Congressmen Introduce Legislation To Include Cannabusiness In COVID-19 Relief
On April 23, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado) introduced legislation that would make cannabis businesses eligible for Small Businesses Administration (SBA) COVID-19 relief programs.
Currently, state-legal cannabis businesses are being left out of relief that was established to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, they are unable to access and participate in SBA’s loan programs — financial support that is designed to pay workers, health care benefits, and family or sick leave. This legislation would grant state-legal cannabis businesses eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and Economic Injury Disaster Loans emergency advances.
“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. “We should include state-legal cannabis in federal COVID-19 reponse efforts. 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.”
“Cannabis businesses are major employers and significant contributors to local economies in Colorado and across the country,” said Rep. Perlmutter. “They should receive the same level of support as other legal, legitimate businesses and be eligible for SBA relief funds during this COVID-19 crisis.”
Blumenauer also led a bipartisan coalition of nearly three dozen Congressmembers in calling on House leadership to ensure cannabis businesses are included in future relief efforts.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.