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Could 2020 be the year of legal weed in Pa.? Don’t hold your breath

The legal weed industry is among the fastest-growing in the United States, according to a Marijuana Business Daily report. Veuer’s Sam Berman has the full story.

Marijuana laws across the country are changing quickly, so let’s get the most important answer out of the way before we even get started.

No, recreational weed is still not legal in Pennsylvania.

With all the major milestones in the world of weed this past year, one may be surprised to learn that the path to recreational marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania is still quite long.

Eleven states have already legalized marijuana for adult use. And in New Jersey, voters will be asked to answer a ballot question on legalization in November. Yet in Pennsylvania, it seems that things have stalled.

Senate Bill 350, which has come to be known as the “gold standard” legalization bill, is nothing short of a dream for cannabis advocates. Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman support full legalization in Pennsylvania.

What’s holding up legal weed bill?

The bill, introduced by Democratic state senators Sharif Street and Daylin Leach, faces some obstacles — it needs to find GOP support in a Republican-controlled Senate. And the problem, Leach said, is getting these big bills heard. But there’s an election in November and that could change the makeup of the legislature.

“Some people think Pennsylvania has already reached a tipping point, but I don’t know if we’re there yet,” Leach said. “2019 was just a crack in the wall.”

And as hopeful as people are that 2020 will be the year of legal weed in Pennsylvania, it probably won’t be, Leach said. He anticipates adult use coming into play by spring 2021.

However, Leach said the commonwealth will be keeping an eye on what surrounding states do this year. If New York and New Jersey pass it, there will be tremendous economic pressure on Pennsylvania, Leach said.

“Whether you think it’s a good idea or not, we are losing economic activity,” Leach said. “It has the potential to be a huge tourism draw, but our opportunity is dissipating as states around us are becoming the entrepreneurs.”

So now we just have to wait. But in case you were totally lost while reading this article, here’s a refresher on where things stand with weed in Pennsylvania.

Is weed legal in Pennsylvania?

No. Cannabis in Pennsylvania is illegal for recreational use, but possession of small amounts is decriminalized in several cities.

When will weed be legal in Pennsylvania?

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman visited every Pennsylvania county on a ‘listening tour’ about legalizing marijuana. (Photo: Cameron Clark, York Daily Record)

Democratic state senator Daylin Leach, who introduced the “gold standard” bill to allow for adult use, said he anticipates adult use coming into play by spring 2021.

What is so special about Senate Bill 350?

From growing it at home, to at-your-door delivery service, Senate Bill 350 is nothing short of a dream for cannabis advocates.

This may come as a surprise, but the path to recreational marijuana legalization in Pa. is still quite long.

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