A Pennsylvania lawmaker on Friday introduced a bill to expand the number of medical marijuana growers in the state, prioritizing small farms to break up what it described as monopolies or large corporations that have caused supply problems.
Rep. Melissa Schusterman (Democrat) introduced the bill, which she said will help solve supply chain problems caused by restrictions on the number of farmers who can operate in a given geographic area.
“Pennsylvanians should have no trouble getting prescription medications to relieve pain and disease,” Schusterman She said In a press release. “Restrictions on farmers and processors harm small businesses, farmers and patients alike.”
I formally submitted my bill to allow small PA farmers to grow medical marijuana, because I believe the current restrictions hurt both PA growers and medical marijuana patients. https://t.co/TQORhySPEv
Representative Melissa Shusterman (@RepShusterman) October 29 2021
Shusterman raised the case for the first time in co-sponsorship note to colleagues in March. The legislator said at the time that it was “crucial for Pennsylvania to have an accessible and equitable entry into the burgeoning medical cannabis industry.”
Under her proposal, which has been submitted to 14 initial sponsors and referred to the House Health Committee, there would be a new definition added to the state’s medical cannabis law for “farmers-growers” who could obtain commercial licenses for marijuana.
The farmer-farmer will be limited to growing hemp on a single site of no more than two acres of land, but his produce will be taxed less than other growers. Under the current system, producers face a 5 percent gross receipt tax on sales to dispensaries. This will be set at just 1 percent for farmers.
While existing farmers need to satisfy municipal zoning and land use requirements for manufacturing, processing and production facilities, farmers-farmers have to meet the requirements of agricultural operations.
We hope that creating this new permit class and enabling small farmers to grow hemp will lower prices for consumers, as well as open up opportunities for more business.
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“Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of medical marijuana for certain medical conditions,” Chesterman said. “It is unfair that only large corporations control the market, to the detriment of consumers and small businesses.”
However, the legislation will not allow medical cannabis patients to grow their own drugs. Efforts to add this right to her defeated in the legislature.
the new Bill The introduction comes as Pennsylvania lawmakers work to advance adult use legalization and other drug policy reforms.
Long-awaited bipartisan Senate bill to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania that took months to prepare It was officially introduced earlier this month.
Senators Dan Laughlin (R) and Street Sheriff (D) unveiled the nearly 240-page legislation months later. First, briefly, some key details Back in February. Adults age 21 and older will be allowed to purchase and own up to 30 grams of cannabis, five grams of concentrated marijuana products, and 500 milligrams of THC found in cannabis-infused products.
Meanwhile, Rep. Secretary Brown (d) recently He announced his intention to introduce a reform bill that will work on Senator Mike Reagan (right), who had expressed support for the policy change the day before.
In addition, a separate pair of state legislators – deputies. Jake Wheatley (D) and Dan Frankel (D) –Officially unveiled their proposed legalization bill.
While each measure generally seeks to decriminalize and put an end to marijuana by creating a regulated business model for cannabis, there are some provisions that make each legislation unique. For example, the proposals differ in how they approach taxes, revenue, and social justice.
While these recent moves to enact reform in the GOP-controlled legislature embolden advocates, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (right) recently tempered expectations, saying there was “no significant support for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States.” House Republican Assembly.”
Lt. Col. John Fetterman (D), Who is running for the US Senate?, told Marijuana Moment in a recent phone interview that he is optimistic about the prospects for reform with these latest proposals, although he acknowledged that there may be disagreements among lawmakers over how to distribute tax revenue.
Governor Tom Wolfe (Democrat) said a bipartisan approach to legalization “would be a great thing. I think the time is right.”
Meanwhile, Philadelphia City Council has Hold a referendum on local polls in November Urging the state to enact legalization. The hope is that local voting can motivate the legislature to move forward with legalization.
While broad cannabis legalization proposals haven’t moved forward in the Republican-led legislature, Pennsylvania senators heard testimony last month. Draft law to protect medical marijuana patients from being prosecuted under the state’s “zero tolerance” laws.
Senator Camera Bartolotta (right) First introduced a previous version of the bill in June 2020. It said at the time that the state should “ensure that legal use of this drug does not result in a criminal conviction.”
Months after introducing independent reform legislation, the Pennsylvania House approved A separate amendment would enact the policy change.
Separately this month, a bipartisan coalition of Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced a bill aimed at Strengthening research into the therapeutic potential of psilocybin mushrooms For mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Outside the legislature, wolf He said earlier this year that legalizing marijuana was a priority He also negotiated the annual budget with lawmakers. However, his official spending request did not contain legislative language to actually accomplish the cannabis policy change.
Wolf who signed Medical cannabis expansion bill in June, repeatedly called for legalization and Press the Republican-controlled legislature to pursue reform where Moving out in favor of politics in 2019. Shortly after he did, the legislator submitted a separate bill to Legalization of marijuana through a state-run model.
in May, Wolf pardoned a doctor who was arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for growing the marijuana he used to bring relief to his dying wife. This distinguishes him Pardon No. 96 for people convicted of cannabis Through the Nonviolent Marijuana-Related Nonviolent Crime Expedited Review Program administered by the Amnesty Board.
A survey from Franklin and Marshall College published this week found that Sixty percent of Pennsylvania voters support legalizing adult use. This is the highest level of support for this issue since the company began polling people about it in 2006.
Mississippi governor dodges questions about a private medical marijuana session when confronted by patient advocates
Image courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.