[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]F[/dropcap]ollowing Pennsylvania’s governor publicly sharing his support of recreational cannabis, a representative proposed a recreational cannabis bill. On Sept. 30, Pennsylvania Rep. David Delloso, who is a Democrat, introduced a bill that aims to allow the sales of recreational cannabis in state liquor stores.
The bill would amend the existing law that currently allows the sale of alcoholic beverages at liquor stores in Pennsylvania. Cannabis sales would be regulated in the same way that liquor sales are regulated, allowing adults ages 21 and over to purchase cannabis at liquor stores. In conjunction with other states that allow recreational cannabis sales, driving under the influence of cannabis would be strictly forbidden.
In an interview with Lancaster Online, Rep. Delloso said cannabis would be “well taxed and well regulated to protect the kids. When I was a kid, you knew what bars would sell you a six-pack, but you knew that no matter how hard you tried, you weren’t getting out of a state store with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.”
The bill would generate a great amount of tax revenue for the state, which supporters have claimed could be in excess of $580 million. Supporters also claim the state industry would be worth an estimated $1.66 billion. Rep. Delloso sent out a memo to attain co-sponsors of the bill. The memo stated that allowing companies to sell cannabis instead of the state liquor stores would put “profits before the well-being of our communities.” So far, no Republicans are supporting the bill, but Rep. Mike Sturla is one of the bill’s 24 co-sponsors.
If passed, the bill will help expunge the records of those who have been convicted of cannabis-related crimes.
Just one week before this bill was introduced, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf asked lawmakers to consider legalizing recreational cannabis. In 2016, Gov. Wolf signed the state’s medical cannabis program into law. He also has shown support of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis in the past.