If your conditional, conversion, microbusiness, or annual application has been approved by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, congratulations! You have cleared the first major hurdle in obtaining a cannabis license in New Jersey.
For those who received conditional approvals, you must now submit your conversion application, which will focus on your proposed site, local approvals, and various operating plans and standard operating procedures. You have 120 days from the date of conditional approval to submit a conversion application with the ability to request an additional 45-day extension. See N.J.A.C. 17:30-7.6(a)(2)-(b). The CRC may, at its discretion, extend the conditional license period on its own volition and has been doing just that for many conditional applicants struggling to secure real estate and/or financing during the conditional license period. During the conditional license period, a conditional applicant may add or change owners provided new owners with decision-making authority are qualified, i.e. meet the income threshold of N.J.A.C. 17:30-7.4(a)(5) and the majority ownership that qualified the applicant for a conditional license and/or priority status (diversely-owned, women-owned, impact zone, social equity, microbusiness, etc.) remains intact. For the most part, the conversion application mirrors a full annual application and requires the submission of detailed standard operating procedures, site plan, safety and security plan, environmental impact plan, etc.
Annual applicants who receive approvals are now put to task to execute their business plans. Unfortunately, due to the passage of time and changes in the economic climate, many applicants will be looking for alternate properties, revising their business plans and corporate structures, and searching for investment dollars.