New bill surfaces in Washington to give cannabis businesses access to SBA loans

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More positive movement for the cannabis industry is coming to Capitol Hill

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) helps the public start and grow their businesses. Through a network of local offices and partners, the SBA assists, advises and protects the interests of small businesses. Unsurprisingly, this benefit has been exclusive to traditional industries, leaving cannabis out of the equation. However, Senator Jacky Rosen wants to put an end to this inequality of opportunities, introducing a few days ago the Fair Access for Cannabis Small Business Act.

Through this measure, Rosen seeks to allow legal cannabis businesses to have access to loans granted by the SBA. Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the SBA currently does not allow small businesses related to the plant to access its offerings. However, as banking reform continues to lag, any type of financial assistance would not go amiss for these types of businesses.

“The unfair barriers to basic federal support and resources have hurt our state’s legally-operating cannabis small businesses,” Rosen stated. “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.”

In states such as Nevada, it has been indicated that there are more than 700 cannabis and adult-use operating licensees. If the new legislation passes, businesses like these would be able to access SBA programs and loans such as microloans, loans, disaster loans, and even the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program and SBA resource partners.