The National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) Aaron Smith, along with his team, has been championing the message that #CannabisIsEssential, and that these essential business should have access to relief programs that other small businesses receive.
Cannabis businesses were prevented from accessing relief from the Small Business Administration due to cannabis’ status as prohibited on the federal level. “Our message is clear: Cannabis is an essential industry and we must be treated fairly. Nearly a quarter-million jobs depend on it,” says Smith.
Like any small business in the wake of the pandemic, many cannabis producers, dispensaries, and ancillary business are struggling. They’re also highly regulated (especially in regard to packaging) and taxed compared to many consumer goods producers, which could cause a longer rebound time or cause businesses to shutter permanently.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) introduced the Emergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act in the House of Representatives.
“This critical legislation would allow legal cannabis businesses to access disaster relief loans and other programs available during the COVID-19 crisis.”
- For more on cannabis and COVID-19, check out Jim Chrzan’s coverage, Cannabis and the Coronavirus, on how medical and recreational cannabis growers and retailers were deemed essential services to help Americans cope with “stay-at-home” orders.
- Next, read up on CBD, the FDA and False Health Claims: Covid-19 and Beyond (Pro-tip: Download Packaging World’s 2020 Cannabis Packaging Focus at the bottom of this page.)
- Listen to PMMI's podcast: ”Don’t Fear The Reefer.”