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What to know about Pennsylvania’s marijuana legalization bill

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Drug Offenses |

The proposed legal marijuana bill in Pennsylvania could bring significant changes for its residents. The bipartisan bill aims to legalize marijuana for adult use, ban marketing to children, create a state regulatory board and a social equity program, and impose an 8% sales tax in addition to a 5% excise tax on dispensary sales.

Currently, Pennsylvania has a robust medical marijuana program, with about 4% of the adult population participating. The commonwealth legalized medical marijuana in 2016, and dispensaries began selling to patients who qualified in 2018. Sales have gone up steadily since then, exceeding $1.3 billion in 2021. The Medical Marijuana Act has been amended over the years, expanding the types of medical conditions that qualify.

The proposed bill, known as H. B. 2050, would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to purchase and consume recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania. This bill mirrors a State Senate bill, Senate Bill 846, and aims to replace the unregulated illicit market with a taxed and regulated system with licensed growers, processors, and retailers. It also includes a robust clean slate program, including release from incarceration.

Generates money for the state

According to the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office, Recreational marijuana legalization for adults in Pennsylvania could generate $400 million to $1 billion in tax revenue for the state. This revenue could fund various state programs and initiatives, providing a significant boost to the state’s economy.

Moreover, the legalization could also prevent Pennsylvania residents from traveling to neighboring states that have legalized adult-use marijuana, which would keep more money within the state and potentially boost local businesses.

This bill not passed yet

However, it’s important to note that the bill is still under consideration. Such a bill’s implications depend on the legislation’s final details and how it is implemented. As such, Pennsylvania residents should stay informed about the progress of this bill and consider how it might impact them personally.

This bill has its critics, who voice concerns about health risks, public safety and related issues. Still, the proposed legal marijuana bill could bring significant changes to Pennsylvania, from potential economic benefits to changes in the legal status of marijuana use. However, the final impact will depend on the specifics of the final legislation.