Can Veterans Work in the Cannabis Industry and Qualify for a VA Home Loan?

The highly-rated strain of medical marijuana 'Blue Dream' is displayed among others in glass jars at Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary, on the fourth of July, or Independence Day, in Los Angeles, California on July 4, 2014 where organizer's of the 3-day event plan to showcase high quality cannabis from growers and vendors throughout the state. A vendor is seen here responding to questions and offering a whiff of the strain 'Skyjack'. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

As a Veteran, there are certain benefits that you should be able to enjoy as a reward for your service. That was as true in 1944 when VA home loans were created, as it is today. Since their creation, several significant improvements and changes have been made to VA loans. Increasing eligibility and expanding benefits to cover Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, and members of the National Guard and military reserves.

In recent years, veterans employed in the cannabis industry have had a difficult time accessing their benefits. Even though there is no law banning veterans working in the industry from receiving their VA benefits. In a story reported by Roll Call, veterans cannot qualify for their VA benefits because the VA struggles in seeing income from the Cannabis Industry as “stable and reliable.”

Lawmakers like Representative Katherine Clark from Massachusetts have criticized the VA’s actions and stated that the VA should “catch up with the times and recognize the growing role of the cannabis economy that employs over 200,000 Americans.” There are currently no VA regulations that specifically ban veterans who work in state-legalized cannabis industries. That decision is up to individual lenders who are free to have their income requirements and thresholds.

The most common issue veterans working in the cannabis industry face when applying for a VA loan is that their income is stable and reliable. That is a little tricky since the cannabis industry is only legal in particular states. However, individual lenders have different requirements for what they consider eligible income.

Government-sponsored brokerages like VA Home Loan Centers have lenders who loan out to growers, harvesters, and employees working at a dispensary as long as they have a W-2. This allows veterans to buy a home while working in a growing industry that will eventually extend throughout the country.

VA Home Loans

The VA program was created in 1944 as part of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act to reward veterans returning home from World War 2 the opportunity to become homeowners. Since then, the program has helped more than 22 million veterans achieve the dream of homeownership.

  • VA Home Loan Benefits

The appeal of VA loans is due to the great benefits it offers, considered by many as the best benefits out of any Government-guaranteed home loans. These benefits include perks like:

  • $0 down payment requirements.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • Low-interest rates.
  • No mortgage insurance premiums.
  • No prepayment penalties.

Additionally, as of January 1st, 2020, loan limits were removed, meaning that borrowers can take out a VA loan on any house in the country without having a ceiling. These loans can also finance the funding fee and work as either a 15 or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

  • VA Eligibility Requirements

Before the applicant can apply for a VA Loan and enjoy the great benefits previously mentioned, they must also meet all VA eligibility requirements. VA home loans are for Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, and eligible spouses. They only need to meet service, income, property, and credit score requirements set forward by the VA.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-sponsored brokerage specializing in VA home loans. He has over 22 years of experience working in real estate. If you want to learn more about our program or apply for a VA loan, call us at (877) 432-5626.

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