Manhattan Beach voters may decide next year whether marijuana shops can move into the city.

A resident served the city in July with an initiative ordinance petition, seeking to have the city repeal its existing ban on commercial cannabis activity and allow up to three state-licensed dispensaries.

And the City Council this week took the wait-and-see approach, deciding to let the process of collecting enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot — an effort petitioner Philip Wandel has undertaken — play out, instead of drafting a counter ordinance or having staff analyze potential impacts.

If 10%, or 2,700, of the city’s 27,000 registered voters sign the petition by April 26, they will force the city’s hand. The City Council would have to vote to adopt the measure as-is within 10 days of signature verification, place a measure on the ballot for the November 2022 election or call for a special election earlier than that.

Upon signature verification, the council could also direct staff to write a report on the potential impacts, but then would have 10 days after that report is presented to either adopt or send the issue to an election.

The ordinance would legalize commercial cannabis cultivation,

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