Tips to Create Your Own Cannabis SOP Template

Tips to Create Your Own Cannabis SOP Template

You need a clean and actionable cannabis SOP template. But where to start?

During a survey of 246 manufacturing professionals, they found that seventy-six percent of the respondents have an SOP in place, with 77 percent claiming they’ve been using an SOP for at least a year.

While this survey wasn’t directly relating to the cannabis industry, it shows the importance of SOPs. That’s why we’ve created this list of tips to make it easy to create your own template for cannabis SOPs.

Once you put your template together, you and your team can work together to develop a well-thought-out SOP strategy. This strategy will guide you towards building a more efficient – and more profitable – business operating in the cannabis sector.

Without further ado, let’s discuss several steps to guide you as you make a cannabis SOP template.

Consider What Your Cannabis Standard Operating Procedure Template Should Include

Cannabis businesses usually have a plethora of moving parts. Ultimately, your standard operating procedures will depend on the line of work your business fulfills.

Cannabis cultivation SOPs will differ from cannabis production SOPs, just as cannabis storage SOPs aren’t the same as cannabis testing SOPs. As you make your template, you’ll base your SOPs for cannabis on your business’s specific need for processes.

You’ll first consider which processes you can standardize.

Do you have some aspect of your business that should be done a certain way? Perhaps there’s a proven method to get a process completed more efficiently or safely.

Then, you’ll think about why you want to standardize the process.

Will standardizing this process save time? Will it save money? Is there a specific process that’s better than all others?

For instance, if you were trying to create an SOP template for cannabis cultivation, you’d think about what it takes to grow and harvest your product.

There could be a specific fertilizer that gives you the best results. Or maybe you’ve found that watering a certain number of times per day minimizes your risk of moldy buds.

Here are some of the spaces you might include in a cannabis cultivation SOP template:

  • Growth medium you’ll use
  • Lighting schedules for each strain
  • Temperature and humidity controls
  • Pruning and defoliation method and frequency
  • How often and how much to water your plants
  • Nutrient formulas and guidance for application
  • How to handle common problems (nutrient deficiency, pathogens, pests, etc.)

Your needs will vary depending on the area of cannabis your business operates. But as you can see, creating your cannabis SOP template requires some consideration.

Think About Who Will Use Your Cannabis SOP Template

Your cannabis SOP template should act as a guide. Think of this as a “fill in the blank” standard operating procedure. But think about who will contribute to creating the final SOPs.

You likely have a team or manager that will use your template to create these SOPs. Consider their perspective and the best way to show them which processes you’d like to standardize.

If you’re too technical or in-depth with your descriptions, you could confuse your team. This is problematic as it’s counterproductive to the goal of creating a template for cannabis SOPs. The goal here is to ensure your team understands what processes you’d like to cover.

Your cannabis SOP template should provide a framework to write out the SOPs. Staff should find following your template easy, filling in the processes as necessary to create your custom list of cannabis SOPs.

The key here is to ensure all of your employees will understand what you’re trying to document.

You’re likely going to have your frontline employees contribute to the finished SOPs. With these documents generally demanding outlines of their daily tasks, it’s essential to include them by wording your cannabis SOP template in a way they’ll understand.

Keep in mind that if you have a highly technical procedure you plan to have your staff outline, you’ll likely have to collaborate with your team to ensure everything is as accurate as possible. To avoid the need for constant stop-and-go to explain as you write your SOPs, make sure you use simple wording that’s easy to follow. Incorporate this practice while creating your SOPs, as well.

Think Ahead and Analyze Your Procedures

As you’re making your template, assess the procedures you plan to use the template to create. Consider the benchmarks that you and your team will use to explain every aspect of each process clearly.

For example, if you’re running a dispensary, you’ll need to consider your inventory accounting procedure. Think about what your team must use to maintain and monitor your inventory.

What contributes to their successful completion of tracking your cannabis product inventory? 

Which variables will need to be taken into consideration as you’re creating your SOPs?

