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Senate holds first hearing on SAFE bill to help marijuana businesses access financing

Senate holds first hearing on bill to help marijuana businesses access financing

The US Senate held its first-ever hearing on the SAFE Banking Act yesterday (May 11, 2023), a bill that the country’s cannabis industry sees as critical to its survival.

As CNBC reports, the hearing, dubbed Examining Cannabis Banking Challenges of Small Business and Workers, heard testimony from bi-partisan lawmakers, including Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., who reintroduced the stand-alone bill last week.

Alongside cannabis industry stakeholders like the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition, Drug Policy Alliance and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the Senate’s banking committee heard how businesses struggle to secure bank accounts and loans from banks in order to run their businesses.

With strong support and 38 additional co-sponsors in the Senate, the bills proponents said they were ‘encouraged’ to see the bill reintroduced after key improvements to the legislation.

US cannabis industry’s $100 billion economic impact varies by state

The combined economic impact of both medical and recreational cannabis sales in the US is expected to hit $100bn in 2023, according to a recently published study by MJBiz Factbook. 

While the cannabis industry’s economic impact across the US has grown by 12% year-on-year, the level of impact by state differs significantly.

Although highly populated states with big markets, such as California which is set to see cannabis sales hit $17.7bn this year, are generating large dollar amounts, smaller less populated states are generating more impact per person.

Alaska, for example, will deliver roughly $1,431 of economic impact per person this year, while Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico will each pump almost $800 per resident into their respective states.

TerrAscend Corp. Reports Q1 2023 Financial Results: Revenue Soars 42.8% YoY

TerrAscend published its Q1 financial results this week, announcing a 42.8% increase in revenue year-on-year ‘despite a challenging environment’, though this represented growth of just 0.6% sequentially.

Net revenues for the quarter came in at $69.4m, while the company’s adjusted EBITDA came in at $12.2m, the same as the previous quarter.

Despite this, GAAP net losses from continuing operations were $19.2m, compared to just $2 in Q4 2022.

“This was our sixth consecutive quarter of sequential revenue growth and our third consecutive quarter with positive and increasing cash flow from operations,” Jason Wild, executive chairman of TerrAscend stated.

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