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Pennsylvania’s governor proposes pot taxes — but there’s no bill to legalize it

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Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro on Tuesday He unveiled his proposed budget for the statewhich included a plan to tax marijuana sales.

Selling cannabis, in particular, is still illegal in Pennsylvania.

But Shapiro’s proposal is a nod to a weed-friendly feature in Keystone State.

The first gubernatorial budget “proposes the use of adults hemp tax which will be imposed on the wholesale prices of the products sold through the regulating framework of the production and sales system, once it is legalized.”

The proposed rate is 20 percent of the wholesale price of cannabis products sold through the regulatory framework. You read the budget.

The proposal includes an estimate that “sales will commence on January 1, 2025, with initial revenue collection in 2024-25.”

but like Philadelphia Inquirer male, Shapiro’s budget “does not include any proposed policy changes in the budget.”

According to the The inquirerAnd Shapiro’s proposal includes estimates that assume adult use sales will begin in January 2025 and generate about $16 million in tax revenue that year… [and] tax revenue [would] Increase to $64.1 million in 2026, $132.6 million in 2027, and $188.8 million in 2028.”

Shaprio, who was elected governor last year, and other Pennsylvania Democrats have announced they want to legalize marijuana in the state.

“Legalization of marijuana.” Organize it. tax it,” Shapiro said on Twitter in 2021.

He also stressed the importance of any new cannabis law to include social justice provisions to right past wrongs of the drug war.

“But let me be clear: Legalization must include the eradication of those who are in prison or have served time for possession of small amounts of marijuana,” Shapiro continued in a tweet. “Our Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately affected by this for far too long.”

A pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers filed a memo earlier this year saying they want to pass a bill legalizing cannabis this year.

“It is time to regulate and tax this staple crop product in the service of the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians,” State Assembly Representatives Dan Frankel and Donna Bullock, both Democrats, said in a statement. memo, which was released in January. “Soon we will introduce legislation to do this.”

Frankel and Pollock highlight the ubiquity of cannabis use in Pennsylvania—both through the state’s established medical marijuana program and through the illegal market.

“Pennsylvanians use cannabis,” they wrote in the note. “Some of this cannabis is sold legally to patients through the Medical Cannabis Program. These products are regulated for safety and the costs of running the program are paid by the producers.”

Hemp is also sold illegally in Pennsylvania. “We have no idea what’s in it, how it was produced or where it came from. We know it’s in the hands of young people, and we get no tax benefit to support our communities; meanwhile, enforcement of our cannabis laws has not affected all communities equally — far from That. Although white people and people of color use cannabis roughly equally, black Pennsylvanians are about 3.5 times as likely to be arrested for cannabis use as their white counterparts, according to Pennsylvania State Police data compiled by NORML.”

They said their proposal would “create a structured legal and regulatory framework to monitor and regulate the cultivation, transportation, distribution, delivery and sale of cannabis and its products in retail stores with the following central goals in mind: consumer safety; social justice; economic justice; substance use disorder prevention; profit.”

But the prospects for legalization in Pennsylvania remain unclear.

“Since late last year, several lawmakers have submitted briefs on legalization proposals that give an idea of ​​what the adult use market could look like — though it’s unclear whether or not the legalization bill will pass.” The inquirer mentioned.

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