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The push for legal recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania

Will Pennsylvania legalize recreational pot this year? Some say they think it's about time as other states move forward, and Governor Wolf calls for it too.

MONTOUR COUNTY, Pa. — Will Pennsylvania legalize recreational pot this year? Some are hoping 2021 is a green year in Pennsylvania.

The November elections brought big changes in marijuana laws across the country: the so-called Green Wave.

Several states, including New Jersey, approved adult-use of cannabis, called recreational use.

Medical marijuana is legal in the Keystone State. The governor and some in the business are calling for state lawmakers to also OK recreational use this year.

“The Pennsylvania population has spoken very loudly, 70 percent if you look at any poll right now, adult Pennsylvanians believe that legislation and adult-use should be enacted," said Tim Hawkins, vice president of retail operations for Green Thumb Industries.

Green Thumb Industries is a company with a marijuana growing/processing facility in the Danville area, more than a dozen dispensaries throughout the state, and locations around the country.

Hawkins says with more anxiety during this pandemic, medical marijuana use has spiked. He predicts federal legalization in the near future.

“The population is speaking, and without a doubt, we will see federal legislation at some point in the future. Now we can sit back and say it’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen; it’s a matter of when."

Gov. Tom Wolf has said Pennsylvanians might go to New Jersey for recreational pot, spending money there that should be spent here.

Some lawmakers do not want to make the change.

Others have called for more studies and information before making a decision.

“We have a robust, successful, safe medical program that has proven itself and the members who are part of the grow side in Pennsylvania and dispensary side, highly regulated, we have proven this can be done," said Hawkins.