NJCRC cannabis licenses

The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) approved 56 adult-use cannabis licenses of different types.

There were 42 conditional licenses, six conditional to annual conversions, and eight annual licenses awarded in the rapidly growing NJ cannabis industry.

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New Jersey Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Licenses Winners

NJCRC Executive Director Jeff Brown explained 42 conditional licenses would be awarded.

  1. Buzzy Bee Business Partners LLC Cultivator Micro
  2. Green Family Farm, LLC Cannabis Cultivation
  3. RYC ENT LLC Cultivator Micro
  4. Taste of Earth Cultivator Micro
  5. Mary Jane’s Strains Cultivator Micro
  6. Flavors Wellness Farms Cultivator Standard
  7. Green AgroLab LLC Cultivator Standard
  8. Lucky Buds LLC Cultivator Standard
  9. Regal Farms NJ LLC Cultivator Standard
  10. Solar Cannabis NJ, LLC Cultivator Standard
  11. Buzzy Bee Business Partners LLC Manufacturer Micro
  12. Freshley Greene LLC Manufacturer Micro
  13. Iron Falls Growery LLC Manufacturer Micro
  14. Prolific Growhouse Manufacturer Micro
  15. The Cannabis Philosophy LLC Manufacturer Micro
  16. Green Zen Therapy, LLC Manufacturer Standard
  17. Lucky Buds LLC Manufacturer Standard
  18. Statewide Property Holdings NJ LLC Manufacturer Standard
  19. Boutique Gardens Retailer Micro
  20. Cannabis NJ LLC Retailer Micro
  21. High End Cannabis Corporation Retailer Micro
  22. Elevated Essentials’s LLC Retailer Micro
  23. Green Paradise Therapy LLC Retailer Micro
  24. lassic Kush, Inc. Retailer Micro
  25. Nary Group LLC Retailer Micro
  26. Project Greenlife LLC Retailer Micro
  27. A Higher Ground Dispensary LLC Retailer Standard
  28. Bloomeri LLC Retailer Standard
  29. Bud Bazaar LLC Retailer Standard
  30. Divine Greens NJ LLC Retailer Standard
  31. Gardenmade New Jersey, LLC Retailer Standard
  32. Green Leaf Wellness Solutions LLC Retailer Standard
  33. Highland House, LLC Retailer Standard
  34. Kota Canna LLC Retailer Standard
  35. Levitate NJ Cannabis LLC Retailer Standard
  36. Lilac Dispensary LLC Retailer Standard
  37. Magicae Wellness LLC Retailer Standard
  38. Maude’s Potted Plant Retailer Standard
  39. Perennial Group Corporation Retailer Standard
  40. Shigh LLC Retailer Standard
  41. Upper Echelons Dispensary LLC Retailer Standard

The licenses were approved 5-0

List-of-Applications-Conditional-License

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“a community of folks who want to learn how to get into this industry.”

NJCRC Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director Wesley McWhite

NJ Adult-use Conditional Cannabis Conversion to Annual Licenses Approved

“Like conditional licenses, these are assessed for priority. That priority is then verified,” Brown noted.

He explained the conversion application has more metrics to pass than the conditional.

“That’s when you get investigations,” Brown said. That process includes examining their source of funds.

Then they were announced:

  1. 2223 FullTilt Labs LLC Cultivator Micro
  2. 1946 Good Lettuce Company Cultivator Standard
  3. 2224 FullTilt Labs LLC Manufacturer Micro
  4. 1948 Good Lettuce Company Manufacturer Standard
  5. 2211 Leif Enterprises LLC Manufacturer Standard
  6. 2333 Happy Leaf LLC Retailer Micro

“We’re going to see more of these in the future,” Brown said about the small number.

The NJCRC approved them 4-1, with Commissioner Charles Baker voting no.

Annual Cannabis Licenses Awarded

“The commission has eight applications for annual licenses,” Brown said.

