TRENTON — After years of entrepreneurs and enthusiasts chomping at the bit to make their mark in the legal marijuana industry, the state will begin accepting license applications next month.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission will officially begin accepting applications for marijuana cultivation centers, manufacturers and testing laboratories on Dec. 15.
The commission will begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana dispensaries on March 15.
The panel approved the application dates in a meeting Tuesday.
Applications for marijuana distributors, wholesalers, delivery companies or medical marijuana dispensaries looking to convert to recreational sales will not be accepted until a later date.
The application process is a prelude to sales of recreational marijuana, approved by New Jersey voters in a 2020 ballot measure. The Cannabis Regulatory Commission hasn’t provided an estimate on when sales can begin.
Unlike medical marijuana applications previously handled by the Department of Health, there are no deadlines by which license applications must be submitted.
And while the commission can only issue 37 licenses for cannabis cultivators before February 2023, there is no cap on the number of licenses the commission can award to manufacturers, testing laboratories or dispensaries.
CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown outlined the prioritization process regulators will use to determine which applications are handled first.
“Equity” applicants, filed