In an interview with local radio station WHYY, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said that he thinks Pennsylvania should legalize recreational marijuana and sell it via state-run liquor stores. The mayor said that selling and taxing recreational pot would provide additional funding for the state, so that they wouldn't need to raise income or sales taxes. “This is a new source of revenue that people are doing now,” he said. “We can bring it above-board and sell it in state stores.”
Kenney also believes that putting state-run liquor stores in charge of marijuana sales would help keep pot out of the hands of minors. "The hardest place to get served underage in Philadelphia when I was growing up was a Pennsylvania state liquor store," he said. "You could get a bartender to look the other way and sell you a six-pack when you are 19, but when you went into a state store they wanted to see a license - your license."
Wendell Young IV, president of the UFCW Local 1776 union, which represents around 3,500 state liquor store workers, said that his members would be happy to sell legal marijuana alongside alcohol. “We have a highly-trained staff to handle what is the most abused drug in the nation, alcohol. They’ll do just as excellent a job handling marijuana,” he said. “Everything’s already in place. You’re just selling a different product.”
State senator Daylin Leach proposed a bill that would sell legalized marijuana via liquor stores in 2013, and tried again in 2015 after it failed to pass. State Representative Jordan Harris proposed a similar bill last year, but none of these measures have passed the state legislature.