Petition launched to overturn Pacific Grove’s cannabis law

The Monterey Herald reports…


PACIFIC GROVE — Within days of elected officials in Pacific Grove green-lighting a retail cannabis store in the city, a notice of referendum has been filed that could take the hot-button issue to voters.

The City Council in the coastal community of 15,000 approved a city ordinance on Sept. 16 to permit one cannabis license to be issued. That was followed on Sept. 22 by the city issuing a request for applications for a single license.

But a notice of referendum has been filed with the city of Pacific Grove announcing the beginning of a process that, if successful, would place a referendum on the ballot next year to reverse the council decision. The difference between a referendum and an initiative is an initiative creates legislation by the people and a referendum allows people to veto legislation passed by a legislative body.

Debby Beck, with the Debby Beck Real Estate Group in Pacific Grove, submitted the summary of the referendum on Sept. 21, which then went to City Attorney David Laredo who has 10 days to review and revise the summary, which has to be completed by Oct. 2.

On Friday, Laredo said any revisions would be for accuracy and that the only significant revision he foresees is to have Beck attach the ordinance to the referendum so voters can understand what it is they would be reversing.

Pacific Grove City Manager Ben Harvey said the city will continue to move forward and has announced that it is accepting applications for the retail cannabis license. The request for applications spells out specific requirements and buffer zones away from schools.

“We will be continuing with the process,” he said. “It would be premature not to.”

Pacific Grove City Clerk Sandra Kandell reported that the petition would require 10% of registered voters and that as of the last reporting period there were 10,455 voters, which would put the required number of signatures on Beck’s petition at roughly 1,045.

“I’m confident we will far exceed that number,” Beck said Friday.



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