Cannabis trade associations reach out for federal relief support

Cannabis trade associations reach out for federal relief support


The coronavirus has impacted the US significantly, to get through this pandemic the federal government passed relief bills. Relief bills built for small businesses around the country and more importantly everyday taxpayers, non-dependents, social security retirees, disability, etc. These bills have shown great promise and hope, economically, for when life charges forward into the “normal” future.

Unfortunately, the cannabis industry has been left out in the cold. The cannabis industry is on pace to become a $100 billion industry by 2023, creating more tax money for the federal government to play with. Even with that big payday lingering in the short future, the federal government has refused to acknowledge the growing need for help from cannabis companies from around the country. Luckily all hope is not lost, industry leaders have stepped up, banded together, and sent a letter to federal officeholders.

Letters sent from the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp is addressed to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and House Minority Leader McCarthy. In the letter, it’s brought to the attention that according to SBA laws, “the cannabis industry and ancillary companies are ineligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs).”

The letter continues, “We believe that this is a severe agency overreach because it would exclude assistance for individuals in the cannabis industry working legally under state law. The cannabis industry is also ineligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Employee Retention Credit, which are short-sighted policy decisions given the crucial role the cannabis industry plays in the economy and state budgets.”

The letter continued addressing the further absence of any programs that could benefit the cannabis industry. Additionally, MoCannTrade sent letters to Missouri’s federal delegation. Both letters can be read below.

MoCannTrade executive director, Andrew Mullins writes that this would be a severe oversight as ineligibility would damage not only small businesses but the recovering economy as well.


“Over the next several years our industry has the potential to be one of the fastest-growing industries across Missouri, which is needed now more than ever,” wrote Mullins. “This huge economic potential is part of why we were recently disappointed to see that the recent large-scale stimulus relief packages, including CARES, prohibited our medical cannabis industry from participating. Not only are valuable programs like the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program and Employee Retention Credits not available to the 338 licensed medical marijuana businesses in Missouri, but many ancillary companies are ineligible as well.”

With coronavirus relief checks being mailed out, direct deposited and small businesses being approved for their SBA loans, the cannabis industry sits in a form of limbo. Democrat Representatives Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) and Ed Perlmutter (Colorado), Blumenauer, and Perlmutter led a letter last week, signed by dozens of members of Congress, asking House leadership to include these businesses in the interim coronavirus package. The Representatives also proposed a bill on April 23, that would include legal cannabis businesses in the relief bill. Blumenauer when interviewed, “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.”

Mullins continued stating that the cannabis industry needs just as much assistance as any other industry or small business in order for the economy to grow and reestablish itself.

“Our new industry has the real potential to be part of our state’s economic recovery,” explained Mullins. “But to do so, we need access to the same federal assistance opportunities that other Missouri small businesses have.”

042820_FINAL_Congressional SBA and Federal Relief Letter MoCannTrade letter to MO delegation re CARES Act

Kaden Quinn contributed to this story.