On August 25th, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf called for the legalization of recreational cannabis to assist with the state’s efforts in supporting small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Pennsylvania’s small businesses and hospitality sectors have been hit hard by COVID-19 and the State has incurred steep costs in an effort to help those struggling businesses.  Gov. Wolf’s proposal to legalize recreational cannabis would generate additional tax revenue for the state and assist with the COVID-19 support.  In addition to generating additional funds to support small businesses, half of the tax revenue generated by recreational cannabis sales would be directed to historically disadvantaged businesses.

For additional information on Gov. Wolf’s proposal, check out this article by the Philidelphia Business Journal: Wolf calls for recreational marijuana to be legalized to help with Covid relief funding.

Most states have seen an increase in their costs due to COVID-19.  Whether it is an increase in unemployment or additional assistance offered to businesses, states across the board have seen an increase in expenditures.  Cannabis legalization can play a pivotal role in helping states meet their new burdens and challenges.  Gov. Wolf may be one of many government officials that will begin pushing their states to legalize cannabis sales as they take notice of the tax revenues generated by the states that have legalized cannabis before the pandemic.  Currently, Pennsylvania only allows medicinal cannabis sales.  If it agrees with Gov. Wolf’s proposal, it will join 11 other states that have legalized recreational cannabis in the U.S.