WEEDNESDAY MARCH 25 2020
HAPPY HEMP DAY!
IN TODAYS REPORT
HEAVILY REGulated canadian cannabis markets causing many dispensaries to close, the regulations are determined by each province and so some are able to fill online orders while others are only able to do online orders and sidewalk pickups
The US Senate has just agreed on a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package to help boost the economy during the coronavirus quarantine, but as usual, state-legal cannabis businesses are being left out of the picture.
On Monday, Greg Hubly, the owner of a small weed business in Washington State, asked the Small Business Association (SBA) whether cannabis companies would be eligible for federal relief packages. The Pacific NW chapter of the SBA responded that “with the exception of businesses that produce or sell hemp and hemp-derived products… marijuana-related businesses are not eligible for SBA-funded services.”
The current stimulus package includes the following key points that could impact hemp businesses:
Relief for small businesses: $10 billion was earmarked for Small Business Administration emergency grants, with up to $10 million of emergency relief per business. Another $17 billion was allocated for the SBA to cover months of payment for small businesses with existing SBA loans, according to a letter sent to colleagues by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York who spent hours negotiating with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Relief for farmers: Sen. John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota who chairs the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, said Tuesday that the stimulus package would replenish the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corp. spending authority, raising the borrowing limit at least temporarily to $50 billion, according to Agri-Pulse.
The hemp and CBD sector was poised to grow rapidly in coming years “and right now because of COVID-19 hundreds of thousands of jobs and literally thousands of (small and midsized) companies are going to be lost,” the petition stressed.
The petition asked Congress to:
Pass the SAFE Banking Act to make it easier for hemp and CBD businesses to borrow from banks.
Change the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code to allow people to use money in tax-shielded health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts to buy hemp and CBD products.
Change the dietary supplement rules to include CBD in a two-year probationary period.
The Division of Agriculture used Facebook Live Tuesday to provide an overview of the industrial hemp program, including how farmers, processors and marketers can be registered and get started in the industrial hemp business, and allow a dialogue between regulators and participants.
Anyone involved with hemp must be registered to legally produce, process and and/or market hemp and hemp-derived products, according to the Alaska Division of Agriculture.
The new regulations break the industry into three components: growers, manufacturers and retailers, according to Rob Carter, the state agronomist and manager of Alaska’s Northern Latitude Plant Materials Center.