Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) called this week for the legalization of adult-use cannabis after suggesting the state is losing out on potential cannabis revenues to neighboring states that have already legalized, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The governor signaled his priority on the issue on Tuesday by including legalization in his $48.3 billion budget proposal. An administration official predicted that with a 20% tax rate on regulated cannabis products, the state could generate $14.8 million in tax revenue during the first year, increasing to $76 million in its second, $160 million in its third, and $230 million in its fourth year of a regulated adult-use cannabis market, according to the report.
Pennsylvania‘s neighbors in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio have already legalized adult-use cannabis and Shapiro argues that the state is falling behind.
“Let’s stop hamstringing ourselves and start competing.” — Shapiro, via the Philadelphia Inquirer
The state’s Republican leadership, which controls the state Senate, has historically opposed significant cannabis reforms but this week suggested they may be willing the consider the proposal, the report said.
“We also need to understand where the governor is coming from,” said Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R).
A Pennsylvania poll found last July that just over half of the state’s voters support legalizing adult-use cannabis, slightly down from a previous poll which placed support at 56%.
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