Philadephia Mayor Jim Kenney backs Gov. Wolf’s push to legalize recreational marijuana for Covid relief funding

The mayor on Tuesday threw his support behind the governor’s call to legalize the drug for recreational use. Wolf’s proposal would have hundreds of millions of dollars in CARES Act funding as well as additional tax revenue from the marijuana sales going to loan and grant programs for small businesses impacted by Covid-19.

“If alcohol is being sold and sponsored by the state as it is, there’s no reason why recreational marijuana should not be in the same category as vodka and gin and whiskey,” Kenney said.

Wolf relaxed restrictions on alcohol in 2016 after signing Act 39, and Pennsylvania’s alcohol sales have been breaking records and adding more money to the General Fund every year since. Wolf’s newest proposal would also cancel or reduce the alcohol tax for six to alleviate the tax burden on restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses.

Kenney said the medical marijuana industry has been expanding in Philadelphia and other cities. Medical marijuana sales in Pennsylvania skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the amount of marijuana sold since February topping the amount purchased in the previous two years combined, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. [Read more at Philadelphia Business Journal]

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