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Pennsylvania Comes Step Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

A pair of Pennsylvania state senators recently introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana in the state. The proposed legislation comes several weeks after Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed himself to be in favor of such legalization.

Under the bill proposed by Sens. Daylin Leach (D) and Sharif Street (D), adults age 21 and older would legally be able to possess cannabis, as well as cultivate it and purchase it from licensed retailers. The bill would also automatically expunge past marijuana convictions and provide interest-free loans to low-income Pennsylvanians wishing to participate in the newly created market.

The cultivation stipulation would allow Pennsylvanians to grow up to 10 cannabis plants for personal use only.

Commercial influence

The bill doesn’t just have an influence on individual people—it also would have a big commercial impact on the state, creating a massive new industry overnight. It would take steps to limit the influence of large, already established marijuana corporations—no single owner would be allowed to operate more than three shops, though there will be no cap on the number of retailers in general allowed in the state. Existing medical dispensaries would be able to start selling recreational products, but their supply chains would need to be kept separate.

Large marijuana corporations would have a limit of 150,000 square feet of outdoor cultivation and 60,000 square feet of indoor cultivation, with licenses capped at one per owner. There would be application fees and renewal fees that would bring revenue to the state.

For more in-depth information about the recreational marijuana legalization proposal brought forth by the Democratic senators and the potential impact it would have on criminal law in the state, contact experienced Reading, PA drug crimes attorney David R. Eshelman.


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