He explained it’s the conditional and conversion application combined.

  1. 1394 Legacy Cultivators LLC Cultivator Micro
  2. 1034 ElevenEleven Wellness, LLC Cultivator Standard
  3. 1102 ElevenEleven Wellness, LLC Manufacturer Standard
  4. 1963 Newton CB LLC Retailer Micro
  5. 1498 Earth & Ivy LLC Retailer Standard
  6. 1524 Jersey Girlz LLC Retailer Standard
  7. 2060 Leaf Relief NJ LLC Retailer Standard
  8. 1846 Union Chill Cannabis Company LLC Retailer Standard

The NJCRC approved them 4-1, with Baker voting no.

“That would make 50 annual license awards,” Brown said about the total between annual applications and approved conversions.

“We have a lot more applications to get through … and into the market,” he explained.

They have now awarded 947 cannabis licenses in total.

Executive Director Report

Brown noted they received 1538 applications. Most of them are for conditional licenses. Only 62 are awaiting review.

Of the 133 annual applications awarded, 36 have been approved. Sixteen converted from conditional, and 20 approved as annual licenses. There are now 50 approved NJ adult-use cannabis annual licenses.

“The lion’s share of the conditional licenses were awarded in the last quarter of 2022,” he noted.

He ran through the slides on the breakdown of the license applications thus far. They have accepted 1497 applications thus far. Brown noted this count included applications for Delivery, Wholesale, and Distribution which they are not accepting yet.

NJ CRC Provides Updates on Recreational Business Cannabis License Applications

There have been 400 cultivation applications and 866 dispensary applications, among others.

Brown said with pride that 72 percent of them are diversely owned. He explained 25 percent are Social Equity owned, and 43 percent are in Impact Zones.

A company can fit into more than one category.

“More 2019 applications are becoming operational,” Brown noted about the medical cannabis companies awarded.

He noted the independent dispensary Valley Wellness in Raritan Twp has opened along with the Sweetspot in Voorhees Twp. A company called Bloc, formerly known as Justice Grown, also opened a medical dispensary in Franklin Twp in Somerset County. The cultivator Hillview Med is also selling flower in the New Jersey medical cannabis market.

“Three more dispensaries have passed inspection and… are setting opening dates,” Brown said. “We have no lost site of further exp in the med market

NJCRC Office of Diversity and Inclusion Report

NJCRC Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director Wesley McWhite delivered his report on the state of the New Jersey cannabis market.

“A diverse and inclusive market that looks like New Jersey is already taking shape,” he announced.

McWhite argued it would help those hurt by the War on Drugs.

“Our prioritization process is working along with our Social Equity framework,” he said.

McWhite noted they are working on engaging stakeholders and communities.

“New Jerseyans most impacted by the War on Drugs… are submitting applications. There’s growing participation,” he said.

NJCRC Social Equity Businesses With Cannabis License

Progress on Cannabis

McWhite said 28 percent of the license winners are Social Equity applicants.

“Potential applicants… are making it all the way,” he said. “They want to see representation. They want to see the process is working.”

McWhite announced, “The New Jersey cannabis industry is 1/3 Social Equity-owned now.

“I can’t say that enough,” he declared proudly.

In addition, two-thirds are diversity owned. Another 50% are women-owned so they also qualify for two designations.

“Our process is working. With time we will continue to grow these numbers… to reflect the great diversity of our state,” McWhite said.

NJCRC Report on Diversely Owned Cannabis Businesses & Cannabis License

Helping New Jersey Conditional License Winners

He encouraged people to sign up for the NJ Business Action Center (NJBAC) cannabis course launching in the first half of this year, 2023.

McWhite said thousands of people, including consumers, professionals, and applicants, already registered for more information.

He called it “a community of folks who want to learn how to get into this industry.”

“We are working with the Economic Development Agency (EDA) as well for grants for Social Equity folks,” McWhite said. “We’re really excited to work with the EDA… to continue to build this wraparound service. We will see an increase in our outreach and stakeholder engagement.”

