First Cannabis Podcast Co-hosted by a Legislator, “Planting Seeds” Documents Pennsylvania’s Road to Recreational Cannabis

Harrisburg, PA (Newsworthy.ai) Tuesday Feb 6, 2024 @ 10:47 AM Eastern —

 

CannabisRadio.com has launched a limited series podcast titled “Planting Seeds,” with the aim of educating and enlightening the citizens of Pennsylvania, policymakers, and the business community. This initiative comes in the wake of Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s Budget address, which proposed the legalization of recreational marijuana. “Planting Seeds” is distinguished by the involvement of Pennsylvania State Senator Sharif Street, marking the first time a legislator has co-hosted a podcast focused on cannabis. He is joined by Joe Hodas, the Chief Marketing Officer of Wana Brands, in leading discussions that navigate the complexities and potential of cannabis legalization.

The limited series will be available on all major podcast portals including but not limited to Apple Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Podcasts, and CannabisRadio.com’s mobile apps.

Today’s Pennsylvania Budget Address saw Governor Josh Shapiro propose adult-use marijuana legalization effective July 1, 2024, which would bring in critical tax revenue and new business opportunities for Pennsylvanians. This proposal is estimated to generate $14.8 million in General Fund revenues in FY 2024-25 with proceeds from the tax to be deposited into an Adult Use Cannabis Restricted Account.

“I’m pleased that Governor Shapiro has made adult-use legislation a priority for fiscal year 2024-25,” said Senator Street. “Our goal is to implement a just and equitable adult-use program in Pennsylvania which can only be accomplished through bi-partisanship, which is why the conversations we are having on Planting Seeds are so essential. “The time to end the prohibition of cannabis in Pennsylvania has come. It is critical we provide accurate education surrounding cannabis reform and what it means for the residents of Pennsylvania. This podcast provides a unique opportunity for our community to be in the passenger’s seat during the process.”

“There are so many important aspects to consider when a state seeks to expand cannabis access, from public safety to reparative efforts,” said Joe Hodas, CMO of Wana Brands. “I have had the privilege to work in the cannabis industry for over a decade. While we witness Pennsylvania’s efforts to become the 25th state to enact a regulated recreational cannabis program, it is compelling to consider the potential and pitfalls of the states that came before.”

    Episode One: In the “Planting Seeds” inaugural conversation, Sen. Street and Hodas discuss the challenges of successfully passing legislation and the ongoing stigma and misinformation that still surrounds cannabis for some stakeholders.

    • Senator Street on dispelling historical misinformation: “We have legislators who are still talking about the ‘Reefer Madness’ movie … The reality is that we know that addiction to serious drugs like opioids and narcotics goes down when you move toward cannabis legalization.”

    Episode Two: Senator Street and Hodas provide an overview of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Decriminalization Bill 1028, which would reduce the charge for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a summary offense.

      • Senator Street on the importance of moving this bill through the Pennsylvania General Assembly: “First of all, decriminalization and legalization are not the same thing. Decriminalization is moving recreational cannabis use from being a serious criminal offense to–in most cases–a summary offense. The idea is we don’t need to be filling our jails with people who haven’t done anything other than use cannabis for personal use. It’s a drain on taxpayers’ money.”

        Episode Three: Hodas interviews journalist Tauhid Chappel on his work educating newsrooms about how to approach cannabis reporting.

        • Chappel on the challenges of reporting on cannabis in a fair and balanced light: “Changing the culture and perception inside a newsroom and working with colleagues who have those areas of authority to make those decisions, especially editorially, is a very hard game. It’s a very long game of trying to address those internal biases and stigmas that ultimately show up in the final product of a newspaper or TV show or digital article. So it really comes down to educating internally and me having to talk to my colleagues and providing and passing on the same information that really unlocked my own mind.”

        Democrat Sen. Street is co-sponsor along with Republican State Sen. Dan Laughlin of the Laughlin-Street Bipartisan Adult Use Marijuana Legalization Bill currently under consideration in the Pennsylvania state legislature. More information on the legislation can be found at Adult Use Cannabis (senatorsharifstreet.com). The bill prioritizes safety, and social and economic equity, as well as engages Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry in a way that ensures the vitality of Pennsylvania’s world-class medical cannabis industry while creating thousands of jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue.

         

        As the chief marketing officer of Wana Brands and a longtime marketing professional in the cannabis industry, Hodas brings an experienced and inquisitive perspective to the conversations. Together, the co-hosts are joined by a variety of stakeholders to discuss all aspects of cannabis decriminalization and legalization and the establishment of a recreational market – including cultivation, manufacturing, safety, regulation, and social equity.

        About “Planting Seeds with Senator Sharif Street

        “Planting Seeds with Senator Sharif Street” is a thought-provoking podcast that delves into the multifaceted world of cannabis. Pennsylvania State Senator Sharif Street sits down with cannabis industry veteran Joe Hodas (CMO of Wana Brands, North America’s farthest-reaching edibles company). Together, they explore the evolution of cannabis legalization, emphasizing bipartisan support and addressing racial disparities in enforcement. They navigate an industry grappling with its identity, discussing social change versus business goals. The conversation extends to stigma, benefits of legalization, and challenges, including interstate transport. The duo aims to educate on diverse cannabis aspects, from workers’ issues to regulatory frameworks. Action items emerge, including advocating for standardized regulations and supporting social equity initiatives. The show promises insightful episodes unraveling the complexities of cannabis in Pennsylvania.

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