Lawmakers push Congressional Leaders to include Cannabis Businesses in Coronavirus Relief Bill

Lawmakers push Congressional Leaders to include Cannabis Businesses in Coronavirus Relief Bill

A bipartisan group of 34 members of Congress is calling on House leadership to include language in the next coronavirus stimulus bill to allow marijuana businesses to access federal disaster relief that is available to other industries. “The state-legal cannabis industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy and workforce, employing over 240,000 workers across 33 states and four territories, and generating $1.9 billion in state and local taxes in 2019,” the lawmakers wrote. “State-legal cannabis businesses need access to CARES Act programs to ensure they have the financial capacity to undertake the public health and worker-focused measures experts are urging businesses to take.” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) led the effort to build support for the letter, which was released on Friday. A similar letter to Senate leadership, led by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), is also in the works and is expected to be released in the coming days. As it stands, the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains that cannabis companies — as well as those that “indirectly” work with the industry like accounting and law firms — are ineligible for its loan and lending programs, including those pegged to the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry stakeholders and lawmakers have emphasized that while many cannabis shops remains open as state-designated essential services during the outbreak, the market is at economic risk as governments issue shelter-in-place orders and encourage social distancing. As a major sector of state economies that employ tens of thousands of workers, the marijuana industry needs SBA access during the crisis,…

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Source : Marijuana.com
Link to original : Lawmakers push Congressional Leaders to include Cannabis Businesses in Coronavirus Relief Bill
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