New Jersey is almost certain to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use within a year, and that’s sure to have major repercussions on Pennsylvania’s nascent medical cannabis industry.
Gov.-elect Phil Murphy ran on a platform calling for full legalization of all forms of marijuana for anyone over 21. Industry analysts say the Garden State cannabis market could be worth $1 billion a year and generate an annual $300 million for the state’s tax coffers.
“It could be massive,” said Chris Walsh, editor of Marijuana Business Daily, addressing the MJBizCon cannabis convention, which drew 18,000 people this month in Las Vegas.
Bills are pending in both houses of the Legislature, and though a few lawmakers have expressed reservations, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D; Gloucester) also considers legalization “a priority.”
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program, set to launch in the first quarter of 2018 and offering only oil-based products, may find itself outmaneuvered. Already, some entrepreneurs envision the equivalent of “Total Weed” shops just across the bridges. If Jersey marijuana is less expensive, legal for all adults, and sold in forms not available in Pennsylvania (buds and edibles, primarily), expected profits for the Keystone State’s growers and dispensers could take a serious hit, especially in the southeastern part of the state. That could prompt legislators in Harrisburg to consider full legalization sooner than later. [Read more at The Inquirer]
Source: Cannabis Business Executive