What processes can become more efficient by creating an SOP?

Think about what your team needs to create procedures for and how this documentation could make your business more effective and efficient. This could involve analyzing the schedule and order in which your team completes actions, as well.

Format Your Cannabis SOP Template for a Clean Aesthetic

Simplicity is essential in your cannabis SOPs, and your SOP template should act as an easy-to-follow guide for you and your team. Formatting will play a crucial role in keeping your SOPs organized, and prioritizing the procedures.

Here is a sample of how you can format your cannabis SOP templates:

  • __________ Standard Operating Procedure
    • Title of the procedure (e.g., Growing, Harvesting, Inventory Management)
  • Executing Person, Role, or Position
    • (e.g., Manager, Inventory Specialist, Budtender, Buyer)
  • Date & Supervisor’s signature
  • Purpose
    • Why are you outlining this process? What do you hope to accomplish?
  • Definitions
    • Define technical terms you’ll use in these instructions for easy understanding.
  • Procedure
    • This is where you’ll explain how the executing individual should complete the process.
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
    • This is where you’ll provide the executing person with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to get the job done.

While you might want to include more information depending on the process, this is a simple template that you can customize as necessary. Feel free to use this template to get started on your own custom cannabis SOP template.


Is your business involved in handling cannabis inventory? Make sure to give “Cannabis Inventory Management Tips to Stay Compliant” a read! This article discusses some crucial tips you’ll want to know as you’re developing your SOPs.

____Once we release “Cannabis SOPs & Compliance to Optimize Your Success”______

For more information on cannabis SOPs and compliance, make sure to check out our in-depth guide here


Michigan Growers License Insight

Michigan Growers License Insight

Some of the most common questions we receive about getting a Michigan growers license are:

  • How do I become a Class A grower in Michigan?
  • How much is a Class A growers license in Michigan?
  • Can a caregiver sell to a dispensary in Michigan?

Whether you didn’t get a Michigan commercial grow license in 2020 or just recently decided the time is right, here’s some insight into some of the most common questions cultivators are asking.

Interested in getting a commercial growers license in Michigan? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

How do I become a Class A Grower in Michigan?

Initial licensing fees to become a Class A Grower in Michigan

Ultimately, this depends on your municipality. Your municipality will need to “opt-in,” which involves writing an ordinance that permits cannabis growing within the municipal borders. There may be a municipality fee involved, but you’ll need to contact your city council to determine whether they have local municipality fees.

Once you do this, you’ll need to pay the State a non-refundable application fee of $6,000. This covers a state investigative service to perform background checks to ensure you and your business partners qualify to receive a Class A grower’s license in Michigan.

Capitalization requirements to become a Class A Grower in Michigan

For anyone applying for a Class A grower license in Michigan, demonstrating you have the capital to start and run the operation is crucial. As you’re applying for your Class A Grower License in Michigan, remember that you’ll need at least $150,000 in business capital to qualify. This can include a minimum of 25 percent in liquid assets that can easily be converted into stocks, bonds, cash, or CDs.

How much is a Class A Growers License in Michigan?

Cannabis growers licenses in Michigan start at $4,000 for a Class A Growers License. However, if you decide on another option, you could have to pay up to $40,000. These licenses must be renewed annually for a similar fee.

On the other hand, Class B Growers and Microbusinesses must pay $8,000 for their licenses. If you’re planning to do retail, secure transportation, or operate a Safety Compliance Facility, you can expect to pay $25,000. For Class C Growers, Excess Growers, and Processors in Michigan, you’ll have to pay $40,000 for your license.

The MRA is allowed to increase these license costs by up to 10 percent annually. The renewal fees are contingent on the initial license fee and the license holders’ relative success in comparison to other license holders of the same type. Some licenses cost just $1,000 with the option to renew for $1,000 regardless of other license holders’ success.

