The wave of cannabis legislation reform sweeping across the United States has reached Pennsylvania, and the Commonwealth may very well be the next state to legalize cannabis. A new bipartisan bill introduced to the Pennsylvania legislature last week by state Senators Dan Laughlin and Sharif Street seeks to legalize marijuana, allowing individuals aged 21 and over to purchase and consume marijuana. The new bipartisan bill would also expunge the records of people with previous cannabis-related, nonviolent offenses.
Unlike the state’s medical cannabis market, which has just a few growers due to limited licenses, licenses for recreational cannabis growers would be widely available. Additionally, medical dispensaries that are currently selling medical cannabis would be allowed to sell marijuana for adult use. Although there have been attempts to pass cannabis legislation in the past, they have been unsuccessful in the Republican-controlled legislature. However, this new bill has a greater chance of success compared to past efforts because this is the first time legislation is being backed by a Republican.
Senator Laughlin notes that while he and Senator Street belong to different political parties, they have joined hands to ensure the state has a cannabis market that is based on safety as well as social equity. Speaking on Twitter, he said the new bipartisan bill would ensure legalization in Pennsylvania is done right. Street has been a vocal supporter of cannabis legalization in the state, going as far as helping people to register for medical marijuana cards.
In 2019, he co-sponsored a cannabis legalization bill with Senator Daylin Leach that would have legalized recreational cannabis, expunged prior nonviolent, cannabis-related convictions automatically and allowed home delivery. Unfortunately, the legislation didn’t make it past the committee stage. He later appeared in a news conference in September 2020 with Governor Tom Wolf who said the state needed to legalize recreational cannabis to help the thousands of Pennsylvanians in the criminal justice system as well as to raise revenue at a time when state coffers are running dry.
In a statement, Street said that he and Laughlin in collaboration with stakeholders and key community groups had developed a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in Pennsylvania. On Twitter, he noted that Blacks and Latinos are four to five times more likely to be impacted by marijuana use, and they were committed to social justice reform. On top of changing the lives of thousands of Pennsylvanians with prior cannabis convictions for the better, legalization would also earn the state more than $400 million in revenue annually.
As discussions continue on the legalization of cannabis in different jurisdictions, many companies are recording success in the market for nonintoxicating cannabis products. For instance, The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) has distinguished itself as a supplier of various CBD-infused products (salves and lotions, for example) by adopting a model that ensures that a parking house or warehouse is within 600 miles from nearly the entire population of the United States.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/WTER
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