Firm contracted to get signatures to allow medical marijuana in Ridgeland
A firm contracted to get signatures to allow medical marijuana in Ridgeland was knocking on doors Saturday.
A man who said his name was Jeremy and would not give his last name said he worked for a group Voters Choice contracted to get signatures to bring the vote up in Ridgeland.
Ridgeland opted out of medical marijuana as a May deadline loomed.
Officials said this gives them time to observe what is happening elsewhere and they can always opt back in.
A resolution opting out of the “cultivation, processing, sale and/or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products within the geographical limits of the city” was approved.
Mayor Gene F. McGee said at the time that he has read the law carefully and believes the city loses nothing by opting out. He said that the city sets an example by making the decision well before the May 3 deadline and gives city officials time to observe what happens elsewhere.
He said then the city is free to opt back in if they feel that is a good direction.
McGee said that this also gives the Community Development department time to develop any zoning amendments that will be necessary if they allow the industry into town.
McGee said that the department would likely not have time to develop and fine-tune the zoning laws the city would want in place were they to opt in.
Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith and Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard offered some pushback on opting out.
When an opt-out decision is made like Ridgeland, a petition containing at least 20% or 1,500 signatures (whichever number is less) of qualified electors can trigger a special election to override the city’s opt-out.
The election must be held within 60 days from the date the petition is filed with the Secretary of State, but no sooner than 15 days from the publication date of the first of three required newspaper notices of the petition filing and upcoming special election.
Madison, Gluckstadt and Ridgeland voted to opt-out. Madison County will allow growing but not sales. Canton did not make a decision.