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Sarah Blitz is an associate in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office and leader of the firm’s Cannabis industry team.

On October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its long-awaited interim final rule governing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. USDA has been developing these interim regulations since hemp was federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. These hotly anticipated rules are important not only for hemp producers and hemp-derived product companies, but for cannabis companies interested in diversifying or pivoting into a crop that is legal under federal law.
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U.S. House lawmakers on Wednesday approved overwhelmingly by a 321-103 vote the SAFE Banking Act. The SAFE Banking Act would pave the way for financial institutions and insurance companies to serve state-legal cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses without fear of federal reprisal. Ninety-one Republicans voted for the measure, in a showing of strong bipartisan support. This marks the first time a body of Congress has approved pro-cannabis legislation.
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*This article was originally posted in Law360 on June 4, 2019.

The much-anticipated public hearing last week at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds drew a wide audience of participants, with strong views on how the FDA should (or should not) regulate the controversial plant.
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