How to Work In Cannabis

Requirements by State

Map of the United States

Politics, budgets, and public support vary widely by state, which means each state’s requirements to work in the cannabis industry look completely different from one another.* This map and corresponding state information is not updated in real time. For up-to-the-minute information on requirements to work in cannabis, visit the governing body links provided on each state page.

17States & DistrictsAdult use cannabis is legal
21States & DistrictsMedical cannabis is legal

How to get your cannabis license in:

Shape of New Jersey

New Jersey

Adult Use:
Market Overview:

New Jersey has both a medical and adult-use cannabis program. As of June 2022, New Jersey has begun accepting and issuing licenses for adult-use retailers, manufacturers, cultivators, and testing laboratories.

New Jersey is projected to be the largest recreational cannabis market on the East Coast with their total population of approximately 8.8M.

Requirements & Application Process:

A New Jersey Business ID card is required to work at an adult-use facility. These IDs belong to and stay with the retail outlet, and not the individual, so the application is submitted through the dispensary. As of June 2022, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission told Vangst that the portal to license adult-use cannabis workers has not yet opened.

Stores are making hires by assuring the state that they will file applications once the system is prepared.

In order to pass the application process, an employee:

  • Must be at least 21 years old and have a current and valid ID issued by New Jersey, another state or the federal government (think: passport)
  • Must have completed an authorized training course
  • Must have authorized and cleared a criminal history background check

In order to gain employment by an Alternative Treatment Center (ATC), you must undergo fingerprinting and a background check.

Background Check Requirements:

According to New Jersey law, these are the crimes in the state's code that could prevent you from being issued an ID:

  • N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4.1.b (Booby traps in manufacturing or distribution facilities)
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:35-6 (Employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme, or a similar indictable offense involving the use of a minor to dispense or distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog);
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:35-8 (Distribution to persons under age 18); and
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:35-11.1(Counterfeit drugs, medical devices); and
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:36-5 (Delivering drug paraphernalia to person under 18 years of age); and [t]hat may include any State, other state, or Federal offense involving fraud, deceit, or embezzlement.

The following information is reviewed by the New Jersey Department of Health for medical programs:

  • Any convictions of the applicant under any Federal, state or local laws relating to drug samples, wholesale or retail drug distribution or distribution of a controlled substance;
  • Any felony conviction under Federal laws, or the equivalent conviction under state or local laws;
  • The applicant's past experience in the manufacturing or distribution of drugs or controlled substances;
  • The furnishing of false or fraudulent material in any application made in connection with drug or device manufacturing or distribution;
  • Suspension or revocation by Federal, state or local government of any registration currently or previously held by the applicant for the manufacture or distribution of any drugs, including controlled substances;
  • Compliance with license and/or registration requirements under any previously granted license or registration, if any;
  • Compliance with requirements to maintain and/or make available to the Department or Federal or law enforcement officials those records required by this subchapter; and
  • Any other factors or qualifications the Department considers relevant to and consistent with ensuring public health and safety.
Additional Links:
Additional Job & Salary Information:

How To Prepare for Your New Jersey Cannabis Business ID Card via Vangst Learn

2021 Salary Guide

State Regulations Forum: Get your state regulations questions answered in our community forum.

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