A new bill to legalize the sale and use of recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania was introduced in Harrisburg today. Senate Bill 350 was introduced by two state senators at the praise of many. Cannabis movement organizations and cannabis regulators in states across the U.S. consider the bill to be a perfect “gold standard” for cannabis legalization.
Les Stark, director of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition, stated: “This bill is fantastic. It prioritizes the cannabis consumer and corrects some serious social justice problems. If it passes, it could become the gold standard legalization bill for the free world.”
As of right now, the bill faces a difficult time without any Republican support via co-sponsor. The bill is believed to contain stances within it that would please both sides of the aisle. A key element to the bill is the fact that the focus on the consumer is of the utmost priority, while, at the same time, a tough hand to play isn’t dealt to potential cannabis companies.
Judy Wicks, Pa. resident and entrepreneur, stated: “I’m really happy that it makes it easy for people without a lot of money to get into the business. It’s very decentralized. There’d be a lot of small local growers and sellers. My big fear was that large out-of-state corporations would come in and dominate the market. This bill takes steps to keep that from happening.”
The bill will cap any taxes on cannabis sales at 17.5% and does allow for at-home cultivation of cannabis. Those who would cultivate cannabis at home, under Senate Bill 350, they would have to pay $50 to cultivate a maximum of 10 cannabis plants. Microgrowers, small cannabis cultivation businesses, would be able to cultivate a max of 150 cannabis plants with an annual $250 permit. Cannabis dispensaries can be opened an unlimited number of times in the state, but consolidated ownership is capped at three storefronts. Large corporate cannabis cultivators will have to pay $100,000 to apply for a license and then pay $10,000 annually for it. Processors only have to pay $1,000 for a permit to process cannabis into pills, tinctures, concentrates, etc. Cannabis lounges will be able to open for business at a $1,000 permit, as long as consumers bring their own bud.
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