Southern California

Hemet voters could see three marijuana initiatives in November

Hemet voters could face three cannabis-related initiatives on the November ballot after the City Council on Tuesday, July 10, decided to create its own measure to combat two other proposed measures.

One measure to legalize marijuana-related businesses has already qualified for the ballot and a second has been proposed. Both are citizen-driven and would end the city’s ban of all marijuana-related businesses.

“Philosophically, I’m opposed to someone coming in and riding roughshod on our city and putting an initiative that shoves their business down our throat,” Councilman Russ Brown said. “It’s coming, we can either control it or have it jammed down our throat.”d

Both measures are more lenient about security and where the businesses could be than the city would like. One would allow retail sales.

After hearing reports about a community survey on marijuana-based business and projected revenues, council members said they were more comfortable with only allowing medical marijuana-related businesses and no retail sales.

“We need to take this opportunity to put it on the ballot and make our own rules,” Councilwoman Karlee Meyer said.

If more than one initiative is approved by voters, the one receiving the most votes would win. If none pass, the city’s ban on all marijuana-related businesses would stay in place.

The decision came on the same day that the city of Riverside permanently banned marijuana dispensaries and outdoor growing.

An initiative will be crafted for the council’s Tuesday, July 24, meeting.

The city has to work fast, as the deadline to get items on the Nov. 6 ballot is Aug. 10. The cost of putting the initiative on the ballot is not known.