New Jersey

NJ-CRC and NJ Department of State Announce Technical Assistance Program For Cannabis Entrepreneurs

TRENTON – The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) has recommended that the Treasury Department fund a cannabis training academy. The program is intended to be administered by the State Department’s Business Action Center (NJBAC) to provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs establishing cannabis businesses in New Jersey.

The NJ-CRC Audit Committee recommended that the Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Fund be allocated to the Business Action Center to establish a new program to provide free educational courses, technical assistance in business plan creation and completion other aspects of license applications and servicing cannabis business owners.

Commission Vice-Chairman Sam Delgado, who sits on the Audit Committee, expressed his excitement at the program, which will be launched next year. “We emphasized fairness and accessibility in the application process, and this program will help ensure aspiring entrepreneurs have the optimal business know-how to give them the best chance of succeeding in the cannabis space. The Cannabis Training Academy will begin providing the training and guidance needed to help individuals and support the stability and success of the emerging market.”

“Supporting these new entrepreneurs to thrive is critical to ensure fair representation of small and diverse cannabis businesses and owners,” added Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “This support is essential to helping people and communities targeted during cannabis prohibition to achieve greater equality, access and participation and to improve their lives, their families and their communities.”

The curriculum proposed by the NJBAC includes modules designed to help participants decide if a cannabis business is right for them, and includes developing a business plan and a Legacy to Legal course. Some program resources will be targeted to “specially designated categories” which include social participation companies, mixed-ownership companies, micro-enterprises and Impact Zone companies. There will be a 10-week accelerator track to guide conditional license applicants through the initial application process and a separate track to convert them to annual licenses.

“Classes at the Academy are delivered by faculty who work in, have taught or consulted with the cannabis industry,” said NJBAC Executive Director Melanie Willoughby. “For 40 years, NJBAC has provided businesses with real-time help and support to help them navigate state government and connect to helpful resources. We look forward to building on our advocacy work for small businesses to support this burgeoning market.”

Josh Belle, an advocate for long-established cannabis entrepreneurs, welcomed the announcement. “Having this program specifically for cannabis entrepreneur owners will be of great importance to many entrepreneurs who have the heart and dedication to the industry but could use some help with technical training. Great that it’s free too. Starting a business is expensive enough and there are too many consultants and the like taking advantage of cannabis entrepreneurs.”

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission sets and enforces the rules and regulations governing the licensing, cultivation, testing, sale, and purchase of cannabis in the state.

About the New Jersey Business Action Center
The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC), housed within the New Jersey Department of State and operating under the direction of Executive Director Melanie Willoughby, is a business-focused resource that offers free, confidential assistance to help businesses grow. The team helps businesses of all sizes save time and money by receiving responses from government agencies, directing businesses to the appropriate officials and contacts, and facilitating meetings and follow-up by regulators. For more information, call 1-800-JERSEY-7, visit or follow Twitter at @NJ_BAC.

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