Last month, the federal Small Business Administration released a new policy indicating that direct cannabis businesses, indirect cannabis business, and hemp businesses would be locked out of the federal agency’s lending services, according to Green Market Report’s Debra Borchardt. Last week, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer wrote to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon urging her to repeal the guidance, saying the rule “would be impossible to implement and wreak havoc across multiple sectors of the economy.”
“For example, would just one order from a cannabis business for soil preclude a locally-owned garden center from receiving federal government loan support in the future?” – Blumenauer in a letter to McMahon
Blumenauer says he has long-supported the SBA loan program but the guidance effectively prevents “businesses that derived any of their revenue from sales to ‘direct marijuana businesses’ and hemp-related businesses” from receiving SBA loans.
In Oregon, Blumenauer contends, the cannabis industry is worth $800 million and the companies and employees that contribute to that economy “pay taxes that support schools and local law enforcement, and contribute to their state and local economies.”
The guidance also prevents individuals that have received SBA-backed loans from leasing space “to any business engaged in any activity illegal under federal, state or local law (such as a marijuana dispensary).”
Of note: McMahon’s son, Shane McMahon, invested $500,000 for a stake in EnviroGrow, which builds cannabis-growing modules. That relationship led to a 2017 lawsuit, in which McMahon claims the company’s manufacturing plant was “virtually nonexistent.” Linda has never publicly commented on her son’s investment and did not address the cannabis issue while running for Senate in Connecticut.