Reps. Blumenauer, Lee, McClintock, and Young Urge House Leadership to Include Cannabis Businesses in Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief

April 17, 2020
Press Release

Today, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Don Young (R-AK), co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, were joined by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) in urging House Leadership to include state-legal cannabis businesses, which employ nearly a quarter-million Americans, in future COVID-19 relief efforts.

Currently, state-legal cannabis businesses are being left out of federal COVID-19 relief. The bipartisan letter was signed by nearly three dozen members of Congress and called for cannabis businesses to have “access to and participation in SBA’s loan programs—financial support that is designed to pay workers, group health care benefits, and family or sick leave.”

“Like other businesses with continued operations, cannabis businesses have met the moment by preserving access to treatment for patients with chronic conditions, donating protective clothing, and manufacturing equipment for medical use. However, unlike other small businesses, cannabis businesses are not eligible for the CARES Act programs,” wrote the lawmakers in the letter.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is no time to permit federal policy to stand in the way of the reality that millions of Americans in states across the country face daily—that state-legal cannabis businesses are sources of economic growth and financial stability for thousands of workers and families, and need our support. Given the nature of the epidemic, we must ensure that everyone has the capacity to carry out the recommended public health and worker-focused measures. Without doing that, we risk undercutting the public health efforts nationwide.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.