New Jersey is prioritizing cannabis license applications from minority groups to ensure diversity in the industry. Priority applications will increase opportunities in the cannabis industry for people from designated target communities, for people with cannabis convictions (expunged or not), and for minorities, women, and disabled veterans.  Three types of cannabis businesses will receive priority review and approval in the application process:

  • Diversely Owned Businesses - minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned and certified as such by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury in one or more of the listed categories
  • Social Equity Businesses - owned by people who have lived in an Economically Disadvantaged Area of the state, or who have convictions for cannabis-related offenses (expunged or not)
  • Impact Zone Businesses - located in an Impact Zone, owned by people from an Impact Zone, or employing residents of Impact Zones.

Social Equity Businesses, Diversely Owned Businesses, and Impact-Zone businesses will be prioritized in the licensure process so that their applications are reviewed before other applicants – regardless of when they apply.

Microbusinesses, which are limited to 10 employees and 2,500 square feet, will also be prioritized and, if successful, allowed to apply to expand their business in accordance with consumer demand.