New Jersey

Dispensary POS Software

When you adopt Green Bits as your dispensary POS in New Jersey, you gain a partner who has been leading the industry since 2014, guiding the conversation, and delivering the best technology for point of sale, inventory management, and compliance.
Compliance 101

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New Jersey’s medical marijuana program has surprised lawmakers with its success. It only approved six licenses during its first round of dispensary approvals, then doubled that number to a total of twelve in late 2018. Most of these dispensaries have yet to open as of March 2019.

Recreational marijuana remains a hot topic in New Jersey, with pressure growing for state legislators to approve a framework for recreational use. However, the earliest that a recreational cannabis law could go into effect is 2020, and that’s as a best-case scenario, without any legal opposition.

New Jersey Regulations

Do I need a dispensary license to operate in New Jersey?

Yes. New Jersey requires cannabis dispensaries to apply for a license to act as an alternative treatment center for a range of medical conditions. The state specifies which conditions qualify: HIV, cancer, muscular dystrophy, and any terminal illness, among others.

Who manages cannabis licenses in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Department of Health is responsible for managing and overseeing cannabis laws in the state. Cultivators, dispensaries, physicians, and patients all have to obtain cannabis licenses from the Department of Health, headed by the state governor and the state’s Secretary of Health.

How do I obtain a cannabis dispensary license in New Jersey?

Entrepreneurs interested in operating a dispensary in New Jersey may have to acquire one of the state’s existing license holders. New Jersey approved six new dispensaries in December 2018 and is currently in the process of regulating those organizations. They are slated to open in spring 2019.

What are the requirements for a cannabis retail license?

Cannabis dispensary license applicants must submit a full business plan that details their experience in highly regulated industries as well as their security and logistics solutions. New Jersey requires that at least two dispensaries in each region be non-profit entities but allows for-profit organizations to obtain licenses after the non-profits are established.

How much does a cannabis retail license cost?

During its first round of applications, the state asked dispensaries to pay $20,000 to apply. Ninety percent of the application fee was refundable to unsuccessful applicants. Organizations that applied for multiple regions had to pay multiple fees: $20,000 per region.

Are there annual licensing fees?

Yes. Current New Jersey state law requires dispensaries to pay $20,000 per year to renew their licenses. Additional fees apply to organizations whose ownership or address changes.

What license type do I need to service recreational and medical patients?

New Jersey offers a single type of medical marijuana dispensary license for medical use. These dispensaries are called Alternative Treatment Centers in the state’s legal language. Alternative Treatment Centers may cultivate, process, and sell cannabis products to registered patients.

When will cannabis retail licenses be issued?

New Jersey regulators encountered delays during the state’s most recent enrollment period. While applicants submitted their documents in mid-2018, the state did not announce its six new license holders until December 2018.

Will I be able to get a retail license if I already have a dispensary?

During its most recent open enrollment period, New Jersey did not award new or expanded licenses to any of its existing dispensaries. It is likely that any new open enrollment periods will play along the same lines, encouraging new applicants rather than rewarding existing organizations.

What local (county-level) permissions will I need to operate?

New Jersey does not allow dispensaries within 1,000 feet of any school or academic institution. Additionally, neighbors to dispensaries must have a phone number where they can reach a dispensary employee after hours.

Cannabis Event Licensing

Do I need a license to host a cannabis event in New Jersey?

No. Cannabis event organizers are free to create and host cannabis-related events without applying for special permits.

Do I need a separate premises license for cannabis events?

No. Cannabis event organizers may host events without applying for special premises licenses. New Jersey state law treats medical marijuana events the same way as any prescription medication-related event.

Can I get a cannabis event license if I hold a retailer license?

Any dispensary owner can host a cannabis-themed event in accordance with New Jersey law without applying for an event license.

Managing Your Business in New Jersey

How can I ensure that I remain compliant?

New Jersey dispensaries must submit comprehensive reports to the Department of Health. Additionally, dispensaries must implement solutions for tracking cannabis products throughout the supply and logistics chain using seed-to-sale tracking software.

What security measures am I required to take?

New Jersey requires dispensaries to implement security and safety measures to prevent the diversion of cannabis products towards the black market. These include 24-hour surveillance, electronic alarm systems, and solutions to prevent loitering near dispensary premises.

Can I package and label cannabis in my retail store?

Yes. New Jersey dispensaries may package and label cannabis products in accordance with New Jersey state law. Dispensaries must use food-grade tools and implements and package cannabis products in specific dosages for qualified patients.

Can I sell alcohol or tobacco at my cannabis retail store?

No. New Jersey will not grant alcohol or tobacco licenses to cannabis dispensaries and specifically prohibits dispensaries from selling tobacco, alcohol, food, or beverages.

Can I vertically integrate my cannabis businesses?

Yes. For New Jersey regulators, the term alternative treatment center applies equally to growers, cultivators, processors, and dispensaries. Organizations are encouraged to vertically integrate as much of their business as possible.

Can I sample or give products away in-store?

No. Although New Jersey law does not specifically prohibit dispensaries from giving cannabis products away for free, the state does require dispensaries to account for all cannabis products as either “in-stock,” “sold,” or “destroyed.”

What are the operating hours for a retail shop?

New Jersey does not force cannabis dispensaries to operate during specific times. However, dispensaries must report operating hours to the Department of Health as part of their license application, however.

Can I have public-facing displays on my storefront?

Yes, but with restrictions. New Jersey does not allow cannabis imagery that promotes overconsumption, depicts children, or includes objects such as toys or cartoon characters.

How old does someone need to be to buy cannabis?

Medical marijuana patients must be at least 18 years old before they can purchase cannabis products at a dispensary. Minors may access cannabis products only through a registered caretaker, who may be the minor’s parent or legal guardian and must accompany the minor inside the dispensary.

What is seed-to-sale reporting and what is required of retailers?

Seed-to-sale reporting systems track the movement of cannabis products through the entire logistics chain. Batch numbers identify individual cannabis plants and cannabis products. Cannabis dispensaries must be able to report the entire movement of cannabis, from cultivation to sale, upon the request of the Department of Health.



Marketing marijuana could prove a tricky business in Jersey


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