The he second round of applicants wanting to enter the cannabis industry in New Jersey is officially on.

The state Cannabis Regulatory Commission began accepting applications this week from those interested in opening a retail outlet to sell recreational cannabis to adults.

By 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the commission said it had received 172 applications.

“Today is the day where the CRC (Cannabis Regulatory Commission) portal opens and applicants who wish to apply for a retail license to sell cannabis … are allowed to do so,” said Michael DeLoreto, Director at Gibbons’ Government and Regulatory Affairs Department, who handles cannabis work.

“This is a day that a lot of businesses have been waiting for.”

This week the state panel was also expected to finish reviewing applications from eight of about dozen alternative treatment centers that sell medical marijuana and are looking to the expand to the recreational market. The commission is expected to provide an update on their application status at its March 24 hearing.

The first wave of license applications began on Dec. 15. Those applications included ones from the dozen alternative treatment centers.

“Since the portal opened in December, potential cannabis entrepreneurs have been establishing accounts and beginning the application process, so we did not see the flurry of new accounts being set up today as we did on December 15,” said CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown in a statement. “What we saw were applicants who were already familiar with the system and ready to apply.”

The commission is expected to receive hundreds of applications. Among the requirements is local government approval to sell cannabis.

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