Marijuana Businesses Could Get Federal Disaster Relief Funds Under New Congressional Bill

Marijuana Businesses Could Get Federal Disaster Relief Funds Under New Congressional Bill

Marijuana businesses impacted by recent natural disasters or that have experienced financial distress due to the coronavirus pandemic would be eligible for federal relief programs under new legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday. Because cannabis remains federally prohibited, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has explicitly denied the industry—and businesses that work indirectly with it—access to its relief programs like other markets. That means, for example, marijuana farmers in states like California and Oregon that have seen their crops destroyed by wildfires are fully dependent on state and local assistance. The new Small Business Disaster Relief Equity Act would resolve that problem, stipulating that disaster- or COVID-related services, grants, loans and tax benefits that are made available through federal agencies or congressional legislation cannot be denied to cannabis businesses solely because of the nature of their work, as long as it is in compliance with state law. What’s more, the bill states that the the heads of federal agencies that administer disaster relief such as SBA “shall, to the greatest extent practicable, allow State-legal cannabis businesses to retroactively apply for such disaster assistance.” Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) filed the companion bills. “Cannabis businesses in Oregon hurt by the blazing wildfires or any other disaster shouldn’t be shut out from federal relief simply because the federal government is stuck in yesteryear,” Wyden said in a press release. “These legal small businesses employ thousands of…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Marijuana Businesses Could Get Federal Disaster Relief Funds Under New Congressional Bill
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