Recreational Cannabis Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania

Sen. Daylin Leach and co-author Sen. Sharif Street introduced details on a bill on March 18 that would legalize recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 350 would legalize cannabis for adults over 21 and allow them to grow up to six plants per household for personal use. The bill would automatically expunge cannabis-related convictions involving an ounce or less of cannabis, allow micro-growers, allow public consumption lounges, create a cannabis incubator and allow universities to grow and process cannabis.

A retail tax has not yet been defined, but the revenue will go toward funds that need it most. “The majority of tax revenue will be used for public education, with individual school districts choosing what portion of revenue to dedicate to the new funding formula, and what portion to property tax relief,” Leach and Street said in a statement.

State and city officials would oversee the licensing of cultivators, micro-growers, processors, dispensaries, public consumption lounges and delivery companies. The bill would also establish a comprehensive social equity program and protections on small businesses. “Cannabis prohibition is an immoral and expensive failure of public policy,” a memo states. “Given the pernicious consequences of prohibition, the approval of cannabis legalization by more than 60 percent of Pennsylvanians in recent polls, and the fact that states across the country, including neighboring states such as New York and New Jersey, are ending prohibition, we believe this is a propitious time to act.”

A seed-to-sale tracking system would be implemented, as it is done in other states with legal cannabis. Home delivery would also be permitted. Micro-licenses for cultivation would be granted based on a three-tier system. People who have been impacted by the “War on Drugs” would have several options available at their discretion, such as grants and loans.

A competing bill, House Bill 50, would also recently introduced and would legalize recreational cannabis. That version has attracted 27 cosponsors. The people of Pennsylvania have choices when it comes to a plan to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.



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