New home payments would name hashish corporations into query for state help to small companies

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced three new bills to challenge state-licensed marijuana companies for federal small business services, including loans, disaster relief and grant programs.

The legislative package aims to create parity for cannabis companies that are currently banned from receiving federal aid as marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. The country’s legal cannabis industry now supports nearly 320,000 full-time jobs in the US, according to industry estimates.

As more states pursue the legalization of cannabis, a growing number of legitimate small businesses are being excluded from critical @SBAgov programs.

Chairs @nydiavelazquez, @Repdwightevans and @RepGolden have put in place bills to change this.

Read more about their legislation here 👇

– Small Business House Committee (@HouseSmallBiz) April 20, 2021

The measures are largely similar to the legislation introduced by the legislator in 2019, with a few minor changes.

A bill sponsored by House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) would give marijuana companies access to Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) resources. The 2021 Secure Access to Capital for All Small Businesses Act, which had not been assigned an invoice number Tuesday afternoon, would expand access to services such as microcredit, disaster relief and the agency’s loan guarantee program.

“With more states seeking legalization, including my home state of New York, there are growing numbers of legitimate small businesses excluded from critical SBA programs,” Velázquez said in a statement, noting that much of the cannabis industry is made up consists of small shops.

Compared to Velázquez’s 2019 bill, the new version contains clauses aimed at expanding the availability of services. While the 2019 bill applied to SBA itself, the provisions of the new legislation also prevent SBA intermediaries, private lenders, and state and local development companies from refusing to work with businesses for their marijuana-related work.

Another new section looks at debt securities – certain unsecured loan certificates – and clarifies that SBA cannot refuse to buy or guarantee a debt security just because a company has an interest in cannabis. Other small business investment firms can’t refuse to help the cannabis sector either.

“This legislation will fuel growth by expanding affordable capital to small businesses in the cannabis space,” she continued. “At the same time, the bill recognizes the structural disadvantages that color entrepreneurs are faced with and seeks to create a level playing field.”

Another newly revised measure, HR 2649, sponsored by Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), would establish a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) grant program to provide state and local governments with funding they can provide in the Help manage the licensing process for cannabis companies. The bill, which also removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, provides that the grant money should be used to benefit communities disproportionately affected by the drug war.

My #HomegrownAct would help small businesses navigate #cannabis licensing and employment, with a focus on the communities hardest hit by the war on drugs.

Read more here: https://t.co/Do7ek2STWB https://t.co/K91iHPcCqk

– Congressman Dwight Evans (@RepDwightEvans) April 20, 2021

“My bill would act as a poverty fighter, helping local small businesses that are the backbone of our economy and our neighborhoods. We need to make sure that the booming legal cannabis industry doesn’t get consolidated in the hands of a few big companies, ”said Evans.

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A third bill, HR 2649, by Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), would prohibit SBA partners providing advice and training services from refusing to help companies based solely on their involvement in cannabis. The changes would affect vendors such as SBA’s Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, among others.

“Our continued economic recovery depends on the health of all types of American small businesses. In this environment in particular, no Maine small business owner should be deterred from important SBA programs that could help create jobs and stimulate the economy, ”said Rep. Golden. “My bill would help address this problem by giving small business owners directly or indirectly linked to the cannabis industry access to the services and resources they need to get their small businesses off the ground and growing.”

In the meantime, federal legislators have made progress on other proposals related to cannabis. The House passed a cannabis banking law on Monday, and more comprehensive legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level is expected soon.

Banking legislation would ensure that financial institutions can accept business cannabis customers without facing federal penalties. Fear of sanctions has deterred many banks and credit unions from working with the industry and forced marijuana companies to operate on a cash basis, making them criminal targets and creating complications for financial regulators. The whole House passed the law with 321-101 votes.

“Even if you are against the legalization of cannabis, you should support this bill,” said sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on the floor of the house. “The fact is, people in states and localities across the country are voting to allow certain levels of cannabis use, and we need these cannabis companies and employees to have access to checking accounts, payroll accounts, lines of credit, credit cards, and more.

Other Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), are working on laws that make the federal End cannabis ban entirely.

Schumer said last week that the long-awaited proposal would be introduced “soon” and “soon” put on the floor. Schumer has so far refused to go into the details of the law, although he has stressed that it will prioritize small businesses and people most historically affected by the drug war.

In an interview with Marijuana Moment earlier this week, Schumer feared that the passage of the House’s banking law this year could actually undermine wider cannabis reform in Congress.

On the house side, judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) recently said he intended to reintroduce his own legalization law, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which the house in last year A landmark vote released, but did not advance in GOP-controlled Senate.

Meanwhile, support for legalization continues to grow among US voters. More than 9 in 10 Americans (91 percent) support legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes or for adults, according to a poll published Friday by the Pew Research Center. Sixty percent of respondents said cannabis should be legal for both medicinal and adult use. Thirty-one percent said it should only be legalized for therapeutic purposes, while only eight percent said it should continue to be criminalized across the board.

A majority of respondents of all ages, races, and political groups said that some form of marijuana should be legal, although many Republicans remain suspicious of adult legalization. Seventy-two percent of Democrats were in favor of legalization for both medical and adult use, compared with just 47 percent of Republicans.

Among the minority against federal legalization: President Joe Biden (D). White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month that the president’s position on the issue “has not changed,” meaning he is still opposed to reform. On Tuesday, Psaki refused to say whether Biden would sign or veto a law to legalize cannabis if it were passed by Congress.

Instead, the president supports modest rescheduling of the facility, decriminalization of possession, legalization of medical cannabis, deletion of previous marijuana records, and allowing states to set their own guidelines.

Read the full text of the new legislation below:

Ensuring Safe Capital Access for All Small Businesses 2021 Law of Marijuana Moment on Scribd

Ensure Access to Counseli… of Marijuana moment

Homegrown Act by Marijuana Moment on Scribd

Schumer Worries Senate marijuana banking vote could undermine a broader legalization push

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