SB 846 PA Cannabis Regulation Condensed Bill Summary
Personal Liberty and Possession Limits
180 days after the effective date, allows adults 21 and over to:
Possess, use, buy, or gift to other adults up to 30 grams of cannabis, 1,000 milligrams of THC in infused products, and five grams of cannabis concentrate.
➔ Cannabis smoking is permitted in most places where cigarette smoking is permitted, but not in cars. It may be prohibited by anyone in lawful possession of property.
Establishes an appointed Cannabis Regulatory Control Board, with an executive director, chief medical officer, and staff.
Provides for four adult-use license types: cultivation/processing, micro-cultivation (up to 3,000 square feet of canopy), dispensing, and testing labs.
Provides that adult-use cannabis business licenses will be issued to:
○ existing medical dispensary permit holders if they pay a $25,000 fee.
○ existing medical growers/processors if they pay roughly $300,000 in fees and donations or loans related to equity.
○ social and economic equity applicants that sign “charter agreements” with medical dispensary licensees that provide them support.
○ in the case of up to four new dispensary licenses, up to three new cultivation licenses, and a Board-determined number of micro-cultivation licenses, other applicants, via a merit-based licensing system.
Allows existing medical licensees to serve adults six months after passage.
Allows existing medical growers/processors to have up to two locations.
Allows non-vertically integrated medical cannabis growers/processors (with no dispensary) to apply for a permit to operate up to three dual-use retailers.
Advancing Equity and Diversity in the Industry
Directs the Board to develop policies to prioritize and promote diversity and full participation by people from disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs).
DIAs are areas with one of the following: at least a 20% poverty rate; 75% of children in the school lunch program; and/or 20% of the households receiving SNAP.
Allows medical cannabis businesses with dispensaries to apply to double their dispensary locations if they provide financial and operational support to incubate a social and economic equity applicant. The medical business cannot have more than 10% ownership and must provide a pathway for full ownership.
Establishes a Cannabis Business Development Fund — a program for financial assistance, loans, grants, and technical assistance to equity applicants.
Transfers $3 million into the Cannabis Business Development Fund.
In most cases, regulators will waive the following for equity applicants: 50% of the application fee, the fee associated with purchasing a permit, and any surety bond.
○ If an equity applicant transfers their license to a non-equity applicant, the new owner must pay waived fees and outstanding grants/loans received.
On January 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, the Board will issue a report on diversity in the cannabis industry and barriers to entry, including access to capital.
Requires the Board to craft an array of regulations including record-keeping, pesticide use, labeling and packaging, and to designate a tracking provider.
The Board will set rules for home delivery by dispensaries and micro-cultivators.
Caps THC at 15% for flowers and 40% for concentrates for adult-use.
Local governments may enact reasonable ordinances regulating cannabis business establishments, including minimum distance limitations between cannabis business establishments and sensitive locations.
Localities can limit cannabis business numbers but cannot ban them completely.
Imposes excise and sales taxes totaling 13% on retail sales.
Allocates taxes to localities (20%), the Board (2%), and the general fund.
Allows medical cannabis patients to cultivate cannabis for personal use.
Moves the medical cannabis program to the Board.
Cannabis Clean Slate and Release
Automatically expunges records for some non-violent cannabis offenses and provides for immediate release of those incarcerated for expungable offenses.
Starts the process within six months.
Automatically reinstates motor vehicle privileges that were suspended or revoked as a result of the individual's expunged conviction.
Other Criminal Justice Reforms and Non-Discrimination
Reduces penalty for those under 21 possessing cannabis from possible jail to a warning, civil fine, and/or adjudication alternatives.
Provides some non-discrimination protections, including related to occupational/professional licensing, child custody, and firearms.