Stimulus Funds Could Save Over 10,000 Cannabis Jobs
Without access to the traditional banking system, the marijuana industry faces all sorts of uphill battles without access to the services that are available to all other types of businesses.
A survey recently concluded by Leafly and the National Cannabis Roundtable found that many thousands of cannabis industry jobs could be saved if given they had access to federally authorized stimulus funds. The study surveyed 484 cannabis cultivators, growers, retailers, processors and other industry personnel to conduct the study. Since the start of COVID-19, countless businesses have been forced to temporarily close, or work from home, while some have had no other choice than to close completely.
The survey was conducted from April 20th-May 5th, and the results showed that 85% of these businesses agreed that they would have been able to save some amount of jobs with access to stimulus funds, while 30% reported that they will likely be forced to close their doors for good without any help. Federal relief has been denied to countless cannabis industry businesses, similar to how many banks will not work with a cannabis-related company due to the illegality of cannabis at a federal level, even though it is currently medically legal in more than half the states in the country.
In response to the denial of federal funds to further aid and support cannabis industry jobs, a coalition of cannabis industry advocates and industry leaders wrote a letter to Congress on Friday to urge Congress to put policies into effect to save some of the industry jobs impacted by the pandemic. The coalition of cannabis activists asked congress to consider putting the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act aka the ’SAFE’ Act into place so that financial institutions are able to work with cannabis industry businesses in a way that is compliant with each state's rules and regulations. Despite lacking access to many financial services, and many jobs being lost, the cannabis industry has remained one of the fastest-growing industries in the country during this challenging time.
The National Cannabis Roundtable Executive Director stated, "Before this crisis began, the cannabis industry represented the fastest-growing jobs market in the US." Working to ensure access to traditional banking services for the cannabis industry through the passage of the SAFE Act would be a huge step towards further legitimizing the marijuana industry in the United States.
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