Pennsylvania Lawmakers Take First Step Toward Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization
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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Take First Step Toward Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization

The Senate Law & Justice Committee has scheduled a Feb. 7 hearing to vet the issue.

February 7, 2022

Pennsylvania lawmakers are taking the first step toward adult-use cannabis legalization, with the Senate Law & Justice Committee scheduling a Feb. 7 hearing to vet the issue, according to a local Go Erie report.

This is the first time a legislative committee in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly has considered adult-use cannabis legalization, the news outlet reported, although legislation to decriminalize or legalize cannabis has circulated in Harrisburg for years.

The Feb. 7 hearing will be the first in a series, according to Go Erie, and Law & Justice Committee Chairman Mike Regan has invited law enforcement and criminal justice representatives to provide testimony.

The committee plans to hold at least two more hearings to allow advocacy groups, as well as regulators and cannabis operators from states that have legalized adult-use, to weigh in on the issue, the news outlet reported.

The testimony presented during the hearings will ultimately help Regan and Rep. Amen Brown draft legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in Pennsylvania, according to Go Erie.

“Some places like Michigan and others have legalized and then had to go back and fix things that were initially in the bill,” Regan told the news outlet. “I want to get it right the first time, so we’re really taking our time to make sure we have a really good solid product because it won’t be taken seriously if it’s not a good product.”

Regan and Brown added that their companion bills will include details about taxation and expungement.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has supported adult-use legalization in the past, and included a legalization proposal in his state budget last year, although it was ultimately stripped from the final budget.

Beth Rementer, a spokeswoman for the governor's office, told Go Erie that Wolf “is committed to continuing with an expedited review of pardons for non-violent marijuana-related offenses until the Legislature commits to giving Pennsylvanians what they want and giving this commonwealth the economic benefits we know will result from legalization."