Not enough signatures were collected for the effort to snuff out an Antioch ordinance that will allow marijuana retailers and related businesses to apply for operating permits.

Had the “Not in Antioch”  referendum succeeded, it would have repealed the Cannabis Business Overlay District ordinance the council approved by a 3-2 vote in late June. Former Councilman Manny Soliz, Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Rodney McClelland and resident Diana Patton backed the measure.

Volunteers collected some 3,000 signatures but fell short of the 5,200 needed within 30 days to place a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot asking voters to repeal the marijuana ordinance.

Organizers did not return calls about the referendum efforts, but did post a statement on their “Not in Antioch” Facebook page: “This is not the end! We encourage everyone to remain engaged with what is happening in our local government. There are more decisions to be made regarding cannabis businesses in Antioch, and we hope that you will join us in holding our leaders accountable by showing up to council meetings and speaking up.”

Although a large majority of Antioch residents voted for Proposition 64 a couple of years ago to legalize recreational pot, many residents have attended previous council meetings to speak against cannabis businesses in the city, including the police chief.

Each business that wants to locate in the city will still have to apply for a license and get approved by the planning commission and council before it can set up shop.

The ordinance, which took effect July 26, modified Antioch’s zoning map to make it possible for cannabis companies to apply for a conditional use permit to do business in the industrial area along the Wilbur Avenue corridor on the city’s northern waterfront or in the business park on Verne Roberts Circle near Antioch’s western border.

Soliz, a former councilman who wrote the referendum, said he believes the city didn’t consider how the ordinance would affect public safety and didn’t establish a good process for taxing and licensing the marijuana businesses.

“We need to do the best with the resources we have been given and hand them off to the next generation,” he said shortly after the launch of the petition drive. “Should they (city leaders) be trying to employ cannabis businesses or find large retail businesses to locate here? We’re just asking there be some common sense be applied to this issue.”