Marijuana Business Magazine May-June 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | May-June 2020 28 Many states declared cannabis companies “essential businesses” during the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed them to maintain operations, but the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump have barred state-legal marijuana businesses and most ancillary MJ companies from receiving grants or low-interest loans through the $2 trillion federal stimulus package and related bills. The move denies a financial lifeline to cannabis businesses at a time many are struggling financially and cutting employees. A possible silver lining exists, though. One of the industry’s foremost tax specialists believes that many cannabis companies might qualify for payroll tax credits. The U.S. Small Business Administration came out with regulations on April 2, the eve of the program’s launch. But those regulations specifically barred “direct” and “indirect” marijuana businesses from obtaining loans and defined an indirect business as one that “derived any of its gross revenue for the previous year” from sales to direct marijuana companies. “The purpose of the loans is to keep people employed. To penalize cannabis companies and the employees who work for them is wrong and unfair,” said cannabis tax specialist and certified public accountant Dean Guske, managing director of Guske & Co. in Bellevue, Washington. IndustryDevelopments | International & State National & International News Countries included have passed legislation at the federal level and must fulfill at least one of the following criteria: • Cultivation, manufacture or sale of medical and/or recreational cannabis allowed. • Doctors can prescribe medical cannabis. • Import and/or export of medical cannabis allowed. High: Countries at the forefront of the global industry. Frameworks are established, and adoption is well underway. Medium: Implementation has begun but is still limited or restricted; lots of room for the market to develop. Low: Legislation has been passed, but implementation is very limited or nonexistent. Decriminalization is not included. MAP LEGEND High level of medical development/implementation Medium level of medical development/implementation Low level of medical development/implementation Other - federally illegal but unique circumstances Recreational Marijuana Companies Mostly Shut Out of $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package