Senator Files Bill To Provide Marijuana Businesses With Federal Small Business Loans And Assistance That Other Industries Get

A U.S. senator has introduced a new bill that would allow state-legal marijuana businesses to access federal Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and services available to companies in any other industry.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the legislation Thursday amid a week of significant congressional action on marijuana reform.

The senator’s proposal would provide disaster relief for businesses as they participate in the government-legalized marijuana market. It will prevent repeated denials of loans and other services, including microloans and technical assistance.

“Unjustified barriers to basic federal support and resources are hurting our state’s legal marijuana small businesses,” Rosen told Marijuana Moment. “This legislation will level the playing field so that other legitimate businesses, including small cannabis businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans, have access to the same federal resources and loans.”

On the “Fair Access Act for Small Marijuana Businesses,” Rep. A House bill introduced last year by Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) contained similar provisions; However, the legislation also contains broader language to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The bill would amend the Small Business Act to include language in various sections providing that loans and services cannot be denied even though those federal statutory provisions do not “provide.”

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Rosen’s legislation calls for the marijuana industry to receive “assistance from resource partners” and small business development centers; Velázquez’s bill also includes some additional amendments to the Small Business Act, such as ensuring access to service providers like women’s business centers and veterans businesses. Outreach centers.

.Rosen’s bill would also uniquely amend an SBA technical assistance section to support the marijuana industry.

“For the black and brown communities that have been devastated by decades of the war on drugs; As we approach the end of marijuana prohibition, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said US Cannabis Council (USCC) CEO Khadijah Tribble. released on Friday. “But without access to capital through financial tools like SBA loans, most black and brown marijuana entrepreneurs can’t profit from an industry that once scorned them, even in countries where they are considered legal.”

Rosen, who serves on the Senate Small Business Committee, has been a longtime advocate of reforming the SBA to treat the marijuana industry differently from other traditional markets.

Over the summer, Rosen asked colleagues on the powerful Appropriations Committee to include provisions in the spending bill to give small marijuana businesses fairer access to SBA loan programs and entrepreneurial resources.

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The senator raised the issue during a Senate Small Business Committee hearing last year, prompting then-nominee and current SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman to seek expanded access to companies in the government-legal marijuana market.

Criticism of the lack of SBA access for marijuana companies has come to the fore during the coronavirus pandemic. Rosen, along with nine other senators, led a separate letter last year addressing the issue.

The SBA confirmed that in 2020, marijuana companies will not be eligible for disaster relief loans due to the coronavirus.

While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has talked about the possibility of easing SBA access through the incremental marijuana reform plan that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is actively finalizing, others are focusing on a more narrowly tailored approach to the final bill. On Bilateral Separation and Banking Proposals.

“Senator Rosen’s landmark legislation will improve equity and innovation in the cannabis industry by leveling the playing field for independent cannabis operators,” said USCC’s Tribble. “Coupled with the Safe Banking Act, the Fair Access to Cannabis Small Businesses Act will create a regulatory framework that will ensure a vibrant startup scene and diversity of players.”

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Schumer, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced in July the SBA “intermediate loan provision to create a 10-year pilot program. “To support small marijuana businesses owned by people disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

Rosen’s bill was introduced the same week the Senate passed a bipartisan marijuana-research bill passed by the House. Cannabis reform legislation is recognized as the first time it has been sent to the president’s desk.

Also on Tuesday, lawmakers held a hearing to discuss federal marijuana legalization and state marijuana developments, and heard testimony from a group of reform advocates.

The chairman of the subcommittee holding the hearing said he would soon introduce a bill aimed at protecting federal workers from being denied security clearance for marijuana.

Read the text of Rosen’s bill on cannabis industry access to SBA services below.

House previews bill to protect federal workers from losing security clearances due to marijuana

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