Ridgeland’s mayor clarifies why city declined medical marijuana program

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 7:55 PM CDT
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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - Ridgeland’s mayor is speaking out on medical marijuana. Mayor Gene McGee wants to clarify to residents why the city voted against joining the program.

McGee said the Medical Marijuana legislation prompted city leaders to opt out of the program at this time. He said the law gave municipalities only one chance to participate or not, 90 days from the governor’s signing.

“We wanted to kinda let it settle, kinda see what happens in some of the other cities and to be sure that we don’t make mistakes and we can learn from mistakes that other cities make,” said McGee.

According to the mayor, the Board of Aldermen has concerns about law enforcement determining who can rightfully have prescriptions and the proper amounts, as well as black-market prescription cards. Another issue is making sure the facilities are zoned properly to not decrease property values.

“There was a push for a petition by the medical marijuana group out of Jackson to get 1,500 names. I don’t know where that is at this time,” said McGee. “I don’t know that they can get 1,500 names, but if they do, we will hold an election, and we will share out thoughts as to why we believe we need to take our time.”

The Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association is holding a signature drive in the city to allow Ridgeland residents to vote on the issue. Whether there is a vote or not, McGee said there are plans for a dispensary on County Line Road in Jackson which will make medical marijuana accessible to Ridgeland Residents.

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