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If you’re reading this article, you’re probably curious to know how to start a cannabis business in New Jersey?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an investor, this article will provide you with the information you need to win a license and start a cannabis business in New Jersey.

The market, as projected by Marijuana Business Daily, is expected to reach $950 million in sales by 2024. To become a cannabis business owner in New Jersey, the first step is to submit a cannabis license application.

A license is required to operate a cannabis business in New Jersey.  However, the license application process is extremely competitive, with thousands of applications submitted and less than a hundred awarded.

From writing the business plan to recruiting an experienced team, navigating the process of starting a New Jersey Cannabis Business can be daunting.  More than likely, you are pre-occupied with other matters that prevent you from committing your full attention to winning a license to operate a cannabis business in New Jersey.

Thus, when individuals ask how to start a cannabis business in New Jersey?

We highly recommend engaging experts in license acquisition to assist with the competitive license application. For this reason, contacting our New Jersey cannabis consultants will give you a leg up o the competition, as our consultants can provide you with the expertise needed to put together a winning competitive application.

Types of New Jersey Cannabis Licenses

Before you apply for a license, you should get to know the types of cannabis licenses that are available in New Jersey. As stated in the bill, there are six classes of cannabis licenses in New Jersey:

  • Class 1 Cannabis Grower License
  • Class 2 Cannabis Processor License
  • Class 3 Cannabis Wholesaler License
  • Class 4 Cannabis Distributor License
  • Class 5 Cannabis Retailer License
  • Class 6 Cannabis Delivery License

After you’ve decided on the type of cannabis business that you are interested in and most qualified for, the next step is to start putting together an application to obtain the license. The rest of the article will focus on providing you with tips on putting together a competitive license application.

Operating Plan

For those wondering how to start a cannabis business in New Jersey, well, you’re going to want to know how to operate that specific business that you intend to start. Within the Operating Plan, this is where you show your expertise and knowledge of the cannabis industry and the operations of the proposed business type.

For instance, you’re going to want to display your familiarity with New Jersey Cannabis regulations and how you intend to comply with them during your operations. In addition, you must display your expertise in:

  • Quality Control and Quality Assurance
  • Recall plans
  • Compliant packaging and labeling
  • Inventory control
  • Seed-to-sale tracking
  • Recordkeeping
  • Analytical Testing of cannabis and products
  • water management (cultivation specific)
  • odor mitigation
  • waste disposal

Moreover, a retailer requires additional expertise in product types, modes of administration, and effects.

Business and Financial Plan

After you’ve put together a cannabis Operating Plan, you’ll want to focus on creating a business and financial plan. The business plan should be short and to the point. Put differently, New Jersey is seeking an executive summary of your business plan.

Of particular importance, is a summary of your background operating in the cannabis industry or other highly regulated industries. The state wants evidence that you are capable of operating a compliant cannabis business.

Perhaps more important for the license application is proof of capital and financing to fund the proposed New Jersey Cannabis Business. You must demonstrate your financial ability to implement the business plan. For instance, proof of funds can be demonstrated through:

  • bank statements
  • business financial statements
  • net worth statements
  • debt and equity finance statements

Moreover, if you’ve previously operated a cannabis business, you must describe your experience complying with banking associated with your cannabis business.  This can be demonstrated, for example, by providing letters from your bank or credit union describing your compliant banking history.

New Jersey Cannabis Consultant

Safety and Security Plan

Likewise, a Safety and Security Plan is important for states to award you with a license. We recommend collaborating with a licensed security vendor when drafting a plan. More specifically, states will score your narrative higher if you work with a local minority-owned security vendor.

Once you’ve identified a security vendor, your narrative must include a description of your:

  • Licensed security personnel,
  • Alarm and video surveillance system,
  • Access and visitor management
  •  Facility designs including locations of security cameras and alarms,
  • Diversion prevention plan
  • emergency management plan
  • sanitation practices

Besides the security you intend to implement, you must also describe how you plan to screen employees for criminal backgrounds.

Environmental Impact Plan

It’s 2021, and to no surprise, environmental responsibility is an important aspect for the proposed business. Thus, our New Jersey Cannabis Consultants highly recommend you pay particular attention to this section.

Besides your concerns on how to start a cannabis business in New Jersey, you should also be focused on how your business will implement sustainable practices. You must display your plan to mitigate the environmental impact and carbon footprint of your business.

For example, how will you minimize the resource needs of your cannabis business? Also, can you incentivize your employees to help reduce your environmental impact?

Equally as important and often overlooked,  discuss your plans to minimize your odor, light, and noise pollution.

Identifying a Location

Besides writing a narrative for the application, you must also identify and a proposed location that you will operate your cannabis business.

When choosing your location, think about the advantages and disadvantages of that particular location. Is the location suitable? Consider the surrounding areas and determine whether a cannabis business is appropriate. Specifically, make sure it is not near a school or church.

Once a location is chosen, you submit a floor plan of the facility with your application. You can either choose an existing building or build construct a building. In either case, you will need zoning approval from the local municipality.

Additionally, it helps to have proof of local support for the proposed business. Can you identify someone in the governing body that you can get to write a letter of recommendation? Frequently, our clients will engage lobbyists to help in obtaining local support from governing bodies.

So, how do you start a cannabis business in New Jersey?

By now, I hope it’s clear that the most important step is to put together a competitive cannabis license application. We understand how complicated and time consuming the application can be. For this reason, I encourage you to reach out and speak with our cannabis license experts to learn how we can help you win a cannabis license in New Jersey.

Quantum 9’s New Jersey Cannabis Consultants will help you become a cannabis business owner!

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Julio C. Soriagalvarro, M.S.

About Julio C. Soriagalvarro, M.S.

Julio C. Soriagalvarro is a natural product chemist turned consultant who combines his expertise in the life sciences and business to provide consulting services across the cannabis industry. Additionally, as a Quantum 9 cannabis consultant, he has won cannabis licenses for clients in multiple U.S. States as well as optimized the operations of cannabis businesses across the nation. Julio holds a M.S. in Natural Product Chemistry and Drug Discovery from the University of Illinois, and a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University. Also, he is currently a 2nd-year MBA student at Indiana University, focusing on finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

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