VA Loans Being Denied to Veterans Who Work in the Cannabis Industry

Real Estate Agent with Falcon Property Solutions

Veterans in Budding Industry Penalized

Eligible veterans who qualify under the GI Bill for a VA home loan are being denied their allowance by the Department of Veterans Affairs if they work in the growing industry of marijuana sales.

As of the summer of 2019, thirty-eight states and territories have some form of legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and eleven states and the District of Columbia allow recreational sales. At least twelve other states allow the sale of pot that has low levels of THC (that's the component that makes a consumer high).

In the State of Colorado there are almost three thousand licensed businesses that sell legalized pot, and over forty-two thousand individuals who are licensed to work in the industry. Nationally there are approximately 200,000 Americans currently employed in the production and sale of weed. But even though they are working a legal job in their home state, their VA loans are being denied because under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug. This leaves the veteran open for prosecution under anti-money laundering statutes.

The Veteran's Administration considers work in this rapidly-growing industry as dubious and unstable as a source of income to qualify for a home loan. Colorado alone surpassed one billion dollars in tax revenue, with recorded legal sales to be over six-and-a-half billion dollars. The estimated total demand for legalized cannabis in the United States this year is said to be almost fifty-five billion dollars, hardly an unpredictable commodity.

Congress Reacts

In a letter from a score of Members of Congress to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, he has been asked to provide details on the VA's policies of granting loans or other benefits to veterans if they are employed in the cannabis trade. "No veteran should be denied the benefits they've earned solely based on their participation in their state's legal cannabis programs, and Congressman Don Young (R-AL) wants details and clarification from the VA on how they plan to move forward."

The letter also states: "A substantial number of veterans earn their livelihoods in this industry and, in coming years, that number is likely to further rise. The VA must acknowledge this reality and ensure veterans who work in this sector are able to clearly understand and can equitably access the benefits they've earned."

A response from the VA is expected in the near future.

 This post was originally written as VA Loans Being Denied to Vets Who Work in the Cannabis Industry by Mimi Foster 

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Mimi - maybe a grass roots effort is needed to address this situation.  With state's rights versus federal laws(and such) this might be an issue that will take time to change.  

Jul 13, 2019 03:23 PM #1
Ronald Curtis
Manes Realty Group - North Palm Beach, FL
Negotiating the best price and terms for my Buyers

It seems that the present administration doesn't have veterans or serving military as their priority. TV this evening, had a segment showing wives of active servicemen, having a hard time feeding their children. Remember Ike's farewell address, "Beware of the Military, Industrial complex." Our tax dollars go to a lot of uneeded weapon systems with  Congress funding their districts to ensure their reelection.

Not that it makes a difference but I am a veteran of WWII.





Jul 13, 2019 08:21 PM #2
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That doesn't seem fair.  I hope they get it sorted out soon.

Oct 08, 2019 11:29 PM #3
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

This makes me sad. You'd think the VA of all would understand the importance of this product. So many people are helped by it. So much pain lessened.

Not to mention, what a freakin' cash cow industry!

Oct 19, 2019 02:52 PM #4
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