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New trouble for U.S. infrastructure talks as pressure mounts

WASHINGTON — Senators were running into new problems Monday as they raced to seal a bipartisan infrastructure deal with pressure mounting on all sides to show progress on President Joe Biden’s top priority. Heading into a make-or-break week, serious roadblocks remain. One dispute is over how much money should go to public transit. But spending on highways, water projects, broadband and others areas remains unresolved, too, as is whether to take unspent COVID-19 relief funds to help pay for the infrastructure. Democrats and the White House sent a fresh “global” offer to resolve remaining issues, but it was rebuffed early Monday by Republicans as “discouraging” — a setback for a hoped-for afternoon deal. Read the rest of this story on TheKnow.DenverPost.com.

Marijuana banking debate returns to Congress and Rep. Perlmutter is optimistic

Eight years after it was first introduced, federal legislation that would give cannabis companies in Colorado and across the country access to the banking system is back in Congress. And its co-sponsors, Democrat and Republican, are sounding bullish. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or SAFE Banking Act, has been introduced every Congress since 2013 by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat. It has passed the House on several occasions but never the Senate. Perlmutter expects that to change this year, he said during a conference call Friday. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, has told Perlmutter that he expects the committee to debate and vote on the bill for the first time. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

California joins push to let cannabis businesses use banks as part of coronavirus relief

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is joining a bipartisan group of 34 attorneys general in urging Congress to approve a coronavirus relief package that would let marijuana businesses use traditional banking services. The Democrat-controlled House on Friday, May 15, approved the idea of granting banking access to cannabis businesses as part of the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which would provide the biggest package of programs yet aimed at buffering the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Banking services are out of reach for the cannabis industry, even in states where recreational use of the plant has been approved, because marijuana is illegal under federal law. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Banking for marijuana companies included in Congress’ new $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill

Cannabis industry advocates applauded House Democrats on Tuesday after a new $3 trillion federal stimulus bill included provisions to allow marijuana businesses access to banking. Introduced by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act includes wide-ranging goals to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, from offering financial assistance to state and local governments to forgiving student loan debt. Wrapped into the massive, 1,815-page bill is an initiative led by Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would allow legal cannabis businesses to leverage traditional banking services. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado’s marijuana businesses should be eligible for federal coronavirus aid, Polis tells Congress

Colorado’s cannabis industry is allowed to remain open to provide “critical” services during the coronavirus pandemic, but because marijuana is a federally controlled substance, dispensaries and other businesses are ineligible to receive stimulus funds to help offset the economic impacts caused by COVID-19. Many say they’re struggling. Gov. Jared Polis, however, is hoping to lend a helping hand. On Monday, Polis sent a letter to Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, a member of the House Small Business Committee, urging the committee to reconsider allowing cannabis businesses to apply for federal aid. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Letters: Meeting with the enemy demonstrates hypocrisy; Bad for marijuana business, good for criminals; This land is our land; Agree to disagree (2/20/20)

Published: Feb 20, 2020, 10:14 am • Updated: Feb 20, 2020, 10:15 am By Dp Opinion Meeting with the enemy demonstrates hypocrisy This past weekend, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., secretly met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Murphy justified this meeting by saying, “I think it’s dangerous to not talk to your enemies. Discussions and negotiations are a way to ease tensions and reduce the chances for crisis.” Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.