Pennsylvania Treasurer, Auditor General, & The Mayor Of Philadelphia To Speak At Cannabis Learn

3 PA Officials Will Discuss Social & Economic Benefits Of Cannabis Legalization At Cannabis Learn Conference & Expo

PENNSYLVANIA: Greenhouse Ventures,  a Philadelphia-based business accelerator, will host the three-day Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo featuring keynote presentations from Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, and Philadelphia’s Mayor, Jim Kenney on the economic benefits and savings from cannabis legalization.

In 2014, due to the work of then Councilmen, now Mayor, Jim Kenney, Philadelphia became the largest city to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession. Three years after implementing decriminalization the city of Philadelphia saw a 75% decrease in cannabis arrests, dropping for 12,000 (from the previous three years) to 2,900 (the three years after).

Cannabis Learn

“As a member of City Council, I was proud to pass legislation that decriminalized small quantities of marijuana. In the years since, we’ve seen a significant decrease in arrests for this. As a result, fewer people have entered our criminal justice system for possession than they did previously. I am looking forward to discussing our progress at this conference.” said Mayor Kenney.

In 2017 the ACLU of Pennsylvania released a study that found despite decriminalization inside Philadelphia, across the rest of the state there was a 33% increase in adults arrested from possession between 2010-2016.

Pennsylvania Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale, calls the state’s approach to dealing with cannabis nonsense. In 2016 the commonwealth’s general fund was down $1.6 billion, and another $600,000 deficit was expected heading into Fiscal Year 2018. DePasquale said in a conservative estimate, full legalization could provide at least $300 million in tax revenue a year.

“I think it is appropriate to regulate and tax marijuana in Pennsylvania because if we do this right we can actually reduce teen access, grow our economy, reduce opioid addiction and bring in critical revenue so that we don’t have to raise taxes,” Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said. “Pennsylvania could bring in, conservatively, about $300 million in revenue annually from regulating and taxing marijuana. It will also stimulate business and job growth in every region of the state.”

This estimate was made based on the cannabis industry operating strictly in all cash, as the industry is still largely shunned from banks. In effort to remove on of the industry’s most crippling problem, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, along with several other state Treasurers wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions a letter, requesting a meeting to receive clarity of the federal administration’s stance on cannabis legalization.

“All across the country—including right here in Pennsylvania—states are evaluating the use and legal status of cannabis products and making policy decisions based on our needs, not Beltway politics. In a state like PA—which has passed legislation allowing for medicinal use of these products and affecting their legal and tax status, growers and distributors need access to basic structures of the economy like secure banking services. I’m glad to participate in the Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo, and to discuss and help navigate these important issues.” said Torsella.

With three days of workshops and advanced programming for business owners, ancillary professionals, and operators working in the cannabis industry, the Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo will provide a forum for subject matter experts, policy makers, and cultural influencers to connect and share insights with those working in the day-to-day industry. Following PA’a Department of Health (DOH) announcement regarding phase two of the medical cannabis program, and the “Chapter 20 clinical registrant” license guidelines, the Cannabis Learn Conference aims to provide a stage for an in-depth discussion on the state of the PA medical cannabis program, while examining the social impact and economic benefits that cannabis legalization could have within Pennsylvania and the tri-state area.

“A regulated and prosperous cannabis market can’t exist in Pennsylvania without support from credible influencers in Harrisburg and large cities like Philadelphia.” said Kevin Provost, CEO of Greenhouse Ventures – the Philadelphia-based organization hosting the Cannabis Learn Conference. “Mayor Kenney, Joe Torsella, and Eugene DePasquale have been publicly supportive of the cannabis industry to date, and we felt it necessary to bring the cannabis industry influencers from around the country to work more closely with leading politicians, health care professionals, universities, and economic development organizations here in Pennsylvania – that’s what this conference is all about”.

The Cannabis Learn Conference and Expo is taking place April 30th – May 2nd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia as part of Philly Tech Week – Sponsored by Comcast. The conference is being hosted by Greenhouse Ventures, a business accelerator and program development organization specific for ancillary startups in the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries.

