POT PEDDLERS CRY FOR BAILOUT

WASHINGTON POST

Weed is deemed ‘essential’ in California, but many pot businesses are on the brink of failure

The industry has been hammered by high taxes, local opposition to retail stores, the vaping crisis and more. The coronavirus creates a new opportunity and another potential crisis.

As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries have experienced quite as many highs and lows as California’s cannabis industry. Just a month ago, it looked like California’s weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot “essential,” and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans. “There’s no money that’s going to be coming into the sector,” says Nicholas Kovacevich, CEO of KushCo Holdings, a major distributor to marijuana dispensaries. “All of these companies, including us, need to get profitable really quickly or risk running out of money.”

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