Pennsylvania GOP leader tosses cold water on marijuana legalization plan

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One of Pennsylvania’s top-ranking Republicans said lawmakers likely won’t legalize recreational marijuana this fall, despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s pleas.

“Like with any issue, a bill would need to work its way through the Senate Committee process to be vetted,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said, according to the Courier-Express in DuBois. “Movement on this issue should not be expected this fall.”

Wolf last month called on the Legislature to legalize an adult-use commercial program in part to relieve state fiscal pressures caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also wants to set aside 50% of marijuana tax revenues for historically disadvantaged small businesses.

The Democratic governor reiterated his call for legalization during a press conference Thursday.

While this year looks like a long shot, industry insiders say that there’s a good chance Pennsylvania will legalize a commercial recreational marijuana program next year.

Pressure especially will be on Pennsylvania to do so, experts say, if residents in neighboring New Jersey pass, as expected, an adult-use referendum in November.