During a House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing, Amber Littlejohn stated that minority-owned and small cannabis firms may not survive without federal relief.
Littlejohn, the executive director of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, stated that supporting the SAFE Banking Act as well as other measures would make state-legal cannabis companies eligible for federal financial assistance from the Small Business Administration. The subcommittee hearing, which was held last week, discussed consumer protections and financial institutions.
Littlejohn then explained that minority marijuana businesses would probably not survive long enough to see federal legalization, especially without some relief from Congress. She added that social equity programs at the state level hadn’t been able to keep most minority-owned businesses from going under.
These comments led David Scott, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, to propose that issues on cannabis be addressed in the 2023 farm bill. Some are hopeful that going this route may help legalize cannabis, which was what happened with hemp.
The 2018 farm bill federally legalized the production of hemp by removing the plant from the Controlled Substances Act, and the hemp industry has grown significantly since the bill was approved. Currently, however, cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Substances under this classification are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment. However, numerous studies have shown that cannabis and various cannabinoids are useful in the treatment and management of a number of conditions.
In a recent interview, the primary sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter stated that he’d received confirmation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she would support keeping the banking initiative attached to the America COMPETES Act if the House bill, which had already been passed, was reconciled with the Senate’s version.
The Creating Opportunities To Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology (COMPETES) Act was passed by the House in a 222–210 vote. This is the second legislation that the banking act has been attached to. It was first attached to a national defense budget bill and had advanced, before it was stripped out by Senate leadership.
The objective of this multibillion dollar measure is to boost the competitiveness of the United States, partly by strengthening the manufacture of semiconductors.
Perlmutter remains determined to get the banking act past the finish line in order to help many cannabis companies, which are vulnerable to criminal activity.
Given the way larger cannabis companies, such as Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF), have found success in jurisdictions with legal marijuana markets, it would only be fair that minority-owned businesses in this space receive any support they can get in order to establish a firm footing and even thrive.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/RWBYF
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