WASHINGTON DC – Last week, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced the Fair Access for Cannabis Small Business Act to ensure that legally operating cannabis small businesses have access to loans and programs provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Currently, the SBA excludes all small businesses with direct or indirect products or services that aid the use, growth, or enhancement of cannabis from accessing SBA loans and programs.
- Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the legislation on Thursday…would prevent SBA from denying a series of loans and other services—including disaster relief, micro-loans, and technical assistance—to businesses solely because they are involved in state-legal cannabis markets.
- Rosen, who serves on the Senate Small Business Committee, has been a longstanding advocate pushing for reform at the SBA to treat the cannabis industry no differently than other traditional markets.
- Over the summer, Rosen asked colleagues on the powerful Appropriations Committee to include provisions in a spending bill to give small marijuana businesses fair access to SBA loan programs and entrepreneurial development resources, for example.
- The federally illegal cannabis industry has long been denied services provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA), but that could change under legislation that U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., introduced this week.
- “The unfair barriers to basic federal support and resources have hurt our state’s legally-operating cannabis small businesses,” Rosen said in a public statement. “This legislation will level the playing field so that cannabis small businesses—including those owned by people of color, women, and veterans—have access to the same federal resources and loans that other legal businesses are entitled to.”
Marijuana Business Daily: US senator wants marijuana businesses to access 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.
- “Senator Rosen’s landmark legislation would help advance equity and innovation in the cannabis industry by leveling the playing field for independent cannabis operators,” Khadijah Tribble, CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council and a senior vice president at Curaleaf Holdings, said in a statement.