Company pledged to get signatures to license medical marijuana in Ridgeland

A company contracted to obtain 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 contracted by Voters Choice to get signatures to get the vote up in Ridgeland.

Ridgeland quit medical marijuana as the May deadline loomed.

Officials said it gave them time to observe what was happening elsewhere and they could always re-register.

A resolution denying “the cultivation, processing, sale and/or distribution of medical cannabis and cannabis products within the geographic limits of the city” was approved.

Mayor Gene F. McGee said at the time that he had read the law carefully and believed the city was not losing anything by opting out. He said the city is leading by example by making the decision well before the May 3 deadline and giving city officials time to observe what is happening elsewhere.

He said the city was free to come back if they felt that was a good direction.

McGee said it also gives the community development department time to develop any zoning changes that will be needed if they allow industry to come into town.

McGee said the department probably wouldn’t have time to craft and refine any zoning laws the city would want to put in place if they agreed.

Alderman-at-Large DI Smith and Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard offered some pushback on the takedown.

When an exclusion decision is made like Ridgeland, a petition containing at least 20% or 1,500 signatures (whichever is less) of qualified voters can trigger a special election to overturn the city’s exclusion.

The election must take place within 60 days from the date the petition is filed with the Secretary of State, but no earlier than 15 days from the date of publication of the first of the three required press notices regarding the filing of the petition and the upcoming special election.

Madison, Gluckstadt and Ridgeland voted to opt out. Madison County will allow growth but not sales. Canton has not made a decision.

Laura J. Boyer