Senator Street / Senator Leach

Adult Use Cannabis Bill

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Pennsylvania senators pen bill for adult-use marijuana

Pennsylvania senators pen bill for adult-use marijuana

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - A state senator who co-authored legislation that brought medical marijuana to Pennsylvania has unveiled a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and a co-author, Sen. Sharif Street...

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Goal

The bill will: 

End the destruction caused by cannabis prohibition.

Establish a rational and fair protocol for the legal sale, consumption, taxation and regulation of cannabis.

Enable those who have been harmed by prohibition to get out of prison and expunge their criminal records.

Provide opportunities for people of all income levels to enter the cannabis industry.

Cannabis Possession and Consumption

Anyone who is at least 21 years old may consume cannabis.

Households may grow up to six marijuana plants at a time for personal use.

Consuming cannabis in public is prohibited, but regulation will allow businesses to permit cannabis
consumption on their premises including the opening and operation of cannabis lounges.

Business Licensure

The state and municipalities oversee licensure of cannabis growers, micro-growers, processers, dispensaries, public consumption lounges, and deliverers.

There will be macro-licenses for larger grow operations. While there will still be both financial and regulatory barriers to entry, the barriers will be lower than the current medical protocol, including eliminating universal seed-to-sale tracking and reduction of testing requirements.

Current medical license holders will, in addition to the operational and branding head-start they already enjoy, will be automatically given licenses to participate in the adult-use space as well.

Anyone who meets the regulatory requirements shall receive the permit for which they applied. The application process is not regulatorily competitive, but will be economically competitive and there is no limit on the number of adult-use permits the state may distribute.

The current medical licensing protocol will be unaffected, with the existing requirements, barriers to entry and limits on licenses remaining in place.

Micro Licenses

As part of the social justice component of this bill, mico-licenses shall be obtainable. These micro licenses are designed to enable people from underserved and distressed areas which have been harmed by prohibition to gain opportunities in the cannabis market, even if are not already wealthy.

Micro licenses shall be available for growing only, not for dispensing or processing.

Micro license holders shall only be permitted to sell to the “grid” meaning already licensed agrowers and/or dispensaries.

There shall be three tiers of micro-licenses, with each ascending tier having higher entry requirements and allowing the growing of increasing numbers of plants, with the goal of proving a ladder for competent micro-growers to move up in the industry.

There will be three tiers of mico-licenses available.

Tier one license holders can grow up to 12 plants at a time, anywhere they wish including their own home. They shall be required to take a course and complete whatever additional compliance required by regulation.

Tier two license holders shall have additional testing and reporting requirements and may grow up to 40 plants at a time.

Tier three license holders will be required to have a grow facility and shall have other additional obligations set by regulation. They may grow up to 150 plants at a time.

Taxation

The bill’s taxation of the cannabis industry balances the need to undermine any illegal market and the needs to both pay for regulation of the industry and invest in those harmed by prohibition.

Social Equity

The majority of the tax revenue goes toward increasing the state’s public education subsidy, which is distributed to school districts according to the state’s 2016 fair funding formula.

  • School districts may at their discretion use this funding increase to invest in their school districts or reduce local property taxes in whatever proportion they wish.

The statewide cannabis business institute provides at no cost to the public a training program that will teach people how to grow and process cannabis, how to comply with state and federal cannabis laws, and how to start and run a small business. Those who choose to complete the training program may apply for state grants and interest free loans, which they can use to start their own cannabis businesses.

Social Justice

All criminal convictions for a) possession of cannabis, b) possession of cannabis paraphernalia, c) possession with intent to deliver or delivery of under one ounce of cannabis, shall be automatically expunged.

People serving a prison sentence solely related to one of the above-enumerated marijuana offense receive commutations, and all probation, parole or other supervision related to these offenses shall be ended.

Pending Criminal charges related to cannabis shall be dismissed.

Environment

State regulators require retailers selling vape pens to run recycling programs for the vape pens.

The state certifies cannabis businesses that meet specific environmental standards and publicize the certifications to incentivize businesses to participate.

Innovation

Seed to sale tracking of each adult-use cannabis plant is no longer required.

Home delivery of cannabis is allowed.

Colleges and universities may grow and process cannabis for the purpose of offering classes related to the cannabis industry.

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