Signal Hill Voters Could Decide On Cannabis Dispensaries

Signal Hill voters may be deciding whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries after a petition drive similar to one in Long Beach.

Except the Signal Hill proposition won’t be on the ballot — if it qualifies — until next March.

A Long Beach ballot initiative to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, along with a second marijuana taxation initiative, have qualified for the Nov. 8 general election ballot. A statewide proposition to legalize recreational use of marijuana is on that same ballot.

The Signal Hill petitions, promoted by the Law Office of Matthew Pappas, were turned in to the city clerk’s office on Aug. 8. They were sent to the Los Angeles County Clerk and Registrar for certification on Aug. 9, according to deputy city clerk Kimberly Boles.

If there are enough signatures, 626 in Signal Hill, the propositions would be put on the ballot of the next municipal election, which is on March 7. The deadline to submit ballot items for the Nov. 8 election was Aug. 2.

There are two initiative petitions — one to set a 10% tax on medical marijuana transactions, with the money designated for use by the Signal Hill Police Department (25%), Signal Hill schools (25%) and the city’s general fund (50%). The other would allow nine permitted medical marijuana facilities in Signal Hill, meeting criteria including a 600-foot buffer from schools and a quality testing component.

If the law passes, it requires a Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee all marijuana operations.

The petitions list Jeff Benson as the proponent and Jason Aula as political consultant. There were 800 signatures on the taxation petition and 650 on the dispensaries petition.

The county clerk’s office has 30 business days to determine if there are enough valid signatures to put the items on the ballot.

—Harry Saltzgaver

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