EAST STROUDSBURG -- The Pennsylvania auditor general believes taxing and regulating marijuana could help the state close its budget gap.
The state is already in the process of licensing business to grow and sell medical marijuana, and one of those places could end up in East Stroudsburg.
According to the borough, some entrepreneurs want to turn a former manufacturing site on Oak Street into a medical marijuana growing facility.
The plan is in the very early stages, but it's getting some good feedback from community members who believe it would create jobs and money.
It's been nearly two years since any business ran out of the former Bustin Industrial Products building in East Stroudsburg, but soon it could be used to grow medical marijuana.
Bob Goucher runs a garage across the street.
"I think it will be beneficial probably to the borough and everyone else."
A group of entrepreneurs from the area took the idea to the borough last week. Some residents think it could create needed jobs.
Goucher says he's not surprised people are looking to bring the medical marijuana industry to the Poconos.
"I don't see a problem with it, no. Now, will it cause problems? I don't know, but I am OK with it."
While some people believe bringing medical marijuana business to the Poconos, whether it be growing or distributing, would be beneficial, some others think you can bring in jobs and money a different way.
Peter Borowski from East Stroudsburg worries a medical marijuana facility may create more problems than solutions.
"I don't know if this processing thing is a good idea. I personally just don't want it around here," said Borowski.
Marijuana was also the topic at the state level on Monday. During a news conference in Harrisburg, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale suggested that Pennsylvania could close its budget gap by regulating and taxing marijuana for recreational use.
"Public opinion on this is fading and it's important not for Pennsylvania to fall behind and we can do this in a smart way," said Eugene DePasquale, (D) Auditor General.
"They'll make money off of it, definitely," said Karen Cary of East Stroudsburg. "That's what I think they want to do. They want to make sure it's taxable and then everyone will make money off of that and the jobs will start coming in."
There is still a long way to go before DePasquale's idea can become a reality.
As for the medical marijuana licensing process, the state Department of Health will issue just two licenses at most in Monroe County.
The submission deadline is later this month.