensing application submissions from those who qualify under rules governing social equity, diverse-owned businesses, and economically disproportionate areas. The New Jersey ACLU recently analyzed the regulations and found that progress towards social just is significant, although they also identified a few areas to still be addressed.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY?
New Jersey is offering a variety of licenses through a number of different application types. Microbusinesses (a business with a smaller footprint and lower quantities of product), will have priority in grading. Conditional and Annual licenses are also available for applicants with at least one owner who is a New Jersey resident for a minimum of 2 years. However, for Conditional license applicants, no decision-making owners can have an income of more than $200,000 ($400,000 if filed through a joint return). It will be prudent for you to determine which of these avenues will be most applicable and advantageous for your application. The application should be released within 30 days of the regulations.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
We, at Canna Business Services, can help you navigate this complex regulatory framework put forth by the State of New Jersey. We can help you determine what type of license best suits your business needs and walk you through the application process. Canna Business Services provides the highest level of certainty in the uncertain and high-risk cannabis industry by serving as specialized industry guides and offering unparalleled market and compliance expertise for every step of your cannabis business’ life cycle. Visit us at www.cannabusinessservices.com. We can’t wait to hear from you!