Report: Legalizing Marijuana in Pennsylvania Would Create 45,000 New Jobs, Industry to be Worth Nearly $3 Billion

A recent projection 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.

FTI Consulting emphasizes the economic benefits, noting the positive impact on the Commonwealth’s economy.

Brendan Casey of FTI Consulting explains, “As a result, jobs are supported in the supply chain, then those jobs supported in the supply chain and those original jobs go to those workers who need to buy groceries, go to sporting events, go to restaurants, they support jobs in their local communities.”

Adding to the momentum, bipartisan legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania was recently announced. Filed by State Representatives Emily Kinkead and Aaron Kaufer, House Bill 2500 aims to establish a legal framework for the recreational sale of marijuana, with a focus on licensing for disadvantaged groups and expunging past criminal charges related to marijuana distribution.

“We know across the board that having marijuana be illegal has done only harm in our communities,” Kinkead told WESA, a local NPR affiliate. “And we’re recognizing that it has medicinal properties, [and] the world has not ended in all the states that have legalized it recreationally.”

Kinkead and Kaufer’s memo to fellow House members highlights the pressing need for legalization, pointing out that Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, including Ohio, have already moved forward with recreational use. “One of the most recent [to do so], Ohio, is primed to open their market with the lion’s share of their licenses perched on the border of Pennsylvania as they seek to capture Pennsylvania dollars into their market,” they note.

Kaufer adds, “By prioritizing public safety and consumer protection, this legislation will build on the successful regulatory structure of the state’s medical cannabis program.”

Governor Josh Shapiro has also included marijuana legalization and its potential tax revenue in his budget proposal, reflecting broad voter support for the measure. However, the bill faces resistance in the state Senate.

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