THU AM News: More Wisconsin banks plan to work with hemp businesses this year; WisBusiness: the Show 2019 overview

— More Wisconsin banks plan to work with hemp businesses in 2020, according to a recent survey of financial executives in the state. 

The Wisconsin Bankers Association found close to 50 percent of respondents who aren’t currently providing services to hemp companies plan to do so next year. 

Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president and CEO, calls hemp “a very new and complex issue” for bankers in the state. 

Federal regulators recently dropped a requirement for banks’ hemp customers that held them to a higher level of scrutiny. But last month’s change was only the first guidance from federal agencies surrounding hemp banking. 

“It takes time to work through these complexities,” Poels said. “Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach, each bank’s approach and timeframe will be different.”

Of the 85 bank executive respondents, just under 40 percent are accepting deposits from hemp-related businesses. That includes companies manufacturing, distributing and selling hemp and hemp-derived products such as CBD. 

Meanwhile, 15 percent of responding bankers in the state are currently lending to these companies. 

Late last year, Gov. Tony Evers signed into law the Growing Opportunities Act, which aligns the state’s definition of hemp with federal law. It also incorporates other elements of the 2018 Farm Bill into state law and requires DATCP to ensure the state’s hemp program complies with federal regulations. 

See more: 

— The 2019 portfolio of “ The Show” featured interviews with 20 of

Wisconsin’s business newsmakers, who collectively represent some of the top companies, ideas, investors and services in the tech-based economy.

Check out our archives at and the newsroom to see what these newsmakers said in 2019 — and how their ideas might influence the coming year.

Thanks to Exact Sciences, BDO and UW-Milwaukee for sponsoring “ The

Show” as it rolls closer to the 250-episode mark.

See a summary of 2020 interviews: 

— Fewer Wisconsinites selected health insurance plans on during this year’s open enrollment period than the last, according to the final snapshot from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

The release shows 196,594 people in the state chose individual plans on the federal exchange between Nov. 1 and Dec. 17. That’s slightly lower than the 206,970 people who chose plans during last year’s open enrollment. 

On the national level, total plan selections were down from around 8.5 million to 8.3 million. 

This year’s enrollment window was extended by two days due to some last-minute issues that prevented some customers from enrolling. CMS plans to release a more detailed final enrollment report in March including results from states that don’t use the platform. 

See the release: 

— Most counties in the state had higher unemployment rates in November, according to preliminary figures from the state Department of Workforce Development. 

Unemployment increases since October were more modest in the best-performing counties, while counties with higher unemployment rates saw larger increases over the month. 

Compared to the same month last year, some counties have seen unemployment rise dramatically. Unemployment in Menominee County rose from 4 percent in November 2018 to 7.3 percent last year, while a handful of others had increases of more than 1 percent over the year. 

At the same time, unemployment rates decreased or stayed flat over the month in 13 of the state’s 33 largest municipalities. 

See the release: 

— A recent report from the Daily Reporter shows Foxconn was the largest taxpayer for Mount Pleasant in 2019. 

According to the report, the Taiwanese tech company paid the village $8.4 million in property taxes and assessments last year. 

See more in Foxconn Reports below. 

— Madison-based Promega Corporation has signed a new license agreement with MilliporeSigma for its gene-editing technology, with plans to create new biological research products. 

CRISPR-Cas9 can be broadly used to alter genetic codes within organisms to achieve desired changes. It’s applicable to drug development, treating disease and many other areas of scientific study.  

According to a release, MilliporeSigma’s CRISPR-Cas9 product can be combined with Promega’s protein tagging system to simplify the cell research process. Promega plans to use the technology to create genetically edited cell lines that will be used to determine drug efficacy and toxicity. 

“This license further expands the potential of CRISPR, and, more importantly, gives scientists a new view into natural cell activity,” said Bill Linton, president and CEO of Promega. “This is quite a meaningful contribution to many areas of applied research in such fields as cancer and neuroscience.”

See the release: 

— Doyenne Group co-founder Amy Gannon is being remembered as a community leader and mother after she and her daughter Jocelyn were killed in a helicopter crash while vacationing in Hawaii. 

Fellow co-founder Heather Wentler says the Madison-based organization will begin holding office hours next week to celebrate her memory. Gannon helped found the Doyenne Group in 2012 and went on to guide and shape the journeys of hundreds of female entrepreneurs. 

“Her way of making you feel like you were the only person in the room when she talked to you was because of her belief in you and that your dreams are achievable … and that you need to think bigger,” Wentler said in a statement. “Amy has left little sparks within each of us to be able to continue to carry her torch toward women’s equality and give voice to underrepresented communities.” 

See Wentler’s full statement at Madison Startups: 

Listen to a podcast from 2017 with Gannon: 


# Wisconsin law enforcement officials prepare for legal marijuana in neighboring states

# Wisconsin hemp banking could increase in 2020

# WEC Energy’s Klappa eligible for another $1 million in compensation in 2020

# Wisconsin fire agencies ditch hazardous firefighting foam



– Wisconsin all milk price hits five-year high at $22.40 cwt.

– Other farm commodity prices mixed in November


– Mandel Group moves forward with renovations to former power house at Milwaukee County Research Park

– See Foxconn construction as dispute simmers with state leaders: Slideshow


– Sand County Foundation receives research grant

– Wisconsin gypsy moth numbers decline in 2019, and extreme cold may be to blame


– Eagle Park Brewing expects to open Muskego brewery and distillery in spring


– Foxconn Mount Pleasant’s largest taxpayer with payment


– GRAEF moves to new headquarters downtown


– New York group proposes ‘food tech incubator’ on Milwaukee’s west side

– Broadcast tower work seems like ’empty promises’ as project heads into the new year


– Linn Roth and Jean Martinelli: Agrace’s ‘Care for All’ endowment helps provide dignified death for all


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Wisconsin Technology Council: Summary of 2019 WisBiz shows

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin: In rebuke to post-Walker wasteland, University of Wisconsin nurses revive union 

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award nominees announced