The New Jersey Cannabis Market - Clinical Registrants and Microbusinesses

The New Jersey Cannabis Market – Clinical Registrants and Microbusinesses

As we wait for New Jersey to drop more information on cannabis applications, those interested in starting their business should be aware of some key definitions in the process.

New Jersey’s Legalization History: 

On February 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed cannabis legalization bills into law. The Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act established the framework for the legal, adult-use market in New Jersey. According to this bill, there are three different license types one can apply for: cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries. The Cannabis Regulatory Committee (CRC) is responsible for reviewing all applications to New Jersey’s cannabis program. Under this framework, special consideration by the CRC is given to applicants that apply as clinical registrants.

Clinical Registrant

A clinical registrant is an entity with a written relationship with an academic medical center in the region. This occurs when parties conduct clinical research related to the use of medical cannabis. The academic medical center will then advise on patient health and safety, medical applications, and dispensing controlled dangerous substances.

A clinical registrant may engage in all activities involving the cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing of medical cannabis. 

  • Conduct activities at more than one physical location, as long as each location is in the same region as the academic center with which the clinical registrant is associated.
  • May apply to the commission for approval to relocate a facility to another location in the same region.
  • Dispense medical cannabis from more than one location if it is necessary for the clinical registrant to best serve and treat qualifying patients and participants.
  • Operate social consumption lounges. 


According to New Jersey’s cannabis licensing laws, a microbusiness is a business with a strong, established connection to the state, subject to a certain size and operational limitations. Several licenses are reserved solely for microbusinesses. As a result, microbusinesses only need to compete against one another to win a license, eliminating competition from bigger businesses. This should give small businesses seeking to enter the industry a level footing once New Jersey begins accepting applications. 

According to New Jersey law, a microbusiness must meet the following definitions: 

  • All of the owners must be current New Jersey residents, and must have resided in New Jersey for the past two consecutive years.
  • At least 51% of the owners, directors, officers, and employees must be residents of the municipality where the business will be located.
  • The business can have, at maximum, ten employees.
  • The business operating space can be no more than 2,500 square feet (and in the case of cultivators, can have a height of no more than 24 feet).
  • No owner, director, officer, or other person with a financial interest and decision-making authority in any other cannabis business can have any financial interest in a microbusiness.

Although the governor signed this bill into law on Feb. 22, 2021, there currently are no application forms or further details on the license application process.

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is responsible for overseeing the application process and regulating licensees. The CRC has 180 days from the law’s effective date to finalize and release these details. Check back for another update on the New Jersey cannabis license application soon! 

How Point7 Can Help:

Point7 has over 40+ years of combined experience working in regulated cannabis markets worldwide. Are you a potential clinical registrant or microbusiness? Point7 can help. Our team has obtained over 80 cannabis licenses for clients in highly competitive international markets. Contact us today to see how we can help you succeed on your New Jersey licensing application!

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