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How can I use EB-5 investment to expand my licensed cannabis business?

Are there any restrictions on allocating EB-5 investment money into my cannabis business? My company is completely licensed for technology, formulations and branded products in California.

Answers

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 program is federal. I have no information that the state-licensed cannabis business is accepted by the federal government.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Ironically while California, more than any state in the country, has been in the forefront of regulation of cannabis and its related business ventures, the same thing cannot be said of the federal government which has stoutly opposed the growth of the industry. Under federal law, cannabis is a controlled substance and illegal drug just like cocaine. It is considered illegal with no acceptable medical use. Therefore, as of now EB-5 investment in the cannabis industry from a federal point of view remains non-approvable and future investments are unpredictable. For example, financial transactions by the cannabis industry with any FDIC regulated financial institutions are virtually barred.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Even if your business is licensed under state law, it is not legal under federal law. EB-5 is a federal immigration program. You cannot help a foreign EB-5 investor obtain a green card based on investment in this type of business under current law.

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    Robert West

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot. Marijuana is illegal under federal law and EB-5 is a federal program. Be very careful, as I know someone who personally was accused of being a drug trafficker. He was not a U.S. citizen and he was deported to his home country. Stay out of the marijuana business until you become a U.S. citizen.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The commercial enterprise must be lawful under federal law. I believe this would preclude the investment even though your business is lawful under state law. I would explore this idea with an experienced investment immigration attorney.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since it is not legal under federal law, I do not see this working for EB-5.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot. Cannabis and anything related to it is a violation of federal law, which governs all things related to immigration.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    The simple answer is that until marijuana becomes legal to own, sell and use in the United States at the federal level, you cannot use EB-5 funds to expand this kind of business. It is almost definite that USCIS will have an issue with this. The fact that in certain states the use or in some cases the sale of this product is legal for medical and even recreational uses does not mean that EB-5 investors who invest in your project will be able to get a green card. Besides, you should also familiarize yourself with all the other standard requirements of EB-5 funding.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you use any EB-5 money for a cannabis business, that foreign national will likely be found inadmissible or banned from the U.S. There is no way a foreign nationals can invest in a business relating to marijuana and obtain immigration benefits.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Since EB-5 is a federal program and the federal government is staying away from all of this, letting individual states try it out, I would be highly suspect that such a business would be accepted for EB-5.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Licensed cannabis business may be legal statewide, but cannabis/marijuana use and/or sale is not legalized federally. Since USCIS operates on federal law, this may not be the best choice for EB-5 immigrant investor financing.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We strongly recommend that you not seek permanent residency through an EB-5 investment into the cannabis business. While same may be completely legal under the laws of California, it is still not legal under the laws of the United States and you could well be found to be excludable from same.

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