A bill introduced in Congress last week aims to help small business owners navigate the ins and outs of cannabis licensing.

The legislation, the Homegrown Act of 2019, would set up a so-called Small Business Association grant program to “provide state and local governments with funding to help small businesses navigate cannabis licensing and employment with a focus on communities most impacted by the War on Drugs,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dwight Evans, a Pennsylvania Democrat. 

“My bill would act as a poverty-buster and help homegrown small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. We need to make sure that the booming legal cannabis industry does not become consolidated in the hands of a few big companies,” the congressman said in a press release. 

“My bill would help small businesses to participate in this industry and knock down barriers to jobs and entrepreneurship for people most adversely impacted by the war on cannabis, which has been especially harsh for people of color,” added Evans, who is Black.

The bill, introduced just ahead of Congress’ Fourth of July recess last Thursday, has now been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as to the

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