HARRISBURG – With voters in neighboring New Jersey set to vote in November on whether to legalize adult use of marijuana, Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday renewed his call for the General Assembly to act on legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania.
Republicans in both the state House and Senate once again made it clear they were not interested in doing so.
“Now more than ever, we see a desperate need for the economic boost cannabis legalization can provide. So today I am proposing we legalize adult-use cannabis here in Pennsylvania with a portion of the revenue going toward existing small business grants,” Wolf said.
“Half of these grants would be earmarked for historically disadvantaged businesses, many of which have had difficulties attaining other assistance because of systemic issues.”
The governor said a new marijuana industry would generate revenue and jobs for the state as it tries to emerge from the pandemic’s economic crisis.
Legislation to legalize marijuana has been stalled in committee in the General Assembly, where Republicans hold the majority of both chambers.
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, said leaders of that chamber do not plan to act on legalizing marijuana in the fall legislative session. The Senate returns to the Capitol next week.
“We have long maintained that state laws should be changed because they are a good policy for the people of Pennsylvania – not because of their potential to generate money,” Corman said.
While Corman said lawmakers have no immediate plan to act on marijuana legalization legislation, they’d like the governor to provide more information about how marijuana would be regulated and sold under Wolf’s plan.
Republicans in the state House are no more eager to take up the issue.
“Instead of legalizing drugs as a way to tax and spend on