The state legal cannabis industry has made great strides in the past couple of years, but there’s still a long way to go. The industry was valued at $13.6 billion in 2019 and experts expect it to grow in leaps and bounds over the years but the ongoing federal prohibition is severely holding it back. Unfortunately, this trickles down and negatively affects the tax paying folk who work in state legal cannabis establishments. One such instance of discrimination, according to Rep. Katherine Clark and other lawmakers, is against veterans seeking home loans.
For the past year, she’s been pressing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) on the difficulties veterans who work in the marijuana industry have faced trying to obtain a certificate for eligibility for VA home loan benefits. At least one constituent told Clark that they were denied a home loan as they work in the cannabis industry, and as a result, she circulated a sign-on letter and introduced an amendment to resolve the issue. However, the VA recently clarified to Congress that it doesn’t have any policies that bar veterans working in the cannabis industry from receiving home loans.
“VA is committed to working diligently to serve our nation’s veterans by providing eligible veterans with home loan guarantee benefits. There is nothing in VA statutes or regulations that specifically prohibits a veteran whose income is derived from state-legalized cannabis activities from obtaining a certificate of eligibility for VA home loan benefits. However, given the disparity between federal and state laws on cannabis, determining whether such a veteran is able to obtain a loan has become a complex issue,” states a report submitted to Congress last month by VA.
It continues to say that a person’s “reliance on marijuana-derived income may hinder a veteran’s ability to obtain a VA guaranteed home loan, a result that is consistent with other federal housing programs.” Why so? Fearing cannabis -derived income isn’t necessarily stable and reliable, individual lending companies may see veterans working in the cannabis industry as too high risk. The thought is that federal officials could shut down the veteran’s employers at any time, cutting off his income.
Lawmakers have urged the VA to do more, especially to “improve communications with eligible lending institutions to reduce confusion among lenders and borrowers.” According to Rep. Clark, no veteran should be denied benefits simply because they work within the legal cannabis industry. “This must be crystal clear in our laws and communicated directly to both borrowers and lenders. By including this language, we’re eliminating any doubts about the rights of our service members and protecting their ability to access what they’ve rightfully earned.”
Industry watchers believe the cannabis industry actors like Pure Extracts Corp. share the same sentiments about ending the discrimination against military veterans who work in the state-legal cannabis industry.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information please visit https://www.CNW420.com
Do you have questions or are you interested in working with CNW420? Ask our Editor
CNW420 is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.