Handful of cannabis-related firms received coronavirus stimulus money

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Roughly a half-dozen companies with ties to the cannabis industry received $3.5 million to $8.7 million from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program designed to help small businesses keep workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Law360, the following ancillary companies received the PPP loans based on a government database made public this week:

  • Anne Holland Ventures, publisher of Marijuana Business Daily, $1 million-$2 million.
  • Akerna Corp., a cannabis compliance technology company, $2 million-$5 million.
  • The Arcview Group, a cannabis investment research firm, $150,000-$350,000.
  • Canna, a marijuana consulting firm doing business as Canna Advisors, $150,000-$350,000.
  • Hemp Temps, a hemp and marijuana staffing agency, $350,000-$1 million.

Law360 previously reported that marijuana technology company MassRoots received a PPP loan of $50,000.

Whether cannabis companies are eligible for loans under the program, signed into law March 27, has been somewhat unclear.

The U.S. Small Business Administration rules appear to prohibit businesses that derive revenue from direct marijuana companies from receiving the federal stimulus money.

But experts interviewed by MJBizDaily over the past several months offered different interpretations of the rules. They also said that loan eligibility could be determined by a company’s existing banking relationship because financial institutions actually issue the loans.

The loans were designed to help cover payroll but also could be used for rent, mortgage interest or utilities. A company meeting those criteria can apply for its entire loan to be forgiven.