Two state senators have introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania Senate to legalize adult use marijuana in the Keystone State
Senators Sharif Street, D- Philadelphia, and Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, said the bill prioritizes safety, community investment, social and economic equity and agriculture, and creates a new tax revenue stream.
While the issue has been raised in the legislature before, the Wolf administration has lately been promoting the issue of legalizing adult use marijuana in the state.
Among its provisions, the bill:
In a press release, the senators noted that the legal cannabis industry employs approximately 250,000 Americans and supports over 300,000 indirect jobs and full-time workers. The cannabis industry has experienced a 100% growth rate over the last four years and projects, with proper reform, a million more jobs can be created by 2025.
According to testimony provided by the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office, adult-use marijuana legalization can generate between $400 million to $1 billion of new tax revenue for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
They noted that New Jersey passed marijuana legalization this week and New York is expected to legalize marijuana in their upcoming budget session. They are concerned that Pennsylvania is at risk of losing thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue to neighboring states.