Pennsylvania Governor. Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania Governor, presented Tuesday his budget proposal for the state. It included plans to impose a tax marijuana sales.
Pennsylvania is still prohibited from selling cannabis.
Shapiro’s suggestion is an acknowledgement of a Keystone State feature that encourages weed growth.
“The first term governor’s budget proposes an adult use marijuana tax which would be imposed upon the wholesale price for products that are sold within the controlled framework of the sales and production system once it is legalized.”
The budget states that the proposed rate would be 20 percent of wholesale prices for cannabis products sold under the regulated framework.
According to the proposal, sales would begin January 1, 2025 and revenue collection in the first year of 2024-25.
However, the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out that Shapiro’s budget does not contain any policy proposals.
The Inquirer states that Shapiro “proposed estimates that adult-use sales would start in January 2025, bring in approximately $16 million tax revenue that year… Tax revenue [would] also increase to $64.1million in 2026 and $132.6million in 2027 and $188.8 millions in 2028.”
Shaprio was elected governor in Pennsylvania last year. Other Pennsylvania Democrats also made it clear that they support legalizing marijuana.
“Legalize marijuana. It should be regulated. It should be taxed,” Shapiro stated on Twitter in 2021.
He stressed the need for any new marijuana law to contain social equity provisions in order to correct the past wrongs caused by the Drug War.
Shapiro added in a tweet, “But let’s be clear. Legalization must include exoneration for those who are in prison or have been sentenced for possession of small amounts marijuana.” This has had a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities for too long.
Two Pennsylvania legislators filed an earlier memo expressing their wish to get a marijuana legalization bill passed this year.
State House Reps. Dan Frankel, a Democrat, and Donna Bullock, a Democrat, stated in The memo that “It is time to tax and regulate this major crop product in support of the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvanians.” This was published in January. We will soon be introducing legislation for just this.”
Frankel, Bullock and others highlighted Pennsylvania’s widespread use of marijuana–both in the established state medical marijuana program and on the illegal market.
They wrote that “Pennsylvanians use cannabis.” The medical marijuana program allows some of the cannabis to be sold legaly to patients. These products are controlled for safety, and the producers cover the cost of the management program.
The lawmakers added that marijuana is illegally sold in Pennsylvania. We don’t know what it contains, where it came from or how it was made. It is known that cannabis gets in the hands of youths, but we do not receive any tax benefits to help our communities. In the meantime, enforcement of our cannabis laws have not affected every community equally. According to data compiled and published by NORML from Pennsylvania State Police, while whites and blacks use cannabis in equal amounts, they are approximately 3.5 times more likely to be arrested.
Their proposal, they said, “will establish a legal framework to regulate and control the cultivation, transport, distribution, delivery, and sale of cannabis products at retail with the following central objectives in mind: Consumer safety; Social justice; Economic equity; Prevention of Substance Use Disorders; Revenue.”
However, Pennsylvania’s prospects of legalization remain uncertain.
The Inquirer stated that “Since last year, many lawmakers have filed memos regarding legalization proposals. These give an indication of what an adult use market might look like — although it’s not clear if and when a law will be passed.”
The post Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Taxes On Pot–But No Legalization Bill originally appeared on High Times.