The annual renewal fees for cannabis business licenses in Michigan with an initial fee of $8,000 can increase or decrease by $2,000. This depends on if the license holder is in the top or bottom third of the type of license they hold. The bottom third pays $6,000 renewal fees, the middle pays $8,000, and the top pays $10,000.

For those holding a Class A Growers License in Michigan, there’s a similar method for renewal fees. The initial fee of $4,000 increases or decreases by $1,000 for renewal fees. But for $25,000 licenses, you can expect an increase or decrease by $5,000. $40,000 licenses are adjusted by $10,000 in the same manner.

What kind of Michigan growers license will I need?

The MRTMA offers 11 different kinds of marijuana establishment licenses; these include the following grow licenses:

  • Class A Growers – Growers holding a Class A Growers license in Michigan are allowed to grow up to 100 cannabis plants. They also don’t have to be licensed under the MMFLA. However, these growers cannot stack licenses. License stacking means the entity holds more than one license of that type.
  • Class B Growers – Cultivators holding a Class B Growers license in the Great Lake State are allowed to grow up to 500 cannabis plants. These growers are also not allowed to stack licenses and need licensing under the MMFLA.
  • Class C Growers – For Class C Growers license holders, a grow operation of up to 2,000 cannabis plants is permitted. However, these growers are allowed to stack up to 5 Class C licenses. At this point, they need licensing under the MMFLA.
  • Excess Growers – For Excess cannabis growers, a grow containing up to 2,000 cannabis plants for every MMFLA Class C Grower License help is allowed. But they must have 5 MRTMA Class C Grower Licenses and a minimum of 2 MMFLA Class C Grower Licenses.

Can a caregiver sell to a dispensary in Michigan?

Ganjapreneur reported that Michigan is phasing out caregivers’ access to cannabis licensees. On September 30, 2019, medical cannabis caregivers in Michigan are no longer able to transfer or sell products to licensed cannabis growers and processors. This is a rule established by the MRA.

In the past, caregivers were able to transfer cannabis products to some licensed operators. This was to keep product available to medical cannabis patients as the state shifted towards recreational sales. According to the MRA, the under-supply of medical cannabis is no longer an issue since nearly 200 cultivation licenses and more than 25 processing licenses have been issued.

Michigan Growers License Assistance from Northstar

Interested in obtaining a growers license in Michigan? Contact us today for expert assistance from legally starting your grow to maintaining your cash flow – and everything in between!

How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in New Jersey

How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in New Jersey

You’re curious about how to open a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey. As with any business-minded person, you’ve seen the successful cannabis entrepreneurs in other states, and now that the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market is legal, you’re wondering if you can achieve similar profits.

Opening a cannabis business in New Jersey is an exciting experience. However, it will take some careful planning to ensure success. After New Jersey voted and passed a constitutional amendment legalizing recreational cannabis on November 3rd, 2020, it’s safe to say we can expect big things to come to the Garden State.

This vote was surprisingly supportive of legalization because:

  • Most New Jersey residents support legalization. A recent survey revealed a whopping 61 percent of New Jersians favor legalization.
  • New Jersey’s dwindling tax revenue and increase in costs during the COVID-19 pandemic has the state looking for other sources of revenue. As the pandemic continues, it will become more challenging, and the state will have to find a way to replace some primary tax revenue sources.
  • Governor Phil Murphy is pro-legalization. His support has not gone unnoticed, especially following his statement that legalizing is “smart” and a “no-brainer.”
  • Most people support criminal justice reform. With this in mind, the state is being pressured to legalize because imprisoning people over cannabis is irresponsible.

Governor Phil Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act into existence in July 2019. Through this bill, he hoped to make cannabis medical treatment more affordable and accessible. The main highlights include:

  • Letting physician’s assistants and advanced practicing nurses prescribe medical marijuana to patients
  • Employer protections
  • Permitting treatment for patients for up to a year

New Jersey Dispensaries have also seen some positive legislative changes from this act, including:

  • Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) – The CRC has been established as the regulatory commission in the New Jersey Department of Treasury. This organization is now responsible for the medical marijuana program in New Jersey.
  • Price Lists – These require dispensaries to provide a price list of all medical marijuana products offered listed on their website. They must stick to these pricing lists and are only allowed to change their pricing once per month.
  • Home Delivery – New Jersey Dispensaries now have a set of regulations to permit deliveries to patients.

