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Delta-8 brouhaha creates marijuana opportunity in next federal Farm Bill

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If Congress can’t (or won’t) bundle marijuana reform with the F-35 fighter jet and nuclear submarines, why not food stamps and corn subsidies?

Among the pressing items on federal lawmakers’ 2023 to-do lists is renewing the Farm Bill.

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Every five years, the sprawling, multipart, $428 billion monster that deals with nutrition and rural development as well as what American farmers grow and how they grow it is revamped.

And the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp and triggered the boom in delta-8 THC and other intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids expires in September.

Federal marijuana prohibition means the American cannabis industry still exists separately from federal farm programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Despite this, and despite the many other loud and needy lobbies competing for attention, there’s a growing push in Washington DC for Congress to consider marijuana reform during Farm Bill discussions, according to multiple

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Trump VP pick Vance opposed marijuana banking but silent on legalization

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U.S. Sen. JD Vance, the Ohio Republican whom Donald Trump picked as his running mate for the November presidential election, is no supporter of federal marijuana reform.

Nor did the 39-year-old former investment banker and “Hillbilly Elegy” author support adult-use marijuana legalization in Ohio last year.

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But Vance doesn’t appear to be much of a cannabis-culture warrior, either, preferring instead to spend his political capital elsewhere.

No ‘friend’ of marijuana industry

“Is Vance a friend of the industry? Absolutely not,” Steve Schain, a Philadelphia-based attorney who specializes in cannabis banking and taxation issues, told MJBizDaily by phone on Tuesday.

“His first and only concern is fortifying and furthering his federal role.

“That being said, like most classic libertarians, he doesn’t want to disturb

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Metrc secures cannabis track-and-trace contract extension in California

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California’s cannabis regulatory agency has extended the state’s contract with Florida-based marijuana track-and-trace software company Metrc.

The new contract took effect July 1, according to California’s Department of Cannabis Control, and will run for four years.

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The state has an option to extend the contract another two years.

The Department of Cannabis Control did not immediately respond to an MJBizDaily inquiry about the value of the contract.

Metrc said in a news release that it will focus on improving transparency and speeding up data-driven responses to support regulators and protect consumers.

According to Metrc, its traceability system is billed to track the life cycle of cannabis-based products, including:

Origin. Testing results. Handling. Chain-of-custody information.

The timing of the contract extension

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Colorado medical marijuana patient numbers hit new low

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The number of medical marijuana patients in Colorado is the lowest it’s been since 2014, when adult-use sales in the state began.

A little more than 65,100 patients were enrolled in Colorado’s MMJ program in May, Denver TV station KDVR reported, citing data from the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment.

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The number of medical marijuana patients in Colorado peaked in October 2014, when the registry contained 117,239 patients, according to KDVR.

The last time the state had more than 100,000 MMJ patients was in November 2016, the TV station noted.

Medical marijuana sales in Colorado rebounded in 2020 and part of 2021 but have been declining since September 2021, according to the report.

Colorado’s total cannabis sales numbers haven’t been

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