The continuing federal prohibition of marijuana has made cannabis entrepreneurs in New Jersey rely on personal funds or private financing to get their projects up and running. This has put up a significant barrier to entry into the market for many license applicants. In effort to free up financing while various bills continue to be introduced at the federal level, Governor Murphy signed bill S2945 on June 30, 2022, enacted as P.L.2022, c.48., which permits the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to extend financial incentives to certain cannabis businesses as detailed below.

Under the law prior to the bill, cannabis license holders and property owners, developers, and operators of projects that are to be used to benefit these licensees were prohibited from receiving certain State or local economic incentives. The new law provides that these exclusions do not apply to small cannabis businesses located in “Impact Zones,” as established by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, enabling them to receive the economic incentives that otherwise would have been unavailable. The bill defines “small business” to mean any business which has its principal place of business in this State, is independently owned and operated, and employs the equivalent of fewer than 250 full-time employees.