Pennsylvania Lawmakers Predict Marijuana Legalization Bill Reaching Governor This Year, Sales Starting July 2025

During a Twitter Spaces event on Wednesday, Pennsylvania Senators Dan Laughlin (R) and Sharif Street (D) expressed cautious optimism about the potential for marijuana reform in the current legislative session.

Senator Laughlin, who is cosponsoring bipartisan marijuana legalization legislation (House Bill 2500) that was recently announced, noted a shift in attitudes among Senate Republicans over the past three years. “The attitudes amongst the Senate Republicans have certainly softened,” he said. Laughlin said he believes there are enough votes to pass a cannabis bill if it were put to a floor vote.

Senator Street, who is also cosponsoring House Bill 2500, was more hopeful, predicting that a cannabis bill could reach the governor by the end of the session. “I think we can get it done,” he said, suggesting that sales could begin by July 2025.

Despite this optimism, Laughlin conceded that the reform might be delayed until next year. “There’s still a lot of issues to be addressed before we get this done,” he said, pointing out that lawmakers have until the end of the session in November to pass the bill.

A key concern is whether Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R) will advance a marijuana bill. Ward has indicated she might not support such legislation until federal prohibition ends. Laughlin mentioned that he has discussed federal descheduling with Ward, who believes it would simplify the process for state-level reform.

Filed by State Representatives Emily Kinkead and Aaron Kaufer, House Bill 2500 would establish a legal framework for the recreational sale of marijuana, prioritizing licensing for disadvantaged groups. It also seeks to expunge past criminal charges related to marijuana distribution.

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