House Bill Would Allow Cannabis Businesses To Access COVID-19 Relief Funds

Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a bill this week that would allow cannabis businesses to benefit from emergency stimulus packages related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado,  drafted a bill to allow cannabis businesses to be eligible to participate in disaster relief aid programs enacted by the federal government. 

Cannabis Sector Employs 250K In US 

While the cannabis industry employs nearly 250,000 Americans and has been deemed essential in many states, many of the businesses will not survive the pandemic without assistance, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. 

The Emergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act would revert this situation, allowing businesses that produce and sell cannabis, as well as businesses that provide services to the cannabis industry, to be eligible for funding services provided by the federal Small Business Administration.

The proposal is aimed at businesses dealing with marijuana and marijuana-related products, since businesses that produce or sell hemp and hemp-derived products were not been left out of SBA’s aid opportunities. Hemp was made federally legal by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Cannabis is still considered federally illegal.

“As Congress seeks to provide relief to small businesses across America, chief among those being left out are state-legal cannabis businesses that are essential to communities and have met the demands of this crisis,” said Rep. Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

"Without providing these businesses the relief needed to carry out the recommended public health and worker-focused measures, we are putting these hard-working people — and ourselves — at risk."

Picture by Unsplash.

Posted In: Aaron SmithCovid-19Earl BlumenauerEd PerlmutterEmergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety ActNCIACannabisHealth CarePoliticsMarketsGeneral

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