Cannabis Legalization Urged by Pennsylvania Governor

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Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is urging for his state to legalize adult-use cannabis.

Pennsylvania is gaining traction in legalization efforts for adult-use cannabis. Recently, Pennsylvania Governor, Josh Shapiro, reignited the flames by urging for the “Keystone State” to legalize cannabis in their state (1). The Philadelphia Inquirer (2), mentioned that the governor claimed that the state is “losing out on potential cannabis revenues to neighboring states that have already legalized.”

On February 6, 2024, Governor Shapiro discussed his budget proposal of $48.3 billion, which included the legalization of cannabis (1). As mentioned in a report (1), administration officials crunched some numbers to see what cannabis could look like in their state. With a 20% tax rate placed on regulated cannabis products, Pennsylvania may be able to earn $14.8 million in their first year in tax revenue. For their second year in the cannabis marketplace, the state could earn $76 million, $160 million during their third year, and potentially $230 million in their fourth year (1).

Looking around their neighboring states, for example, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Delaware, have all legalized adult-use cannabis in their respective states. Governor Shapiro has stated that the state is falling behind by not moving forward with cannabis legalization (1).


“Let’s stop hamstringing ourselves and start competing,” Governor Shapiro commented to the Philadelphia Inquirer (1,2).

Currently, the state Senate is controlled by Republicans who have previously been against various cannabis reforms, are now saying that they may be open to considering cannabis legalization (1). Senate Majority Leader, Joe Pittman (R), said, “We also need to understand where the governor is coming from.”

Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, Meredith Buettner, mentioned that the governor’s call for action “signals that he views legalization as a priority,” as reported in Spotlight PA (3).

Ganjapreneur mentioned a July 2023 poll that was conducted and showed that more than half of state votes were in support to legalizing adult-use cannabis (1). Support is growing for the plant, and it looks like Pennsylvania is gearing up to be the next state to legalize it.


  1. Abbott, G. Pennsylvania Gov. Calls for Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis (accessed Feb 13, 2024).
  2. Vadala, N.; McGoldrick, G. Gov. Josh Shapiro Called for Legalizing Marijuana, and the State’s Need for Revenue Could Help Make It A Reality (accessed Feb 13, 2024).
  3. Caruso, S.; Huangpu, K. PA Gov. Shapiro Budget Address Pitches Legal Weed (accessed Feb 13, 2024).