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Disabled veteran denied a VA mortgage over his marijuana dispensary job in Massachusetts

By MICHAEL BONNER | MassLive.com (Springfield, Mass.) | Published: June 3, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — As a benefit of serving in the military, veterans have access to low-rate mortgages with no money down. One disabled Massachusetts veteran was denied that benefit, though, due to his legal job in the marijuana industry, according to the Boston Globe.

A 35-year-old veteran spoke to the newspaper anonymously to protect his military relationship, but said he was denied a loan in January because he was an assistant manager of a licensed cannabis store.

“I was actually accomplishing a lifelong goal of mine, and then to have it pulled right out from under you at the 11th hour … I was blown away,” he told the Globe. “It was very frustrating and demoralizing.”

While marijuana is legal in several states, it remains illegal federally. The distinction has created many problems, including for marijuana companies trying to work with banks to secure loans or to establish checking or savings accounts.

The veteran, a native of Revere, called his congresswoman, Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., after being denied the loan, he told the Globe.

Clark’s office, the Globe reported, was told the VA didn’t deem the veteran’s source of income as “stable and reliable.”

Clark vowed to draft a legislative response; however, the veteran is still looking for a home for his wife and two children and is unable to receive a loan he is entitled to as a veteran, he told the Globe.

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