When Lisa Capitani decided to start a small business to educate and guide medical marijuana patients, she knew she needed some advice.

So Capitani Nurse, who lives in Newton, turned to cannabis-related nurses throughout the country. And she applied for a free consultant and consultant through SCORE who would like to start a business.

However, her application was rejected recently because the program is funded by the US Small Business Administration and marijuana use is illegal at the federal level. Capitani’s experience often illustrates just one of the many hurdles that can be encountered before starting cannabis-related businesses.

Cannabis-related businesses often find it difficult to get a startup loan. Aid programs are prohibited. You cannot take the same tax deduction as other businesses. You can’t even use Quickbooks.

These barriers stem from the same issue: State law contradicts federal law regarding cannabis legality.

“There are enough challenges to enter into this new semi-regulatory sector,” Capitani said.

In response to a request from the HOST Connecticut Media Group for comment, the national SCORE spokesman outlined the 2019 Small Business Management Policy for Mariana-related businesses. The policy states that “those who earn money from marijuana-related activities or who end up using marijuana may not be eligible for SBA-sponsored technical assistance.”

According to the policy, the decision must be made in each case.

“SCORE is a US Small Business Management Partner and recipient of federal assistance,” the spokesman said in an email.

Capitani’s goal in the business is to advise and educate patients when they start taking medical marijuana. She herself is a patient. Cannabis helped her to cope with her chronic illness, and her brother went through the process of treating some of the cancer side effects.

“This is a stressful process, and it is good to have a medical history and to have access to their health care providers and advocates,” she said.

Aaron Smith, chief executive of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said he heard similar problems with Capitani Daily. He says the most common problem that cannabis businesses face is getting a first loan.

Many banks are reluctant to lend money to cannabis-related businesses, and it is difficult for those businesses to obtain deposit services at many banks. A 1970 anti-money laundering law requires banks to report to the Financial Crimes Network if they are suspected of fraud, embezzlement or money laundering.

This can lead to the conversion of cannabis-related businesses into private loans or private capital, Smith said.

“The only problem is that many small businesses and entrepreneurs do not have access to private capital,” he said. “Especially color communities and other disadvantaged communities.”

Connecticut has taken steps to ensure that communities most affected by the drug war are represented in the new Adult Use Program.

The state plans to receive a loan for social justice applicants.

However, this does not apply to cannabis-related businesses that do not sell or produce marijuana, such as Capitani.

The Federal Tax Code does not allow marijuana businesses to take tax deductions for normal business activities such as marketing, pay or security expenses. However, according to the Internal Revenue Service website, the price of the item may be reduced.

The Small Business Administration policy puts cannabis-related businesses out of the running for federal loans, among other programs offered by the administration.

“It’s kind of like a modern-day ban,” he said. “We are not seeing SWAT groups tread on government-licensed cannabis businesses, but the impact of federal law on the industry makes it very difficult to enter cannabis.”

Even simple services like Intuit Quickbooks can sometimes not be found in cannabis businesses, Smith said. The accounting software’s website lists marijuana trade as a prohibited trade category.

Jana Champagne, a founding member of the Cannabis Nurses Network, has been involved in various cannabis-related businesses for years. She now runs an integrated holistic care provider, which provides medical advice and education related to medical marijuana and CD.

Champagne In 2014, she became a patient and advocate. She specializes in the use of cannabis to treat autism.

Although it is thought that marginalization and road conditions have decreased since medical marijuana first began, it is still difficult to get started. She has worked in various capacities in her work in Oregon, and In 2018, she said, the 501 C-3 standard was banned because it is related to cannabis.

She said the nonprofit was offering scholarships to patients who could not afford courses to learn about cannabis.

“It’s improving in the baby stages, and sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back,” she said.

Small businesses, like Capitani’s planned company, are affected by what some call “government stigma”.

Now banned from the consulting program, Capitani plans to spend the next few weeks completing her business plan. She is also calling on lawyers to help her deal with the challenges she may face – this is part of a process she hopes SCORE can help.

“It is frustrating that there is an organization in our region that can help me and not help me,” she says.