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Pennsylvania Lawmaker Unveils New Cannabis Legalization Bill

Pennsylvania lawmaker Rep. Jake Wheatly released a letter to members of the Pennsylvania House that he will introduce a comprehensive cannabis legalization bill. Wheatly filed a closely related cannabis legalization bill earlier last year, yet it didn’t get off of the ground. However, this year’s cannabis legalization bill is touted by Wheatly to be “the most comprehensive and well-vetted legislation providing for a legal adult-use cannabis industry.” The cannabis legalization bill will also contain language that would provide record expungement for cannabis-related convictions and releasing inmates from prison who are in for non-violent drug crimes.

“Even if some of my colleagues aren’t willing to be a part of getting it right, people from all over the state have shown how much passion they have for this issue, and it made it really easy to want to make improvements to my bill,” said Wheatly.

The tax structure of the cannabis legalization bill is set up to incentivize growth and to not provide any room to de-incentivize consumers with a high tax rate. Tax on cannabis would be a 10% wholesale tax for business-to-business sales, while excise tax on retail cannabis sales would begin at 6% for two years and then increase gradually. After the initial two year period of 6% excise tax on retail sales, the tax would increase to 12% for another two years and then it would become 19%.

“Keeping the tax initially low and allowing it to grow over time is a great example of the advice we heard during numerous meetings with stakeholders. This legislation is the evidence of continued good work being done, even when we aren’t YET able to meet the final goal,” said Wheatly.

A Commonwealth Reinvestment Fund would receive a percentage of the cannabis tax revenues to then further fund an assortment of social programs. A social program that is outlined in the language covers a grant that would promote the participations of minorities and women in the cannabis industry.

“My legislation is a culmination of social and criminal justice reform, aided by legal adult-use. My efforts have been and will continue to be endless in the pursuit of delivering legal adult-use to the more than 60 percent and growing of Pennsylvanians who support it. I hope you will listen to your constituents and support my legislation.”


Pennsylvania Lawmaker Unveils New Cannabis Legalization Bill

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