Studies: Changes In Marijuana’s Legal Status Not Associated With Increased Use By Young People

NEW YORK: Changes in marijuana’s legal status under state law is not associated with increased cannabis use or access by young people, according to pair of recently published studies.

In the first study, published online in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, researchers at Columbia University in New York surveyed the marijuana use habits of a national sampling of 1,310 adolescents over a two-year period. Investigators assessed whether respondents from states with liberalized cannabis policies were more likely to acknowledge having consumed cannabis as compared to those residing in jurisdictions where the substance remains criminally prohibited.

Authors reported that the study’s findings “failed to show a relationship between adolescents’ use of marijuana and state laws regarding marijuana use. … [They] suggest that eased sanctions on adult marijuana use are not associated with higher prevalence rates of marijuana use among adolescents.”

In the second study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of investigators from Columbia University, the University of California at Davis, and Boston University examined the relationship between medical cannabis laws and the prevalence of marijuana availability and use by adolescents and by those age 26 or older. Authors reported no changes over a nine-year period (2004 to 2013) with regard to the past-month prevalence of marijuana use by those ages 12 to 17 or those between the ages of 18 and 25. Those age 25 and younger also experienced no change in their perception of marijuana’s availability. By contrast, self-reported marijuana use and perceived availability increased among adults age 26 or older during this same time period.

The conclusions are similar to those of numerous separate studies reporting that changes in marijuana’s legal status are not associated with any uptick in teens’ use of the substance, such as those hereherehere, and here.

 

Washington, D.C., Panel Weighs Decriminalizing Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The District of Columbia will take a step closer toward decriminalizing marijuana on Wednesday with a move that will make smoking a joint in the U.S. capital a violation comparable to a parking ticket.

With Washington arresting people for pot possession at a higher rate than any state, a city council panel is set to mark up a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing less than an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana to a fine as little as $25.

If the bill is passed, Washington would join 15 U.S. states and a handful of cities, including Detroit, that have decriminalized marijuana use, making possession a civil rather than a criminal offense.

Decriminalization would hold down police and legal costs and reduce “undeniable racial disparities” that see blacks far more likely than whites to be arrested for pot, said Tommy Wells, chairman of the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, which will make changes to the bill.

More Than 1,000 Meet In Denver To Develop Drug War Exit Strategy

COLORADO: Which state will be next to legalize marijuana? What do the Obama administration’s recent announcements about marijuana legalization and mandatory minimums really mean? What are some solutions to the national overdose crisis that takes more lives than car accidents or gun violence? Why do blacks go to jail for drugs at 13 times the rate of whites even though they use and sell drugs at similar rates? What role can faith leaders play in organizing and mobilizing their congregations to end the drug war? [Read more…]

More Than 1,000 Meet In Denver To Develop Drug War Exit Strategy

COLORADO: Which state will be next to legalize marijuana? What do the Obama administration’s recent announcements about marijuana legalization and mandatory minimums really mean? What are some solutions to the national overdose crisis that takes more lives than car accidents or gun violence? Why do blacks go to jail for drugs at 13 times the rate of whites even though they use and sell drugs at similar rates? What role can faith leaders play in organizing and mobilizing their congregations to end the drug war? [Read more…]

Good Reason to Legalize Marijuana

Posted by John C. Liu

NEW YORK: It’s time to recognize that New York City’s misguided war on marijuana has failed. Instead of spending millions on low-level drug prosecutions that disproportionately affect minorities, why not instead legalize, regulate, and tax the City’s $1.65 billion marijuana market? [Read more…]

Good Reason to Legalize Marijuana

Posted by John C. Liu

NEW YORK: It’s time to recognize that New York City’s misguided war on marijuana has failed. Instead of spending millions on low-level drug prosecutions that disproportionately affect minorities, why not instead legalize, regulate, and tax the City’s $1.65 billion marijuana market? [Read more…]