NJEDA Announces New Cannabis Grant Program
New businesses in the cannabis industry may be eligible for state funding for their start-up expenses.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board recently announced the creation of the Cannabis Equity Grant Program. The initial pilot program will provide $10 million to help start-ups in New Jersey with startup expenses and technical training.
Sixty percent of funds will be reserved for qualifying social equity applicants, such as individuals who have previous cannabis convictions or live in economically disadvantaged areas, defined as zip codes that meet particular socioeconomic criteria. These businesses may receive up to $250,000 to help with certain start-up expenses, like wages, utilities, rental expenses, and regulatory fees. To qualify, the business must hold a conditional cannabis license, have been formed after March 2020, and employ 50 or fewer employees. These grantees will be required to participate in NJEDA-provided business education and technical assistance courses. There is no application fee for businesses in economically disadvantaged areas.
Forty percent will be available to all business entities who have conditional licenses, municipal approval, and site control over their business’ real estate. These businesses may receive up to $250,000 in grant support for eligible expenses. The application fee is $1,000.
Five percent will be available for businesses in “Impact Zones” determined by multiple socioeconomic factors, such as levels of unemployment rates, population, and marijuana arrests.
The NJEDA has not yet published the program’s guidelines or start date. Businesses will have 180 days to apply following the Grant Program’s launch.
Questions about the application process or cannabis law in general? Please contact our firm attorneys with any questions you may have. Our attorneys regularly help businesses in the cannabis space with their day-to-day legal and business questions.