How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in New Jersey: The Potential

Many entrepreneurs want to learn how to open a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey because of the opportunity at hand. MJ Biz Daily reported that it believes New Jersey’s recreational market is an untapped industry that’s bound to be worth between $1.2 and $1.5 billion by 2023. Thus, New Jersey’s cannabis sector could be one of the most significant markets in the US within a few short years.

The Garden State has 9 million residents, and it attracts millions of visitors annually. Let’s not forget about the higher income leading to more disposable income. With this information, there’s no doubt that opening a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey will be one of the most lucrative ventures in the state.

New Jersey also aims to increase its tax revenue substantially with its adult-use market. The state will likely bring in around $300 million in tax revenue annually. But this could be a low-ball statistic. This dwarfs Colorado’s cannabis tax revenue by more than twice as much.

Local Cannabis Restrictions & Laws for New Jersey Cannabis Dispensaries

Even though New Jersey has already voted to legalize adult-use marijuana, some local municipalities have banned or restricted these operations. The municipalities anticipated legalization, knowing that they did not want to allow it within their borders.

For this reason, opening a dispensary in New Jersey may prove challenging. Even if it’s a medical cannabis business, you could see some pushback. At this point, we’ve seen 60 municipalities with bans on cannabusinesses.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in New Jersey

While you might wonder how to open a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey, you may also be curious about the medical marijuana dispensaries already operating. Since passing the 2010 Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, medical cannabis has been offered to treat patients with cancer, MS, glaucoma, seizure disorder, HIV/AIDS, severe muscle spasm, Lou Gehrig’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s, and other terminal illnesses. Eventually, PTSD, Tourette’s, autism-related anxiety, Alzheimer’s-related anxiety, chronic pain, and migraines became part of this list.

The program expanded rather fast, with over 95,000 medical marijuana patients in New Jersey. While the state stopped accepting license applications for medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey on August 27, 2019, the state’s attention is now focused on full legalization.

Even with this being the case, there’s still some information covering the requirements to start a medicinal marijuana business in New Jersey.

NJ medical cannabis licenses have already been given to Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC). These businesses do the following:

  • Cultivate
  • Manufacture
  • And/or dispense medical marijuana and paraphernalia to patients holding MMJ cards in New Jersey

How to Get an ATC License in NJ

Applicants for ATC licenses must make two payments with their application. The first is a $2,000 payment; the second is an $18,000 payment. However, the $18,000 payment is refundable if the license is denied.

How to Open a Recreational Dispensary in New Jersey

Now that New Jersey voted with overwhelming support for recreational marijuana legalization in November, we’re still waiting for more insight. This is what we know at this point:

The Requirements to Get a Cannabis Business License in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy put the Cannabis Regulatory Commission in place to oversee New Jersey’s cannabis marketplace. This was announced on November 6th, 2020, and Dianna Houenou will serve as chair while Jeff Brown serves as Executive Director. Krista Nash will serve as a commission member for the CRC, as well.

Once New Jersey legalized adult-use cannabis, the state created Bill S21. This bill was meant for the vote on November 21, 2020. However, the vote was delayed. And once the bill was debated for some time, the state legislature and later Governor Murphy approved some bills to regulate cannabis sales for anyone over 21 years of age.

Looking at how the current bills are being debated, we know a few things about the requirements to get a cannabis business license in New Jersey.

For recreational license requirements in New Jersey, the current bill says this will likely become the method:

“Each license application shall be scored and reviewed based upon a point scale with the commission determining the number of points, the point categories, and the system of point distribution by regulation. The commission shall assign points and rank [all] applicants [, from the most to the least points,] according to the point system.”

