The Small Business Administration (SBA), a United States government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, recently made things harder for loan seekers with even a remote affiliation to the marijuana industry. Previously, SBA refused to grant government backed loans to businesses with direct involvement in the industry, even if the business was legal under state law. Now, according to a CNBC report, the new SBA rule goes much further and also precludes lending to any firm that is even indirectly doing business with a marijuana-related operation, significantly expanding the number of businesses no longer eligible for SBA-backed loans.
The rule defines such a business as one that “derived any of its gross revenue for the previous year (or, if a start-up, projects to derive any of its gross revenue for the next year) from sales to Direct Marijuana Businesses of products or services that could reasonably be determined to support the use, growth, enhancement or other development of marijuana.”
In Places like Colorado and California, where marijuana-related operations comprise such a substantial part of the economy, many otherwise legal business operations may now be ineligible for SBA loans.