Update on NJEDA Cannabis Grant Program
During the February 8, 2023, meeting of the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) provided some much awaited details about its plans to provide grants to cannabis entrepreneurs. The NJEDA announced that it has approved two Pilot programs for cannabis businesses, which are claimed to be the most generous state grant program for cannabis businesses in the country.
One program will provide up to $150,000 to 24 grant winners and the second program will provide up to $250,000 to 24 grant winners. Applicants can only receive one of the two grants.
To be eligible for either grant, the applicant must be a company formed after March 2020 and have less than 50 employees. In addition, to qualify for the $150,000 grant, the applicant must satisfy the “social equity” requirements under New Jersey’s Cannabis laws and hold a conditional cannabis license from the CRC. To qualify for the $250,000 grant, the applicant must have control over their real estate and have municipal support for their location. These applicants can be any type of business, but 40% of the available funds are set aside for “social equity” applicants and 5% for applicants who will operate in impact zones. Upon being awarded a grant, applicants will be provided up to $100,000 but only become eligible for the additional $150,000 grant after they receive their annual license.
The funds awarded under these programs can be used for a variety of business expenses including rent, mortgage payments, payroll, legal fees, and professional services. Grant funds cannot be used to acquire property, or for construction.
The NJEDA expects to make applications available for these programs in late February or early March.