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This Cannabis Software Company Secured a $2.2 Million Paycheck Protection Program Loan – New Cannabis Ventures

May 17, 2020

Cannabis software company Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN), the parent of MJ Freeway, disclosed in its 10-Q for the quarter ending March 31 that it received a $2.2 million Paycheck Protection Program loan in April. The company received the loan, which is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, prior to guidance that was issued on April 23rd, and it is “evaluating the impact this guidance has on Akerna and the PPP Loan”, though it’s not clear what exactly the company is evaluating.

MassRoots also received a PPP loan that was disclosed in its SEC filings, which created an uproar, as companies that derive revenue from the cannabis industry may be prohibited from accessing SBA loans. Cannabis-focused law firm Vicente, Sederberg stated, “While SBA has not formally addressed the eligibility of marijuana businesses for the broader Paycheck Protection Program, it appears prior SBA regulation and policy guidance may prohibit access to this program by marijuana businesses and certain other types of businesses.”

Akerna can prepay up to 20% of the loan at any time, but, prepayment in excess of 20% will require the company to pay all accrued interest if the loan has been sold on the secondary market. The two-year loan carries an interest rate of 1%, with interest deferred for the first six months. The company didn’t disclose the lender.