This point system approach is similar to what we’ve observed happening in other legalized states. The applications are graded using a point system that takes several characteristics into account, including the applicant and his or her team’s expertise, experience, and credentials spanning an assortment of topics.

These are some of the topics you could be graded on:

  • Cybersecurity plan
  • Environmental impact plan
  • Safety and security procedures
  • Procedures reporting adverse events
  • Emergency management plan
  • Diversion prevention
  • Sanitation practices plan
  • Proof of financial competence to carry out plans

Besides your direct cannabis expertise, you’ll need to be competent on a wide assortment of topics. The reason? Firm understandings of these topics can assist in running successful cannabis operations in New Jersey, and knowledge gaps can be detrimental to long-term success.

As We have the answers to some of the most common New Jersey cannabis business questions, including:

  • What are the requirements to open a dispensary in New Jersey?
  • How much will it cost to open a dispensary in New Jersey?
  • When will new cannabis license applications be available in New Jersey?
  • Where can I open a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey?
  • What are the tax implications for opening and operating a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey?
  • How do I open a medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey?
  • And others.

We’re expecting New Jersey to have an incredible year as recreational cannabis legalization gains traction, and we’re excited to support new and established canna-companies!

If you’re considering operating a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey, contact us for CPA expertise to ensure you’re compliant and successful in your endeavor.

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Michigan Cannabis Law & Legality in 2021

Michigan Cannabis Law & Legality in 2021

Cannabis laws and penalties in Michigan are quite different from federal law. As with most states, marijuana regulations in Michigan even differ from the states surrounding it.

With this in mind, our Michigan cannabis CPAs discuss the legality of cannabis in Michigan to shed some light on this budding industry.

Interested in forming a cannabis business in Michigan? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Marijuana Legality in Michigan

While currently a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, things are changing in many states. This, of course, includes marijuana legality in Michigan.

The Schedule I classification defines drugs as “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” With this being the case, penalties for possessing or operating a business related to these substances – including cannabis up until recently – carry some rather harsh penalties.

Even though the federal-level regulations still restrict cannabis consumption and sales, each state has the opportunity to vote on state laws regarding the industry. This includes state laws for the use, possession, and sale of marijuana, even as it remains prohibited at the federal level.

As of late 2018, Michigan legalized recreational marijuana. Since then, the state has crafted its own set of state laws to regulate the consumption, possession, and sale of it.

Michigan Cannabis Law: Consuming Cannabis

Michigan allows adults over the age of 21 to use cannabis legally. With this being the case, Michigan is the first Midwestern state to welcome the adult-use industry.

However, recreational cannabis consumption in Michigan cannot happen everywhere. Despite updates observable in Michigan cannabis law news stories, the state still limits consumption in some places.

According to Michigan law, anyone using cannabis in Michigan has to do it in private. This usually means most cannabis consumption is happening at consumers’ residences. Cannabis use in Michigan is not allowed in public places like parks or on the street.

With this in mind, cannabis possession in Michigan is an entirely different subject.

Marijuana possession in Michigan is not illegal. However, specific amounts are carryable depending on where you are. For instance, if a consumer is at home, they can possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana. But it’s illegal to carry beyond 2.5 ounces of cannabis out in public.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to keep in mind that some places in Michigan fall under federal jurisdiction rather than the state’s laws. For example, airports are still viewed as federal property.

With this being the case, federal law prohibits the possession or use of cannabis in an airport, or on any other federal property, for that matter. This means no carrying or smoking in prisons or government buildings.

Michiganians also cannot carry or consume cannabis in any areas frequented by children. This means no marijuana at or near schools or school buses.

Michigan Cannabis Law: Selling or Distributing Cannabis

Adults in Michigan can transfer up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to another adult as a gift. However, the transfer cannot be promoted to the public.

Besides gifting cannabis, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was approved by voters. Thus, the Great Lake State became the 10th state to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Since then, the Michigan Regulatory Agency, or MRA, has been tasked with overseeing cannabis business licensing.

