Bill would qualify cannabis companies for SBA loans

A Democratic senator has officially introduced a bill that would make US cannabis companies fully eligible for federal loans from the Small Business Administration if successful.

According to a press release, Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada introduced the Fair Access for Cannabis Small Business Act, which would overturn the current ban on financial assistance to marijuana businesses.

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“The unfair impediments to basic government support and resources have hurt our state’s legally operating small cannabis businesses,” Rosen said in the announcement. “This legislation will level the playing field so small cannabis businesses — including those owned by people of color, women and veterans — have access to the same federal funds and credit that other legal businesses are entitled to.”

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Obstacles to SBA support have been a top complaint from cannabis companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the entire industry being labeled “essential” by almost every state with a functioning marijuana market. And the general lack of access to traditional financial services and banking has been a constant hurdle.

According to the press release, Rosen’s proposed legislation would give marijuana businesses access to “7(a) loans, catastrophe loans, microloans, the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program and the SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and Women’s.” business centers.”

Several industry leaders welcomed the law, saying it could provide a major financial boost for much of the cannabis sector.

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However, given the political momentum in the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority, the bill is likely to face a steep climb. A majority of 60 votes would be required to break a Republican filibuster.

Earlier this year, the Nevada senator called on the Senate Appropriations Committee to push for similar reforms through federal spending legislation, and also lobbied with leaders of the House Armed Services Committee for passage of the SAFE Banking Act.

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