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  • Joseph DiDonato

State and Local Government Must Work Together To Grant Cannabis Industry Licenses

The June 1, 2021 (virtual) meeting of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Committee (CRC) provided additional guidance on the application process for medical and recreational marijuana. Though the information was limited, the meeting focused on important aspects to obtain a license. Most notably, the CRC providing definitive language on the cooperation between local municipalities and the CRC in awarding licenses. Specifically, a key aspect is the CRC’s reliance on comments and approval by local municipalities. Thus, approval by local towns is imperative for obtaining a license.

Based on the information provided in the meeting, multiple tasks have been elucidated for a successful application including:

1) Establishing and registering a corporate entity with the state. This will include

the names, addresses and contact information of each member of your entity.

2) Providing the ethnicity of each member of your entity. ** There is a preference to award licenses to minority-owned businesses.

Additional corporate structure that will need to be established, prior to filing the application include:

3) Providing details on the financial status of your entity and your funding structure.

4) Procuring your “experts”/consultants in distribution, growing and marketing (most commonly, professionals from other states e.g., Colorado and California) which are required by the state.

5) Critical to this process will be the location of your facility (especially for retail sales).

**** Potential licensees need to begin working with "local municipalities" (e.g., the town which will host your business) regarding local regulations, rules, zoning, etc.

**** Potential licensees should recognize the recent abolishment of any Federal ban on service professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants, etc.) on working in the cannabis industry and having these professionals as part of the entity.

Photo by Michael Fischer from Pexels.

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