Marijuana Dispensaries Excluded From New York’s Coronavirus Loan Program

Marijuana Dispensaries Excluded From New York’s Coronavirus Loan Program

Not only are marijuana businesses excluded from federal coronavirus relief funds, but medical cannabis dispensaries in New York are also ineligible for a new COVID-19 loan program that the state is offering. Under the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), marijuana shops are specifically excluded, alongside payday loan providers, pawn shops, strip clubs, liquor stores and astrologers. Information pages about the program don’t provide a reason for why dispensaries are considered ineligible. “The working capital loans are timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan,” a description of the program states. This eligibility requirement restrictions come despite the fact that most states, including New York, have deemed cannabis businesses as essential services that can continue to operate during the pandemic. For the industry in the Empire State, the loan exclusion is another gut punch in a crisis. There have been widespread calls from stakeholders, advocates and legislatures to provide the market with equitable relief from the federal Small Business Administration and, while that so far has not panned out, there’s been hope that states could help fill the gap. “Given that cannabis businesses are ineligible for federal relief, it is unconscionable for the state of New York to deny them access to state-based relief efforts,” Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, told Marijuana Moment. “These businesses have been going…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Marijuana Dispensaries Excluded From New York’s Coronavirus Loan Program
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