State Senators Introduce Bill to Legalize Pot for Adult-Use in PA

State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and State Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) introduced legislation that would end Pennsylvania’s prohibition of cannabis and would legalize cannabis for adult-use in Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania’s cannabis policy is cruel, irrational and expensive,” Leach said. “Prohibition has destroyed countless lives and has cost taxpayers millions.”

“We need to stop arresting our kids and funding violent drug cartels,” Leach continued. “This is going to be a tough battle, but so was passing medical marijuana. We did that, and we’ll do this too. The stakes are too high for us to fail.”

Leach and Street’s legislation would establish a fair protocol for the use, sale and regulation of cannabis. The bill would provide economic opportunities and cannabis business education for people of all income levels. It also offers grants and loans to people to start their own cannabis businesses.

“An end to the prohibition of cannabis is overdue,” Street said. “It is time for us to join the emerging cannabis economy with the legalization of the Adult Use of Cannabis in PA., which should not be a crime when responsibly used by adults nor mandate medical oversight. The economic imperatives are too great.”

Leach started drafting SB 350 in late 2018. The new bill no longer uses the state’s liquor stores as Pennsylvania’s method to dispense cannabis. SB 350 would create a model that ends cannabis prohibition and ensures that Pennsylvanians of all income levels can participate in this new industry.

Key points on the bill:

  • Establishes a system of permits for industry participants with low barriers to entry in order to allow people with limited resources to enter the cannabis industry.
  • Addresses Pennsylvania’s history of criminalizing cannabis by providing for automatic expungement of previous criminal convictions, dismissal of pending charges, and commutation of sentences.
  • The tax revenue collected pursuant to the bill—an estimated $500 million in the first full fiscal year of operation—will be appropriated to school districts using the 2016 fair funding formula (Act 35). School districts have total discretion over the funding; they may choose to invest in their schools, hire more teachers, or even provide local tax relief to homeowners in their districts.
  • Use of cannabis will be permitted by adults over 21 years of age.
  • Home delivery of cannabis will be permitted. The bill’s language allows deliverers, who may start their own company or work for dispensaries, to use any form of transportation—from cars to bicycles to public transportation—to deliver cannabis.
  • People will be permitted to grow up to ten plants for personal use in their own homes.

Additional details about the bill can be found here.