Intake Policy for Marijuana Clients

OSBDC Intake Policy for Marijuana Clients

Background
The passing of Oregon State Ballot Measure 91 which “Allows possession, manufacture, sale of marijuana….” raised the question about whether the Oregon SBDC can work with clients wishing to start a business that engages in this activity.
Policy Findings
Part III.A.18 of the SBA Cooperative Agreement (which the Oregon SBDC Network must abide by) states that our award is “governed by and constituted under federal law”.  Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, we are prevented from assisting clients who engage in its use, sale and possession.
Talking Points with Clients
The SBA has informed the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network that we are not allowed to utilize any portion of our program funds/resources (Federal, State, Local or Program Income) to serve clients that self-disclose that their business “possesses, manufactures or participates in the sale of marijuana”.  The Oregon SBDC Network is governed under federal law, where marijuana is still illegal and there for we are prohibited from serving marijuana businesses in counseling or training (if self-disclosed).
Client Intake
The online Request For Counseling Form will be amended as follows:
I self-certify that my company (or business interest) does not engage in the possession, manufacture or sale of marijuana.  I understand that if my business does engage in these activities, I am not eligible to receive SBDC assistance.
Clients completing an SBA 641 Form (Request for Counseling) will need to be provided a separate self-certification notice in 2015 (SBA will not allow modification of this paper form).  The OSBDCN will provide a short one page notice (as shown above). OSBDC personnel should seek guidance from their respective Center Director, regarding how to handle client complaints or community comments regarding this policy.