– Jason Ortiz, MCBA President, 8606398101
– Amber Littlejohn, MCBA Senior Policy Advisor, 202-769-9970
Written by Jason Ortiz, President of MCBA
Washington D.C. – On April 23, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) Emergency introduced the “Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act.” The Minority Cannabis Business Association applauds and supports the ‘‘Emergency Cannabis Small Business Health and Safety Act’’ that would provide small cannabis businesses to access the Small Business Administrations COVID relief funding. The bill would allow cannabis businesses, including equity license holders and other minority entrepreneurs to compete for billions in loans and grants.
“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 response 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.”
“We are an essential service discriminated against in accessing small business administration relief. This has severely impacted our ability to keep providing jobs and safe and affordable medicine to an at-risk population. By allowing small cannabis businesses to access the same resources as other industries, we can participate in helping our nation recover from COVID both physically and economically.” said Brandon Banks, Cannabis Business Owner and Chair of MCBA Economic Empowerment Committee.
MCBA has worked with both Advocacy organizations and industry partners to push for access to SBA funds. This historic achievement came after almost a year of direct lobbying and organizing on this issue. MCBA was also a key advocate on advancing the SAFE banking bill through the house, a key enabling bill to ensure SBA access runs smoothly.
“Cannabis businesses are major employers and significant contributors to local economies in Colorado and across the country,” said Rep. Perlmutter (CO-07). “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.”
“This bill would ensure our struggling equity businesses can weather this difficult storm and come out the other side stronger than ever. We thank Rep. Blumenauer, Rep. Nydia Velazquez and everyone who worked on making this a reality.” said Jason Ortiz, President of MCBA.”Now let’s get to work passing this legislation and securing our communities the support they rightfully deserve.”
“We must come together as a community and ensure our small businesses are able to access these resources so that we can ensure our communities continue to own and operate our fair share of cannabis businesses.” Jessica Velazquez, Owner of Indiva Advisors LLP, a financial services firm serving the cannabis industry and Treasurer for MCBA Board of Directors.