Pennsylvania Lawmakers Say Marijuana Legalization Bill Could Pass Today or Later This Week

Bipartisan Pennsylvania lawmakers held a press conference today to provide an update on their attempt to legalize recreational marijuana this session.

“We are surrounded by states that have already legalized the adult use of cannabis, and they are taking advantage of the fact that we have not,” said Representative Emily Kinkead (D). “There are Pennsylvania dollars to be spent on adult use, and they want to capitalize on it when we should be doing that. We should be using Pennsylvania dollars in Pennsylvania to support Pennsylvanians, and we should be learning from all of the other states about the way to do this best and the way to best capitalize on it.”

The press conference was also attended by Representative Aaron Kaufer (R), who, along with Rep. Kinkead, is sponsoring House Bill 2500. This bill would legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older and establish a legal framework for its sale, prioritizing licensing for disadvantaged groups. It also seeks to expunge past criminal charges related to marijuana distribution.

“I think everybody standing up here, we’ve been working diligently to try to get together something that can pass today in both the House and Senate,” said Rep. Kaufer.  “Our goal is to get this done as soon as possible [either today or at least before the June 30 budget deadline].”

Given Governor Josh Shapiro included marijuana legalization in his proposed budget, it’s expected he will sign House Bill 2500 into law if it’s approved by the legislature.

A recent report by advocacy organization FTI Consulting suggests that Pennsylvania could generate over $2.8 billion in sales and create over 45,000 jobs with marijuana legalization.

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