Petition drive puts marijuana sales in the city on the ballot
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Community activists seeking to overturn the city’s recently adopted cannabis business license ordinance have succeeded in having the question placed before voters on the next primary or general election ballot.
A summer primary election will occur only if enough city council or mayor candidates mandate a runoff election. Otherwise, the question will appear on the ballot during the November general election.
The City Council had three choices before it at the March 20 meeting: to adopt the ordinance as submitted by the petition; to repeal the ordinance, or part of it, referred to in the petition; or to submit the proposal to the city’s registered voters.
The council opted March 20 to bring the measure to the residents for a vote.
Remarks made during public comments and by councilmembers revealed some of the controversy that surrounded the petition drive.
A firm was hired to circulate petitions, and some people claimed those seeking signatures were misleading to the residents they approached, while others denied that occurred.
It was noted by city officials that any residents who claim they signed the petition based on misleading information or who had their name added to the petition without their consent may file a report with the Police Department.
Police Chief John Allen said March 20 that no police reports had been filed prior to the meeting alleging a petition impropriety.
Mayor Andrew Swift said the current marijuana business permits are subject to an annual renewal, so if the ordinance is overturned, current marijuana businesses in the city would not have their permit renewed after their first year.