[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]O[/dropcap]n Feb. 18, one Pennsylvania politician introduced a recreational cannabis bill into the state’s House of Representatives.
According to WTHM, House Bill 2050 was introduced by Rep. Jake Wheatley. If passed, it would set up the regulatory framework for growers, processors and dispensaries. In order to encourage businesses to get up and running, it would also lower application and permitting fees.
Regarding recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania, lawmakers would impose a 10 percent, business-to-business sales tax. Growers would be exempt from the tax if they partner with an existing farm. There will be a six percent sales tax that will eventually go up to 12 percent after two years and 19 percent after four years. The tax money would go to student loan and school payoff programs. “We open up the opportunity for smaller entrepreneurs to get into that market,” Wheatley said. “We believe the full answer is to have a regulated legal market for adult use and we believe the time has certainly come, and passed, really, for us to engage in a conversation here in the capitol for this critical topic.”?
“Any time you bring up revenues, you need to bring up costs,” said Dan Bartkowiak, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Family Institute. “An increase in car accidents. An increase in healthcare costs. There are many costs when it comes to the commercialization of marijuana.”
However, this isn’t a done deal yet. Rep. Kathy Rapp, chair of the House Health Committee, has said she doesn’t plan to legalize recreational cannabis or advance any bills that propose it However, Wheatley thinks that HB-2050 still has a chance. “The citizens of the commonwealth have said they’re ready for us to engage in this, so anyone in this Capitol dome that’s refusing to listen to the citizens of this commonwealth, primarily based on their own view of the world, I think is doing a disservice to themselves and to the office.”