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A petition could change a city’s decision to opt-out of medical marijuana program

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Your city’s leaders may have opted-out of the state’s medical marijuana program, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. A petition could actually give residents the power to change the outcome and opt-in.

”One of the things that we fought for for the past two years is for the voters to be heard, not the politicians,” Michael Hardy said.

Cites across the Magnolia State are opting-out of the state’s medical marijuana program. Ridgeland, Flora, Brandon and Gluckstadt are the most recent cities in the metro.

But is that the final decision? Co-owner of Magnolia Hemp Company, Michael Hardy, said it’s not.

“The petition will allow the qualified electors of the city of Gluckstadt to force a special election where people would go to the polls and vote, whether or not they will opt-in to the medical cannabis law,” Hardy said.

And Hardy is right. According to the the State’s Cannabis Law, if the city’s voters don’t agree with their board decision, they can petition to reverse it.

But before that vote can happen, 20% of the city’s voting population or 1,500 voters, whichever number is lower, has to sign the petition. And Gluckstadt resident Taylor Mitchell said she thinks they will have the numbers.

“I am confident that majority of people who did vote for it in Gluckstadt are going to come back out again. It’s just getting to them and making them realize, like, ‘Hey, this isn’t over. We’d still have to keep going,’” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said opting into the program doesn’t just help those who will have the medical documentation - it also could help the city’s economy.

“You’re gonna have patients come in and spend their money at the dispensaries. That’s first. The amount of jobs that it’s gonna create, the amount of people that are going to be coming to work in Gluckstadt from somewhere else is going to bring in revenue to those local restaurants, those local, you know, mom and pop shops,” Mitchell explained.

Hardy believes Gluckstadt should have opted in to the program in the first place and kept people from jumping through hoops.

“It’s always been necessary to leave it in the hands of the people. The constituents of the Gluckstadt city voted in 2020, overwhelmingly, to support medical cannabis,” Hardy said.

Petition locations are listed below:

For Gluckstadt: Magnolia Hemp Company, Hemp World, The Bean Parole, and Moore’s greenhouse.

For Ridgeland: Magnolia Hemp Company and Martinson’s Garden Works.

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