The first announcement claimed that the first 24 months would allow applications from currently licensed Michigan medical marijuana business operators. However, from March 2021, Michigan plans to begin accepting recreational cannabis licensing applications from entrepreneurs looking to dive into Michigan’s recreational cannabis sector.

Cannabis Cultivation in Michigan

Michiganians looking to cultivate cannabis commercially must have a Michigan commercial marijuana growing license. This is the permit that lets people sell marijuana seeds or plants through a secure transporter. Furthermore, those who hold a Michigan commercial cannabis growing license can sell cannabis to provisioning centers or processors.

To be eligible for a Michigan cultivation license, some considerations must be met. For example, you cannot have a safety compliance facility or a secure transporter. This means that you cannot have these kinds of Michigan cultivation licenses if you have a grower’s license.

If you have a Michigan growers license, you’ll also need an active employee who has at least two years of experience working as a registered primary caregiver. As a licensee, you cannot be registered as a primary caregiver.

Michigan Grow License Types

Michigan has two types of commercial grow licenses. Each type has three classes, and the classification depends on how many cannabis plants you’re planning to cultivate.

  • Medical grower classes: A (500 plants), B (1,000 plants), and C (1,500 plants)
  • Recreational grower classes: A (100 plants), B (500 plants, and C (2,000 plants)

Through Michigan’s adult-use program, microbusiness licenses are available. Businesses possessing equivalent licenses with shared ownership are permitted to operate at the same location – without separation – only if the operation does not violate local ordinances, limits, or regulations. The program does not require separate entrances, exits, operations, or point of sale areas.

Thinking about getting involved in Michigan’s cannabis space? Learn more about how to start a cannabis business in Michigan now.

Michigan Commercial Grow License Cost

Setting up a commercial cannabis grow operation in Michigan means paying the application fee and regulatory assessment. However, under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), you might have to pay some additional state-level costs. Applicants might have to pay a fee to their municipality, which could cost up to $5,000.

The state license application fee is nonrefundable and offsets the cost for the Michigan State Police (MSP), LARA, and/or contract costs of investigative services used to conduct background checks on applicants. This non-refundable application fee is $6,000.

You’ll also need an annual regulatory assessment by the state. This must happen before being issued a license and can vary depending on how many licenses the state anticipates it will give. This regulatory assessment doesn’t apply to safety compliance facilities, though.

For a Grower A license, you should expect to pay $10,000. Grower B and Grower C licenses range from $10,000 to $66,000, depending on how many licenses are subject to assessment.

Michigan Cannabis Law Assistance

Interested in becoming part of this budding industry? Contact us today for expert assistance in forming and establishing your Michigan cannabis endeavor.

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Cannabis Business Licensing in New Jersey

Cannabis Business Licensing in New Jersey

Cannabis business licensing in New Jersey is one of the fastest-growing topics in the state. With the recent vote legalizing recreational cannabis in the Garden State, it’s safe to say ganjapreneurs are well on their way towards fulfilling their New Jersey cannabusiness dreams.

But what about the licensing? Do you need an NJ cultivation license to grow flower? And what license will you need to open recreational dispensaries in New Jersey?

We’ll answer these questions and more in this article. But let’s first discuss the history of legalization in New Jersey and the current legislation in place.

Interested in obtaining your NJ cultivation license? Contact us today for assistance.

New Jersey Cannabis Legalization: The History

Governor Jon Corzine signed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, S. 119 into law on January 18, 2010. This was his last day in office – some might even say this was a goodbye gift.

Through the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, qualified patients were granted access to medical cannabis through six Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC). These are non-profits that hold legal cannabis licenses from the state to produce and sell medical marijuana.

However, the program’s enrollment wasn’t nearly as high as one might expect; between resistance from former Governor Chris Christie, high prices, and regulatory limitations, the program didn’t sufficiently meet the demand for an accessible way to obtain medical marijuana in New Jersey.

