Prominent voices are pushing for cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, April 20, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita, and Lehigh Valley NORML Executive Director Jeff Riedy called for the state to legalize cannabis, highlighting economic and social justice benefits for Pennsylvanians.
Legalization Would Benefit Pennsylvanians
According to Leafly data, cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania would support more than 32,000 full-time jobs, generate $3.3 billion in annual sales, and bring in $520 million in annual tax revenue.
Leafly data shows that Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis industry created more than 7,000 jobs in 2020, making it one of the top 10 cannabis job creation states in the country.
According to Leafly, the new data, which supplements the company’s 2021 Cannabis Jobs Report, shows that legal cannabis sales can drive economic growth and help Pennsylvania recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Leafly says that a Pennsylvania cannabis industry could employ as many workers as the state’s steel industry within 3-5 years of legalization.
“Legal weed is a powerful tool to create family-sustaining, full-time jobs while ending the prosecution of more than 20,000 Pennsylvanians every year,” says Lt. Governor Fetterman. “This is a strong bipartisan issue, and it’s past time to end prohibition, right the wrongs of the War on Drugs, and for Pennsylvania to reap the revenue, jobs, freedom, and benefits for our farmers that more than a dozen other states already enjoy.”
Leafly data also illustrates how cannabis criminalization has disproportionately affected communities of color.
Legal Cannabis is for Everyone
According to Leafly, incorporating social equity into the foundation of legal cannabis would address issues in Pennsylvania’s legal system and save the state $75 million in annual law enforcement costs.
Miyashita says that legalizing cannabis would create a tremendous opportunity for Pennsylvania.
“Legalizing cannabis would create tens of thousands of new jobs while boosting tax revenue by billions of dollars over time,” says Miyashita. “Clemency, expungement, and equity policies would bring economic justice and generational wealth to communities throughout the state.”
With much of the United States moving toward legal cannabis, Miyashita says that Pennsylvania cannot fall behind and that the time to legalize is now.