As the world changes, we adapt as a society. There is no better example of this today than the explosion of the cannabis industry. Techniques perfected over generations are meeting new talent and mad science… and creating some beautiful things. Obviously, the cannabis genius we get to enjoy today did not grow overnight; every plant, product and company available to consumers is only because someone came up with a way to finance it. So, what do you do if you can’t find a way to pay to create your green dream business? If you live in the US, Income Share Agreements may be something to look into!

What is an Income Share Agreement or ISA? The answer to the modern day student loan…

An individual or organization will give a fixed amount of income to a recipient in exchange for a percentage of the person’s income, for a set amount of time.

These agreements exist in the USA. They are completely legal and arranged based on the needs of the individual. You can use an ISA to literally fund anything from a wedding to a grow op.

Perfect for those with “Growers Credit

The first time I heard the term, I was horrified. A friend of mine who had been growing for years was really struggling because he couldn’t get a mortgage. Despite the fact that he had a large amount of money saved and had claimed an income the last few years, he was always reluctant to disclose too much information for fear of discovery.

My friend has always been an extremely talented farmer, his plants have saved many lives and he has never regretted choosing his profession. But when saving lives for a living means gambling on your entire future, there is something wrong with our society. Nothing to me stresses this point more than the fact that this common dilemma has its own desensitized slang term, “Growers Credit”. If he lived in the US, an ISA would be his solution.

Benefits and risks to the recipient

This is the legal answer for funding a cannadream, especially if you have “growers credit”. An ISA will allow you to approach a company or person you feel will invest in you and present them with a protected, legal way of lending you money.  Plus, you can include a payback cap, meaning that if you pay back a certain amount, the agreement is considered fulfilled. There are a lot less risks involved as a borrower because the payment amounts are based on a percentage of your income; even to the extreme of zero dollar payments due to unemployment.

Benefits and risks to the lender

As a lender, you can stand to make quite a bit of money off of an ISA so long as you invest in the right person. Once the agreement is in place, you will be able to claim the income percentage. This can be a huge cash in if your borrower is highly successful but if they are not, you are stuck with the percentage of their income regardless of the amount of money you lent them. Loan caps are a reasonable clause included in many ISA’s that can still be highly lucrative for the lender; for example, an Indiana University program at Purdue offers an ISA cap of 2.5 times the initial amount loaned.

When it comes to cannabis, we are talking about a plant that has never and will never kill anyone; but, it has greatly improved and even saved countless lives. Brilliant idea’s are out there and some of them may very well be the key to life or death for many sick people. ISA’s are a very new practice in the financial world and have only been around within the last decade.

If you believe in yourself, your idea or in the abilities of another, don’t let finances get in the way, just think outside of the hotbox.