They want more New Jerseyans with prior convictions involved. Ultimately, the NJCRC wants to engage more women, minorities, and disabled veterans.

“Cannabis ownership can be for you. But it’s going to take time. From the data we can see we are headed in the right direction.”

“More disabled veterans… are applying for licensure,” he added.

Demographics

Currently, eight percent of the license winners are Hispanic-owned. Additionally, eleven percent are Black-owned.

McWhite was quick to point out that while low, it is higher than the national rate of Hispanic and Black ownership of legal cannabis licenses in the United States, which is approximately between four and six percent.

He noted that 50 percent of the New Jersey cannabis license winners are minority-owned. Thus, 31 percent are owned by another ethnic minority.

Overall, 34 percent of the New Jersey cannabis license winners are women and disabled veteran-owned.

“These numbers are only going to increase,” McWhite said.

McWhite seemed proud NJ scored above the percentage set forth in the New Jersey cannabis legalization, the Cannabis Regulatory and Enforcement and Marijuana Modernization Act (CREAMMA).

McWhite explained that the CRC is developing a Social Equity report card to monitor expanded ATCs and the developing New Jersey adult-use cannabis license winners.

The report includes demographic statistics. For example, 11 percent of workers and owners in the New Jersey cannabis industry are Hispanic. In addition, 12 percent self-reported they were Black. Meanwhile, 39 percent said they were White.

Ownership Change for Columbia Care to Cresco Labs

Brown noted the CRC planned o approve Columba Care’s purchase by Cresco Labs.

“They applied for a change of ownership. They’ve complied with our background investigation,” he said. “Cresco Labs does not have any other licenses here in the State of New Jersey. It’s a pretty straightforward transfer. We recommend approval.”

At this time, Cresco Labs is now the largest cannabis corporation that is a Multi-State Operator (MSO) in the country, followed by Curaealf.

“I’m pleased that Cresco Labs is honoring the Labor Peace Agreement continuing its relationship with the labor union and continuing their Social Equity plan,” Commissioner Maria Del Cid said.

The NJCRC approved it 4-1, with Barker voting no.

Name Changes

Next, the NJCRC approved the name changes of Oceanfront Holdings to “downtown FLWR” and PharmaCann to “URB’N Dispensary, LLC.”

“These two are both 2019 (medical cannabis license) RFA awardees,” Brown said.

Oceanfront Holdings/downtown FLWR will be based in Jersey City.

The NJCRC approved it 5-0.

In litigation matters, they resolved the case brought by NJ Highlands LLC, which sought to secure a “clinical registrar” permit. However, they did not go into details of the discussion from their closed executive session.

The NJCRC passed it 4-1, with Baker dissenting.

Delegation of Authority for License Extensions

Next, they delegated authority to the Permitting and Licensing Committee of NJCRC Chair Dianna Houenou and Del Cid, also supported by staff. They will extend license extensions per deadlines and permit awards.

“In December, the board extended all 2019 dispensary awardees and extended conditional license awardees,” Brown said.

He noted they would likely extend awardees to the 365-day or year option for annual licenses outlined in CREAMMA.

“This will enable us… to streamline the approach,” Brown said.

The NJCRC approved it 5-0.

Many New Jersey conditional cannabis license holders have severe problems with real estate and money waiting for the NJBAC class and EDA grants, along with coping with the range of problems that arise when building a new industry from the ground up. It will prevent them from converting. The NJCRC has promised assistance.

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Dan Ulloa
Dan Ulloa is the Editor and Publisher of Heady NJ, with a background in politics, journalism, and a passion for the cannabis community. He curates and publishes news, events, and insights on the industry. Dan has been a leading voice in the New Jersey cannabis scene, educating and informing the public about this rapidly evolving industry. He ranked #35 on the INSIDER NJ Cannabis Power List out of 100 in 2022.