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U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is getting a jump on 2019 cannabis legislation by introducing H.R. 420, a bill that would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and roll its regulation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“While the bill number may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, the issue is very serious," Blumenauer said in a public statement first reported by Willamette Week. "Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It's time to end this senseless prohibition.”

Full story: bit.ly/hr-420

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Cannabis Policies

There’s no doubt that cannabis will play a major role in the 2020 elections, and it’s almost certain to be a sticking point in any presidential debate—especially as a litmus test in the Democratic primaries. President Donald Trump has gone back and forth on the matter, but has mostly just stayed out of it. For the growing field of Democratic challengers, though, it’s a race to establish firm footing in the rapidly growing cannabis constituency.

Full story: bit.ly/2020-presidential-campaigns-cannabis

Businesses Look to Financial Institutions for Transparency

Tyler Beuerlein, executive vice president of business development at Hypur and the vice chair of NCIA’s Banking Access Committee, says that the legalization and opening of new cannabis markets in the U.S. brings myriad new banking institutions into the space. For now, though, finite markets—even large ones, like California’s adult-use marketplace—beget a limited number of institutions willing to transparently bank cannabis clients. How should a business owner best navigate the banking landscape?

Full story: bit.ly/cannabis-banking

Beverage Industry Looks to Cannabis for Product Innovation

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of hemp cultivation and hemp-derived cannabinoids in the U.S., major beverage companies have reason to look to American markets for hemp sources when planning, say, a CBD-infused sparkling water line. The Alkaline Water Company Inc. is one of those businesses that’s planning next moves, and chairman Aaron Keay says that early market moves portend significant growth in this sector.

Full story: bit.ly/beverage-industry-cannabis

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