by Michelle Rutter, NCIA’s Government Relations Manager
On Wednesday, June 19, the House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing entitled “Unlocked Potential? Small Businesses in the Cannabis Industry.” This is the first time in history that this committee has ever considered this topic! As the nation’s oldest and largest trade association, NCIA is proud to represent thousands of small businesses at this hearing.
The hearing will “focus on the opportunities the legitimate cannabis industry presents for small businesses in states with legal cannabis, as well as entrepreneurs from traditionally underserved communities. The hearing will also enable members of Congress to explore the challenges currently faced by those businesses, and also those of “ancillary” or “indirect” cannabis businesses who may not be directly involved in the production or distribution of cannabis products.”
NCIA has been proud to work very closely with the House committee on this hearing. As a result, Dana Chaves, who is chairwoman of NCIA’s Banking Access Committee and the Senior Vice President and Director of Specialty Banking at First Federal Bank of Florida will be testifying at the hearing!
Other witnesses will include Shanita Penny, M.B.A., President of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, Eric Goepel, Founder & CEO of the Veterans Cannabis Coalition, and Paul Larkin, who is the John, Barbara, and Victoria Rumpel Senior Legal Research Fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
The Committee memo also states “the marijuana legalization movement brings new opportunities for entrepreneurship and business start-up in the cannabis industry. Because this is such a nascent sector, legalization also allows policymakers to increase equity and diversity in the cannabis industry, which can take the form of addressing financial barriers to market entry and ensuring the industry reflects the local community.” It also recognizes that “because this is such a nascent sector, legalization also allows policymakers to increase equity and diversity in the cannabis industry, which can take the form of addressing financial barriers to market entry and ensuring the industry reflects the local community.”
According to a recent Leafly report, “Annual [cannabis] sales nationwide are nearing the $11 billion mark. And the number of Americans directly employed in this booming industry has soared to more than 211,000. When indirect and ancillary jobs—think of all the lawyers, accountants, security consultants, media companies, and marketing firms that service the cannabis industry—are added, along with induced jobs (local community jobs supported by the spending of cannabis industry paychecks), the total number of full-time American jobs that depend on legal cannabis rises to a whopping 296,000.”
NCIA applauds the House Committee on Small Business and Chairwoman Velazquez (D-NY) for discussing this important topic. NCIA is proud to represent all of the cannabis industry’s small businesses!