The Pennsylvania Senate held the first hearing for an adult-use cannabis bill on Monday, according to a WGAL report. Heard in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, the bill is sponsored by Committee Chair Sen. Mike Regan (R), who said he is crafting the bill with Rep. Amen Brown (D).
Regan indicated he has concerns about the safety of cannabis on the illicit market and believes the state could “certainly produce a product that’s a lot safer than what’s out there now and the process of purchasing it a lot safer than it is right now.”
Brown has similar concerns around safety and says cannabis tax revenue could be used to help communities around the state.
“I’m focusing on fully funding after-school programs and summer camps and things of that nature,” he said.
Although Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is pro-legalization – he has previously called on legislators to legalize adult-use cannabis, saying revenue from the industry “might be one way” to close gaps in the Pennsylvania budget – Republican leadership in the legislature say the policy is not a priority. Law enforcement has also raised concerns around impaired driving and youth access at the hearing, the report says.
State Sen. Dan Laughlin (R), who has a separate bill to legalize adult-use that includes home grow provisions, described the Monday hearing a good first step.
“It’s good to get it out in the public and kind of vet it and start the conversation,” he said.
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