|Soon we will introduce legislation to end our Commonwealth’s prohibition of cannabis, rectify the destruction caused by prohibition, and regulate an adult-use market.
Prohibition has existed since the passage of the federal Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. After over 60 years of prohibition, cannabis is still widely available to purchase illegally, and yet we disproportionately arrest, prosecute, monitor, and incarcerate thousands of nonviolent Pennsylvanians who are poor and people of color. Prohibition destroys lives, enriches cartels, puts consumers in danger, and costs us millions of dollars, both in direct costs to our criminal justice system and indirectly, by enabling the cannabis economy to evade taxation and forcing people out of their jobs and homes. Cannabis prohibition is an immoral and expensive failure of public policy.
Given the pernicious consequences of prohibition, the approval of cannabis legalization by more than 60% of Pennsylvanians in recent polls, and the fact that states across the country, including neighboring states such as New York and New Jersey, are ending prohibition, we believe this is a propitious time to act.
Each state addresses legalization in different ways. We believe our bill, the product of many hours of meetings with experts and stakeholders, as well as research and debate, is a thoughtful and ambitious approach. We establish a rational and fair protocol for the legal sale, regulation, consumption and taxation of cannabis, while putting in place the infrastructure necessary to accommodate a huge new industry in Pennsylvania. The bill would:
Please join us in supporting this important legislation. If you have questions about this legislation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Allow private consumption of cannabis by anyone who is 21 years old or more.
- Allow people to grow up to six cannabis plants in their homes for personal use.
- Automatically expunge previous criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses and commute sentences resulting from such convictions.
- Allow “micro-growers” to grow cannabis in their homes and sell the cannabis to processors and dispensaries.
- Provide for an uncapped number of state permits that have low barriers to entry for home-growers, micro-growers, growers, processors, dispensaries, deliverers, and public consumption lounges, which would be the only public places in which cannabis consumption would be allowed.
- Require growers to comply with regulations that become more stringent as a grower’s production increases.
- Create a statewide cannabis business incubator that provides free training to Pennsylvanians who want to learn how to start and run a cannabis business.
- Provide state grants and low-interest capital loans to Pennsylvanians who have been harmed by prohibition, who complete the incubator’s training program, and who win a competitive application process.
- Require dispensaries to recycle used vape pens and incentivize all permittees to meet stringent environmental standards.
- Allow Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities and their students to grow and process cannabis as part of classes intended to teach students both the science and business of cannabis.
- Preserve Act 16’s medical marijuana protocol, giving current permitees no statutory advantages or disadvantages should they decide to enter the adult-use cannabis marketplace.
- Direct the bulk of the state’s resulting tax revenue to public education via the new fair funding formula, allowing individual school districts to decide how much of their portion to invest in their students and how much of their portion to give back to taxpayers in the form of property tax relief.