Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 4.1. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Subtitle II. Cannabis Control Act
Chapter 15. Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Program and Fund
5/28/2024

Chapter 15. Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Program and Fund.

§ 4.1-1500. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"CDFI" means a community development financial institution that provides credit and financial services for underserved communities.

"Fund" means the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund established in § 4.1-1501.

"Funding" means loans made from the Fund.

"Program" means the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Program established in § 4.1-1502.

"Social equity qualified cannabis licensee" means a person or business who meets the criteria in § 4.1-606 to qualify as a social equity applicant and who either holds or is in the final stages of acquiring, as determined by the Board, a license to operate a marijuana establishment.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1501. Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Cannabis Equity Business Loan Fund, referred to in this section as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All funds appropriated for such purpose and any gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes of providing low-interest and zero-interest loans to social equity qualified cannabis licensees in order to foster business ownership and economic growth within communities that have been the most disproportionately impacted by the former prohibition of cannabis. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon written request signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1502. Selection of CDFI; Program requirements; guidelines for management of the Fund.

A. The Authority shall establish a Program to provide loans to qualified social equity cannabis licensees for the purpose of promoting business ownership and economic growth by communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the prohibition of cannabis. The Authority shall select and work in collaboration with a CDFI to assist in administering the Program and carrying out the purposes of the Fund. The CDFI selected by the Authority shall have (i) a statewide presence in Virginia, (ii) experience in business lending, (iii) a proven track record of working with disadvantaged communities, and (iv) the capability to dedicate sufficient staff to manage the Program. Working with the selected CDFI, the Authority shall establish monitoring and accountability mechanisms for businesses receiving funding and shall report annually the number of businesses funded; the geographic distribution of the businesses; the costs of the Program; and the outcomes, including the number and types of jobs created.

B. The Program shall:

1. Identify social equity qualified cannabis licensees who are in need of capital for the start-up of a cannabis business properly licensed pursuant to the provisions of this subtitle;

2. Provide loans for the purposes described in subsection A;

3. Provide technical assistance; and

4. Bring together community partners to sustain the Program.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.

§ 4.1-1503. Annual reports.

On or before December 1 of each year, the Authority shall report to the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations on such other matters regarding the Fund as the Authority may deem appropriate, including the amount of funding committed to projects from the Fund, or other items as may be requested by any of the foregoing persons to whom such report is to be submitted.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 550, 551.