Recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania: What should legalization look like?

Pennsylvania is getting ever closer to legal recreational marijuana but policymakers still face tough questions about what this potentially multi-billion-dollar industry would look like.

In December, Gov. Tom Wolf signaled he's open to it after years of ambivalence and caution. Newly elected Lt. Gov. John Fetterman subsequently embarked on a 67-county listening tour to collect public input.


Pennsylvania Senators unveil Bill to foster an Adult-Use Cannabis Program

Pennsylvania Senator Daylin Leach and Senator Sharif Street recently unveiled their plan to introduce legislation, Senate Bill 350 (“SB 350”), that — if passed — would legalize adult-use cannabis and create a corresponding regulatory program. SB 350 would permit adults over the age of 21 to purchase and consume adult-use cannabis, and, to grow up to six plants per household.

The state regulatory authority will license cannabis businesses, including cultivation facilities, processors, dispensaries, public lounges and delivery services. There is no limit as to how many licenses the regulatory authority may issue. Additionally, licensees currently active under the state’s medical cannabis program will automatically be issued licenses to enter into the adult-use cannabis space.


Pennsylvania town decriminalizes marijuana, sees future in legal pot

Civic leaders in the borough of Steelton, Pennsylvania unanimously passed an ordinance to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana on Tuesday evening. At a special meeting called to considerer the proposal, members of the borough council voted 5-0 to remove criminal penalties for first-time offenders possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis. Simple possession will instead be charged as a summary offense and be subject to a fine of $25 to $100.

Brian Proctor, the president of the borough council, said in a press release that the town was actively pursuing cannabis reform.


Pennsylvania State Lawmakers unveil Bill to legalize recreational marijuana

The ideas of making pot legal and wiping away marijuana convictions have officially been put forward in the state senate.

We first told you about the proposal earlier this year. Now, state lawmakers have officially proposed it.

They want to legalize recreational pot for all adults 21 and older in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers say it would generate lots of tax money to use in the state's healthcare and educational systems.

"Colorado has been a success. The tax revenue is putting money into the schools, the health care system," said Greg Cox of Lancaster. "If the budget is tight these days, why not make it legal to get the tax revenue?"


Pennsylvania Senators seeking co-sponsors for Recreational Cannabis Bill

A pair of Pennsylvania senators have unveiled a plan to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adult use. The bill, which reads like a pot progressives’ wish list, has already stirred up high-ranking Republican opposition. But even with long odds, the legislation, which includes provisions for home grow, public consumption and release from prison, is starting off Pennsylvania’s latest push for legalization on the right foot.


America's first 'HempTrain' is coming to Central Pa., and it could forge a hemp revolution

A HempTrain is ready to roll into York County.

Steve Groff, owner of Wyndrige Farm in Dallastown and a licensed physician, is purchasing a $1.5 million Canadian-made machine, named the HempTrain, that can mass process hemp. The machine will be installed in an 80,000-square-foot warehouse in Red Lion.

Groff's HempTrain is currently being manufactured by Canadian Greenfield Technologies in Calgary, Alberta and will arrive in Red Lion in mid- to late-summer. Groff expects to be processing hemp this fall.

“It’s very exciting,” Canadian Greenfield Vice President Stephen Christensen said. “We’ve seen a huge amount of interest since the Farm bill and it’s only increasing.”


Pot dispensaries banned from attending Pennsylvania's largest cannabis festival

On 4/20 this year (or April 20th, to the uninitiated), over 10,000 cannabis enthusiasts and medical users will descend on Scranton, PA’s Nay Aug Park for the Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival. The free event debuted in 2015 after being organized by activists in support of legal access to medical cannabis.


The festival features multiple stages, dozens of bands, food trucks and a plethora of vendors of cannabis products such as cosmetics, CBD oil and smoking accessories like bongs, pipes and ashtrays.


First year of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana sales: Plenty of patients, a trickle of taxes

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program celebrated its one year anniversary this week, racking up an impressive number of participating patients and doctors, sales, and a trickle of tax revenues for the treasury.

More than 116,000 Pennsylvanians have registered as patients. About 83,000 of those have been issued state medical marijuana cards which allow them to buy cannabis products from several dozen dispensaries operating across the state.

Nearly 1,000 physicians have been approved to certify patients to participate in the program, according to the Department of Health.


Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania begins cannabis legalization hearings tour

On Monday, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman kicked off his statewide trek to discuss the issue of legalizing cannabis for adults. Lt. Gov. Fetterman is journeying across the state as part of a marijuana listening tour that will engage the public and gather input for Gov. Tom Wolf, who will decide whether to push for legalization in Pennsylvania this year. Following closely behind Lt. Gov. Fetterman are a group of advocates who hope to keep the conversation focused on the benefits of a legal approach to adult-use cannabis.


Legalize it? Marijuana talk has been going on for decades. It’s what they’re saying and who’s listening that’s changed

Pennsylvania has come a long way in the last 15 years.

With bipartisan support, policy-makers have legalized casino gambling; pushed beer and wine into grocery stores; allowed the sales of certain forms of marijuana for medicinal use, and given the green light for sports betting.

Are we ready for our next vice?

That’s what Gov. Tom Wolf has directed his new lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, to try to ascertain in a 67-county, pulse-of-the-people listening tour scheduled to open in Harrisburg Monday evening. Fetterman’s first stop is the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, 3301 N. Front St., at 6 p.m.


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