Then, in 2016 and 2017, the law changed to include post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. As a result, 24 new medical marijuana ATC licenses were put on hold because of a lawsuit.

By December 15, 2019, adult-use legalization was put on the voters’ 2020 ballot after the state legislature passed a cannabis referendum bill. The vote amended the state constitution, thereby legalizing the cultivation, processing, and retail sale of cannabis for adults over 21 years of age. This constitutional amendment took effect on January 1, 2021.

Looking at the New Jersey Cannabis Market’s Metrics

So many people are looking into the cannabis business licensing New Jersey process, and it’s not hard to imagine why. There’s a lot of potential for the cannabis sector in this state.

New Jersey is ripe for the cannabis sector’s expansion. With an impressive population of 8.9 million and 6 licensed cannabis businesses in place, we can expect growth. At this point, the Garden State has 6 companies that are allowed to have up to 3 dispensaries operating. The state has 12 licensed dispensaries. However, only nine are currently open.

The state has around 95,000 medical marijuana patients. These products’ taxes are currently at 4% of sales until June 30, 2021, 2% from July 1, 2021 to June 20, 2022, and will drop to 0% after July 1, 2022. What’s unique about New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis market is that, so far, the state hasn’t implemented an excise tax on marijuana. Thus, regular sales tax will apply, and the local governments could demand a tax of up to 2% on retail sales.

Cannabis Business Licensing in New Jersey

At this point, cannabis Grower, Wholesaler, Distributor, Processor, Retailer, and Delivery licenses have not been made available. The state is waiting until it adopts a set of rules to govern these cannabis licensing.

For the first 18 months, the state’s restrictions against vertical integration will be established to prevent premature monopolies from developing. Thus, cannabis businesses will not obtain licenses for growing and distributing.

For the first two years of legal cannabis sales in New Jersey, the marijuana grower licenses available will be capped at 37 licenses. This limit will not apply to micro-licenses (businesses with ten or fewer team members).

At this point, the state has 12 licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). These are all vertically-integrated non-profit medical license holders. Currently, 9 of these ATCs are in operation. The state will offer adult-use licenses to these organizations first.

A legal case is still holding up the 2019 medical licensing round. There’s a chance that these licenses will be given prior to the state adopting its final rules. If this happens, these license holders will also be given initial access to the adult-use licenses.

New Jersey is also incorporating a social equity program as part of the bill. The state will have an office within the CRC to ensure social equity. Many of these licenses will be granted to women, disabled veterans, minorities, and lower-income applicants. Once the legislation passes, the newly-formed Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) has 180 days to implement its regulatory rules.

How to Start a Cannabis Business in New Jersey: Step-by-Step

You’ll need to do several things before you apply for cannabis business licensing in New Jersey. While not all are essential, they’ll make the entire process easier.

First, you’ll look over S. 21. This is the foundation of the state’s adult-use program. So, if you’re planning to participate in this program, it’s essential to understand it.

Wait for the draft rules from the CRC. Once these rules are released, we’ll have a better idea regarding what we’ll have to do to remain compliant.

Look for cannabis real estate in New Jersey. High-traffic areas that are currently zoned for medical cannabis may allow adult-use cannabis operations to operate within these borders, as well.

Work on preliminary plans comparable to medical cannabis license applications. Minimally speaking, you’ll want to have the following for your New Jersey cannabis license application, depending on which apply to your situation:

  • Security plan
  • Environmental impact plan
  • Background of principals, board members, & owners
  • Quality control & quality assurance plan
  • Community engagement plan
  • Financing plan
  • Research contributions
  • Manufacturing plan
  • Cultivation plan
  • Dispensary plan
  • Labor compliance plan
  • Workforce and job-creation plan
  • Minority-owned, veteran-owned, or women-owned business certification

Considering Cannabis Business Licensing in New Jersey?

Interested in getting a cannabis business license in New Jersey? Contact us today for expert financial assistance.