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Will Pennsylvania Finally See Recreational Weed in 2022?

Mar, 2022
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The prospect of Pennsylvania recreational marijuana has come with its fair share of barriers, as the concerns of lawmakers and residents have muddied the waters. Throughout the process of numerous bill introductions, hearings, and testimonies, the state of Pennsylvania has used its voice to support and oppose adult-use cannabis. Although the legislation has seen a lot of uncertainty in its search for the best approach to legalization, Pennsylvania recreational weed 2022 shouldn’t be ruled out.

So let’s explore the PA recreational weed movement as we seek answers. Elevate Holistics is here to give you an update and let you know what could be next for the Commonwealth. So is Pennsylvania recreational weed legal? Does Pennsylvania have recreational marijuana for retail sale yet? When will weed be legal in PA?

pennsylvania recreational cannabis 2022

Pennsylvania Recreational Weed 2022 Update

The topic is hot: is Pennsylvania recreational weed legal? Not quite – fully approving PA recreational weed will be a process of convincing the state legislature, of which both chambers are controlled by the Republican party.

The Pennsylvania recreational marijuana bills introduced have focused on regulating weed for safety reasons, redirecting money from “black market” sellers back to the state, freeing those with non-violent cannabis convictions, expunging records, and social equity (which is something New York may have just set the standard for when it comes to cannabis).

The Independent Fiscal Office has estimated that tax revenues from adult-use marijuana sales could generate between $400 million and $1 billion in Pennsylvania. The people of PA are dying to know, when will weed be legal in PA? In February 2022, a Pennsylvania Senate committee finally debated recreational legalization for the first time. The legislative panel held three hearings regarding the issue. 

A Summary of The Hearings

The first two hearings discussed the successes and failures of adult-use marijuana programs in other states. For Pennsylvania’s adult-use legislation, Sen. Mike Regan plans to create a way for residents to get safe, quality cannabis products, avoid cross-border sales from neighboring states that have legalized adult-use cannabis, and address DUI and workplace safety concerns.

At the third and final Pennsylvania recreational marijuana hearing, medical marijuana professionals and advocates overviewed the positives and negatives of the current Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana. Regan says that learning about PA’s MMJ industry will help form an “oversight structure for adult-use” cannabis. 

After the hearings, Sen. Judy Ward criticized the Pennsylvania state Senate panel for only hearing one side of the issue. But Regan said no written testimony was turned away and that the hearings were intended to hear expert testimony that addressed certain questions.

Pennsylvania Cannabis History

pennsylvania recreational weed 2022

The movement of Pennsylvania recreational weed 2022 is fairly new, but PA’s modern weed journey started years before. In 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Pennsylvania’s compassionate medical cannabis legislation. A month later, the law went into effect. Then two years later in 2018, the first dispensaries finally began serving patients. So it wasn’t an easy path to obtain medical marijuana in PA either.

But even with medical weed legal, PA residents were facing cannabis convictions, other restrictions, and safety concerns from “black market” weed. Residents and lawmakers alike began to fight for the right to make Pennsylvania recreational marijuana a reality. So where did the PA recreational weed legalization movement start? 

In 2021:

  • Sens. Dan Laughlin and Sharif Street introduced the first bipartisan bill to legalize the adult use of cannabis in Pennsylvania. This bill would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess cannabis from licensed retailers. Customers would have a possession limit of 30 grams. Laughlin was the first Republican legislator in PA to sponsor an adult-use legalization bill. He has also introduced two bills that would regulate cannabis and allow registered medical patients access to home cultivation.
  • Rep. David Delloso introduced a bill to amend the Liquor Code to include a section on adult-use marijuana. It would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and be regulated like alcohol in Pennsylvania.
  • Reps. Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania, also known as the Cannabis Regulatory Control Act. The bill would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis. Under this bill, 15 percent of tax revenue would go toward community reinvestment, with 15 percent to substance misuse treatment programs. The bill would expunge the records of people charged with non-violent, cannabis-related offenses. 
  • Sen. Mike Regan and Rep. Amen Brown circulated a co-sponsorship memo for a state Senate bill that would allow adults 21 years of age and older to purchase and possess cannabis in Pennsylvania. Regan placed a significance on the need to end criminalization to free up police resources.

Then in 2022, the legislation was debated by the state Senate panel for the first time. Rep. Amen Brown plans to introduce the same legislation to the state House which will give us a little more clarity on the legislature’s direction.

LEARN MORE: Can You Grow Weed in Pennsylvania? | Everything You Need to Know About Pennsylvania's Medical Cannabis Program

What’s Next For Recreational Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Is weed recreational in PA? When will weed be legal in PA? The state legislature has failed to pass each bill so far, but there’s hope for the future. So let’s find out what’s next for recreational weed in Pennsylvania.  

Governor Tom Wolf is in support of PA recreational weed, so it seems it might only be a matter of time until the plant is available for retail sale. He recently tweeted that Pennsylvania was “missing out” on marijuana money, referring to Colorado announcing $12.2 billion in total cannabis sales. Gov. Wolf has pardoned about 100 PA residents for cannabis convictions.

pennsylvania recreational weed 2022

So is Pennsylvania recreational weed legal yet? To legalize weed in PA, the state legislature needs to come to an agreement. Currently, it is unclear if the legislation will even make it through the House of Representatives, where most Republican leaders remain opposed to Pennsylvania recreational marijuana.

Get Medicated With Elevate Holistics

Is Pennsylvania recreational weed legal yet? No, not yet. So then when will weed be legal in PA? We’re not sure, and that’s why it’s important to get your medical marijuana card so you can start getting medicated legally and safely. Having a medical marijuana card gives patients lower costs at the dispensary, higher possession limits, options when traveling to certain states with MMJ reciprocity, and stronger legal protection.

Pennsylvania recreational weed 2022 might be a possibility in the future, but for now, it is only medically available. Book an appointment with Elevate Holistics to connect with a cannabis physician for MMJ approval today. Your doctor’s appointment and the entirety of the process are online. Simply put, we’re here to make it as quick and simple as possible.