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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Marijuana dispensaries roll without a rescue

No federal help is on the way for medical marijuana businesses, so the fledgling industry in Oklahoma is finding its own way through the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis.

“We’ve had to look at taking cost-cutting measures and increasing our solvency on our own,” said Corbin Wyatt, CEO of Likewise Cannabis, which has dispensaries at 6808 N May Ave., 1609 N Blackwelder Ave., and in Edmond, Stillwater and McAlester. “All upper management took a temporary voluntary pay decrease amongst other cost-cutting measures.”

For medical marijuana, any road to recovery by way of a Small Business Administration loan or any other federal rescue is blocked by one stark fact:

“Because the cultivation and sale of marijuana is illegal under federal law, marijuana businesses and certain ancillary businesses are not eligible to participate in many of these programs … even though cannabis businesses are as equally harmed by the coronavirus pandemic as other law-abiding, tax-paying small business operators,” according to Vicente Sederberg LLP, a Denver law firm specializing in cannabis law and policy.

After this week’s allocation of another $310 billion for the SBA-run Paycheck Protection Program, with no provision for marijuana, the National Association of Cannabis Businesses asked Congress to rectify what it calls a double standard. [Read more at The Oklahoman]

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