How to open a Dispensary

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission issues licenses for medicinal and recreational cannabis business operations in New Jersey. Each business requires a license, which must be active and in good standing, to perform commercial cannabis activity.

New Jersey is currently accepting applications for personal use (recreational) cannabis businesses in the following categories:

  • Class 1 Cultivator Licenses
  • Class 2 Manufacturer Licenses
  • Class 5 Retailers
  • Testing Laboratories

License applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until indicated otherwise. Social Equity Businesses, Diversely Owned Businesses, Impact Zone Businesses, and applications that receive bonus points will be afforded priority review, scoring, and approval.

Priority applications increase opportunities in the cannabis industry for people from designated target communities, for people with cannabis convictions (expunged or not), and for minorities, women, and disabled veterans.  Three types of cannabis businesses will receive priority review and approval in the application process:

  • Diversely Owned Businesses – 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
  • Social Equity Businesses – owned by people who have lived in an Economically Disadvantaged Area of the state or who have convictions for cannabis-related offenses (expunged or not)
  • Impact Zone Businesses – located in an Impact Zone, owned by people from an Impact Zone, or employing residents of Impact Zones.

Before applying for a New Jersey cannabis business license, applicants should familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations, develop a business plan or get help developing a business plan, and begin registering their business and business name. Applicants need documents required by the application regulations. The necessary documents differ between conditional applicants and annual license applicants but include, business formation documents, SOPs, and more.

Interested in applying for a cannabis business license in New Jersey? Email us at

Want to apply for a New jersey cannabis license? Check out our New Jersey plans here!

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