Following Verification of Medical Marijuana Initiative Signatures, Long Beach City Council Must Now Take Action

A petition for a medical marijuana ballot initiative submitted to the Long Beach City Clerk’s Office last month will be heading to the Long Beach City Council, now that a sample of the petition signatures has been verified and deemed sufficient, the city clerk’s office announced Tuesday.

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City Clerk Maria de la Luz Garcia said 1,051 signatures were verified, which is three percent of the 35,009 signatures contained in the petition.

The city clerk certified the results Tuesday and will now prepare and present a Certification of Sufficiency report to the city council on July 12.

The council will then need to take one of the following actions within 10 days of the city clerk’s presentation:

1. Adopt the proposed ordinance as is, without altering it.

2. Place the ordinance on the November ballot for voters to decide.

3. Order city staff to come back with an impact report within 30 days of the city clerk’s presentation and then have 10 more days to decide, based on the report, whether to adopt the ordinance or place on the November ballot.


According to a release from the city clerk’s office, the petition required 24,909 valid signatures, equal to 10 percent of the total registered voters in Long Beach (249,089), to be deemed sufficient.

“A measure can qualify via random sampling of petition signatures if the sampling projects a number of valid signatures 110 percent or greater of the required number,” the release stated. “The medical marijuana initiative needed at least 27,402 (110%) projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling. The petition had, on a projected basis, 28,436 (114.16%) valid signatures based on the random sample of signatures.”

If passed, the ordinance would allow dispensaries to be open from 9:00AM to 8:00PM and allow residential deliveries up until 9:00PM. The storefront would be relegated to operate in only commercial or industrial zoned areas. It also calls for a 6 percent tax on cultivation sites, projecting millions of dollars of potential revenue for Long Beach. It would also provide for the operation of medical marijuana businesses in all districts rather than restricting them to the west and north sides of the city as earlier proposals had.

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