NEWS BRIEF

Trump’s move to restore some jobless benefits could help marijuana sales

The coronavirus-related enhanced jobless benefit of $600 a week that recently expired would be cut to $400 a week under an executive memorandum signed by President Donald Trump over the weekend.

It’s unclear how quickly the jobless benefit will be put in place or to what extent the stimulus will influence cannabis spending patterns.

Marijuana sales generally have increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

The $600-a-week temporary lifeline expired July 31, raising issues about the potential impact especially on recreational marijuana sales during the recession.

Trump’s executive action calls for cash-strapped states to pay for 25% of the jobless benefit, or $100 a week per qualified individual.

But Trump indicated Sunday that the federal government could pick up the full tab on a case-by-case basis if a state governor requests help.

Trump also signed executive actions that would defer payroll taxes and give key federal agencies the power to extend moratoriums on renter evictions. Both measures could help bolster marijuana sales, but again, it’s unclear to what degree.

The president’s executive orders came as Congress failed to make progress on an economic stimulus deal.

Democrats wanted to preserve the $600-a-week enhanced jobless benefit; Republicans wanted to slash it to $200.

Federal spending decisions are under the domain of the Congress, so it’s possible Trump’s executive actions will face legal challenges.

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