Interviews & Profiles

Q&A with Khari Griffin

A conversation with the associate attorney at Clark Hill

Khari Griffin

Khari Griffin Clark Hill

This conversation has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. 

What are the crucial issues that need to be addressed before recreational marijuana is legalized in Pennsylvania?

 It is critical that Pennsylvania properly understands the pros and cons of marijuana legalization before its approval. Fortunately, Pennsylvania has 24 other states to look to as examples, including its own next-door neighbors. While some of my contemporaries likely disagree, I believe that Pennsylvania will legalize marijuana sooner than later – and that it is in the Commonwealth’s best interest to prepare accordingly. Particularly, Pennsylvania should be prepared to issue a sufficient number of licenses to ensure appropriate supply is available to meet consumer demand. Pennsylvania should also determine how recreational marijuana would be taxed and how the tax revenue would be allocated within the Commonwealth. Finally, Pennsylvania should consider a systematic approach to expunge or vacate marijuana-related convictions that would not otherwise be offenses under any other existing law.

What are some of the ways you/your organization are working to make that happen?

Clark Hill PLC is a leading cannabis law firm that works with both businesses and governments to develop medical and recreational marijuana policies. With two offices in Pennsylvania, we support existing medical businesses and stakeholders. Many of the existing medical operators are supportive of the recreational effort. We are working to engage with stakeholders in Pennsylvania’s government and provide them with model policies and suggestions. We are also active at the federal level regarding policies for hemp and hemp products, as well as banking for marijuana businesses. Finally, I am personally involved with local advocacy groups that support marijuana businesses and safe access for all.

What is the biggest misconception about the issue and the industry that you would like to clear up?

The biggest misconception about this issue and the industry that I would like to clear up is that recreational marijuana regulation somehow leads to a broken society. To the contrary, it promotes consumer safety and tax revenue for Pennsylvania. Marijuana consumers who are not medical cardholders are purchasing their marijuana from the unregulated black market. In doing so, they subject themselves to personal risk and funnel money into illegitimate activities – money that the Commonwealth cannot tax. By legalizing marijuana, Pennsylvania would ensure that its citizens who are interested in consuming marijuana can do so under regulations that promote safety, quality, and good business practices; while simultaneously developing a new revenue stream for the Commonwealth.

Back to Special Report: Cannabis in Pennsylvania

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