Farm Credit Canada, a government-owned agricultural lender, has steadily increased its exposure in the regulated cannabis sector in recent years, according to new figures provided to Marijuana Business Daily.
The Crown corporation’s current lending to the cannabis sector sits at around 140 million Canadian dollars ($106 million), which accounts for 0.24% of its entire portfolio.
While Farm Credit Canada (FCC) provided total lending and lending as a percentage of its portfolio, the Regina, Saskatchewan-based organization said it is unable to share information on the number of cannabis businesses it works with because of privacy requirements.
“FCC’s lending to the cannabis sector over the past three years has shown steady and consistent growth,” a spokesman told MJBizDaily via email.
“During the last six months, customers and potential borrowers applying for FCC lending products have been subject to normal lending due diligence, which considers business viability, credit history and management integrity and experience.”
As a percentage of the corporation’s portfolio for each of the past three years, cannabis has risen from:
- 0.06% in September 2018.
- 0.10% in September 2019.
- 0.24% in September 2020.
Canada legalized adult-use cannabis in October 2018.
Earlier this year, Farm Credit Canada said cannabis businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic would be eligible to apply for short-term, government-backed credit and loan payment deferrals.
The businesses needed to be “financially viable entities” before the onset of the pandemic to be eligible.
Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at [email protected].