This last week was not as active on the news front compared to other recent weeks, and the events that did occur were extremely significant.

Below is a recap of the major happenings and what they mean for the cannabis community, industry, and movement.

Hemp legalization passed by Congress

What happened: This week saw the passage of the latest Farm Bill by both chambers of Congress. The Farm Bill contains hemp legalization, and it is just one signature away from becoming law.

Why it matters: Hemp is not legal in the United States yet, but the fact that Congress has approved legalization is as significant as it gets short of implementation. Hemp prohibition has been in place for many decades. The President has a little over a week to sign the bill.

Recommended to Watch: NoCo Hemp Insider

William Barr named as Attorney General

What happened: William Barr has been named as the next U.S. Attorney General. Mr. Barr will become the permanent replacement for staunch cannabis opponent Jeff Sessions, pending Senate approval.

Why it matters: William Barr was previously Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. During his tenure, he helped implement some very harsh anti-drug policies. Only time will tell how he handles cannabis policy if/when he is approved, but hopefully he has evolved on the issue. He can't be worse than Jeff Sessions, right?

Recommended to Watch: Nat Geo's Jason Silva Talks Cannabis & Our Society

New Zealand approves medical cannabis measure

What happened: New Zealand passed a medical cannabis measure this week. It is expected to dramatically increase the availability of medical cannabis, as well as the number of patients that will be eligible for legal protections.

Why it matters: Medical cannabis reform continues to spread across the globe. It will be a year or more before the recently passed reforms are implemented, but at least terminally ill patients will get instant legal protection, and relief for patients is on the way.

Recommended to Watch: Beginners Series -- Health Conditions & Cannabis

Howard Dean and Michael Steele join Tilray

What happened: Former head of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean and former head of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele were announced as board members of Tilray's International Advisory Board.

Why it matters: It's not every day that leaders of opposing political parties join the advisory board of the same company. It's even rarer for it to happen in the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is mainstream, and the additions of these two political heavyweights to a cannabis company's advisory board is the latest example of that.

Recommended to Watch: How to Succeed in Cannabis

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