March 27, 2020 10:25 am ETEstimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
At this time, it is safe to say that almost all of us know someone that has been directly affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Many people across the nation and around the world have lost their ability to go to work and to provide for their families. During this health emergency, we are also starting to see truly the real essential workers among us. While we can all live without actors, actresses, and sports leagues we are quickly learning that we cannot live without health care providers, food service providers, grocery store clerks, truck drivers, and for many of us, our local cannabis business employees.
During this time when we are seeing gyms, hair salons, bars, and many other businesses closing their doors cannabis businesses providing products to medical cannabis patients across the nation have been deemed essential. However, unfortunately, since cannabis is still considered highly illegal at the federal level the estimated 240,000 people that are employed in the US within legal state cannabis markets remain ineligible for nearly all other benefits offered by the federal government including emergency relief funds.
Calling On Lawmakers to Do What’s Right and Provide Aid
So, while these individuals are being deemed necessary, they do not have the same access to benefits that many others do. For this reason, a coalition of cannabis industry trade groups has sent a letter to leaders within the House and Senate calling on our lawmakers to remove these restrictions and allow provisions to open up doors for cannabis businesses to qualify for aid and assistance.
The letter was sent by members of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Cannabis Trade Federation, Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, National Cannabis Roundtable, and the Minority Cannabis Business Association. You can find some quotes directly from the letter below.
Apply For Your Medical Marijuana Card Today
Veriheal has satisfied hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide
Get approved or your money back
Appointments available on-demand
Customer support available 24/7
“Our members follow strict regulations, create jobs, generate billions of dollars in tax revenue—including federal corporate tax revenue—and act as good corporate citizens,” the groups said. “Yet it appears as if these businesses will not be eligible for the same loans available to other businesses in this country at risk due to the global pandemic.”
“The ineligibility of cannabis businesses for disaster assistance loans is especially inequitable given that these same cannabis businesses are required to comply with other coronavirus-related measures, such as paid sick leave coverage. We are not seeking special treatment for state-legal cannabis businesses. We only seek to have them treated on an equal level as all other job-generating, tax-paying companies in this country.”
NORML Working to Do Their Part but the SBA is Blocked by Federal Laws
The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws AKA NORML also posted in a recent blog that they are reaching out to allies on Capitol Hill regarding the “tremendous amount of uncertainty in the broader economy” as well as the “hundreds of thousands of American workers that are employed by state-legal cannabis Industries” and calling for them to be “respected and protected by the emergency actions being taken by elected officials.”
After conferring with experts, NORML stated that the act recently signed into place that directs funding to state governments to help with the pandemic should provide the “individual states with the authority to decide for themselves which industries are legally eligible to receive benefits.” This puts the responsibility on lawmakers to amend rules at the state level to ensure that state legal compliant cannabis businesses are able to receive disaster relief aid.
Unfortunately, federal entities such as the Small Business Administration or SBA are forbidden from providing any sort of financial aid to companies operating in industries that are considered illegal under federal law. This means until this restriction is lifted, individuals within the cannabis sector will largely be unable to receive benefits during national emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
Blunts: What are they exactly, and how do they affect your body? If you’re interested in smoking blunts—or already smoke them—this guide is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this popular cannabis intake method, including how they’re made, how they differ from spliffs and joints, risks of use, and alternative intake…
“Stoned,” “high,” “tripping,” and “baked,” are all terms engrained in the cannabis community. These metaphorical descriptions contribute to how we perceive, interpret, and learn from the experiences produced by cannabis consumption. Cannabis experiences, of course, are unique and highly variable. Specific plant strains, the presence of other cannabinoids, different delivery methods, and a user’s individual…
Thanks to the growing wave of legalization, more consumers than ever can grow their own cannabis right at home. Growing essentials that used to be secretive are now bought and sold freely. This includes items, like grow tents, nutrients, LED lighting, HPS lighting, ventilation, and more. Keeping all these items straight is hard enough, but…
Skin diseases plague millions of individuals, inflicting both physical discomforts in addition to mental and social stress. Thankfully, there is no shortage of skin treatment options available on the market. That said, this established market may soon be in for a major shake-up if recent cannabis research is any indication. Traditionally, cannabis research focused on studying…
As more states move toward legalization, accurately detecting impaired driving is of the utmost importance. Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) have long been the go-to method for law enforcement to assess driver impairment caused by substances like alcohol. However, a recent 2023 study published in JAMA Psychiatry raises serious questions about the accuracy of these tests…
The statements made regarding cannabis products on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cannabis is not an FDA-approved substance and is still illegal under federal law. The information provided on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. We strongly recommend that you consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare provider before using any cannabis products. The use of any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk.