Adult-use legalization was passed in New Jersey in 2020 by the largest landslide in history, with 69% of voters in favor of cannabis.
In March of 2022, the state opened up adult use retail license applications and received nearly 200 applications in one day. During a public meeting held on March 24th, the CRC hearing unanimously approved 68 conditional cultivation and manufacturing licenses. A meeting later held on May 24th, announced the approval of six additional adult use cannabis retailers to join the existing 13 that were able to launch adult use sales on April 21st.
The CRC also granted a wave of conditional approvals to cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers. There were a total of 46 conditional license awardees: 22 class I cultivator applicants, 13 class II manufacturer applicants, and 11 retailer applicants.
In February 2023, the CRC eliminated the 37 license limit on the number of cannabis cultivator licenses in an attempt to boost the New Jersey cannabis industry.
The CRC is currently accepting applications for cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, and testing laboratories. In September 2023, the CRC will begin accepting applications for wholesalers, distributors, and delivery services.
December 2022 | RIV Capital completed its acquisition of Etain for $48MM
February 2022 | IPR completed its $35MM acquisition of 114 sq. ft. facility
September 2021 | AYR Strategies acquired Garden State NJ for a $101MM
July 2020 | IIPR completed its $35MM acquisition of Curaleaf’s 111K sq.ft. cultivation
June 2020 | Acreage completed its NJ medical acquisition for $10MM+ assumption of debt
May 2020 | AWH completed its acquisition of Green Leaf Compassionate Center for $16.3MM
Existing vertically integrated operators within the state will find an abundance of available capital to expand cultivation and prepare well-located retail shops to satisfy the fifth most densely populated state's anticipated enormous demand. With Pennsylvania still not having a recreational cannabis market, and New York continuing to run into delays, prepare for the neighboring states to participate in the booming demand within the Garden State.
If you have the opportunity to invest in a New Jersey operation, you almost can't lose. Nearly a billion dollars of capital will ultimately be required in this desirable market. The play is with proven operators, who will provide the highest ROI in the near-term future. The challenge here will be in valuation and structuring.
For existing operators within the state, building out your license(s) is the name of the game. For license holders that are restricted temporarily from vertical integration, maximizing your license and seeking potential out-of-state strategic partnerships is a step in the right direction for dominating the market.
*Five of the cultivation licenses are for stand-alone cultivations. *15 of the retail licenses are for stand-alone dispensaries. *Each of the existing 12 vertically integrated licenses are permitted to open three dispensaries. Multiple cultivation tiers: tier 1 allows up to 5K sq.ft., tier 2 allows from 5K sq.ft. to 20K sq.ft., tier 3 allows from 20K sq.ft. to 30K sq.ft. The maximum initial canopy for any of the awardees is 30K sq.ft. Vertically integrated applicants may choose any of the canopy tiers. *License winners moving forward that are restricted from vertical integration are based off tiers stated as below: 1. Microbusiness Cultivator: premises up to 2,500 square feet; 2. Tier I Cultivator: premises up to 10,000 square feet; 3. Tier II Cultivator: premises 10,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet; 4. Tier III Cultivator: premises 25,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet; 5. Tier IV Cultivator: premises 50,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet; 6. Tier V Cultivator: premises 75,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet; 7. Tier VI Cultivator: premises 100,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet; and 8. Expanded ATC Cultivator: premises up to 150,000 square feet. Cultivators will be required to cultivate in a secure facility or property and can grow indoors or outdoors, but outdoor cultivation will only be allowed when explicitly approved by a municipality.