NEW JERSEY – Nearly 500 people set up accounts on the state’s cannabis business application platform, with over 160 officially applying to be one of the first legal cannabis companies in the state, officials from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission said.

The CRC opened at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. for uses for recreational cannabis breeders, manufacturers, and test labs. By 1 p.m., the application platform had an average of 155 new users per hour, officials said.

According to a spokesman for the CRC, 160 applications had been completed and submitted by Wednesday evening.

“We are excited to reach this milestone,” said CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown. “Applications are coming in, the platform is doing well, and we can officially celebrate the start of the state’s recreational cannabis industry. The licensing and operation of growers, manufacturers and test laboratories will set the framework and create the offer for retailers who begin licensing “in March 2022.”

This March schedule includes business owners who will apply for pharmacy and retail business licenses.

Applications are continuously reviewed as soon as they are received. The state hopes that this will give business owners “timely access” to the developing market. Therefore there is no application deadline once the window is open. Continue reading: NJ Marijuana Market Rules Approved: Here’s What We Know

State officials are trying to “remove the barriers to entry that have plagued some cannabis markets across the country” through the application and licensing process.

Government regulators are trying to correct these errors, among other things, by charging affordable application fees, which can go as high as $ 100, and by creating “flexible application requirements” for micro-businesses and individuals applying for conditional licenses.

According to the CRC rules, social equity companies, variously owned companies, micro-businesses and applicants for conditional licenses are prioritized in their review and evaluation. These include businesses owned by people with previous cannabis convictions, businesses in designated economically disadvantaged areas, and businesses owned by minorities, women, and disabled veterans.