Ridgeland was one of the first two cities to opt out of participating in Mississippi’s forthcoming medical cannabis program when its board of aldermen made that decision March 1, well ahead of the May 3 deadline to do so.

Overall, officials from 10 counties and 17 municipalities in the state chose not to allow medical cannabis businesses in their jurisdictions.

But Ridgeland, a city of roughly 24,000 people in the Jackson metropolitan area, might be coming off of that opt-out list sooner rather than later.

On May 21, city residents began receiving knocks on their doors in a signature-gathering effort represented by contractor Voters Choice, the Madison County Journal reported.

That boots-on-the-ground endeavor comes more than two months after the Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association began hosting signature drives March 12 in hopes of bringing medical cannabis to Ridgeland.

Despite the votes of elected city aldermen, 20% or 1,500 of registered voters (whichever is fewer) in state municipalities may petition to put a question on their local ballots in a special election to override an opt-out.

The election must be held within 60 days from the date the petition’s signatures are validated by the Secretary of State.