In a move that could help capital-starved social equity businesses compete with deep-pocketed investors, a U.S. senator introduced a bill that would enable marijuana entrepreneurs to receive Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
If approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden, the Fair Access for Cannabis Small Business Act introduced by Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, would open SBA programs to “legally operating cannabis businesses” who are currently prohibited from such federal assistance.
That second-class status was keenly felt during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when emergency payments and forgiven loans from the Paycheck Protection Program extended to most U.S. owners were not available to plant-touching firms.
That disparity hurt small companies more than well-capitalized multistate operators.
“The unfair barriers to basic federal support and resources have hurt our state’s legally-operating cannabis small businesses,” Rosen said in a statement
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